U.S. Soccer

2010 FIFA World Cup Qualifying Final Round


IN PHOTOS: Michael Bradley Reflects on 2013 World Cup Qualifying vs Honduras

The USA’s World Cup Qualifying series with Honduras has served up memorable matches at every turn. Ahead of USA-Honduras, presented by Volpi Foods, take a photographic look back at the series with the players that were heroes along the way.

Following a wild set of matches in 2002 FIFA World Cup Qualifying the U.S. earned two comeback wins during the 2009 Hexagonal, sending the team on its way to the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

Current MNT captain Michael Bradley and other players look back on the most recent series during the 2013 Hexagonal.

Feb. 6, 2013 – Honduras 2, USA 1

The U.S. opened the Final Round of 2014 FIFA World Cup Qualifying with a difficult away fixture in Honduras. Wanting to get off on the right foot, the home side elected for an early afternoon kickoff, when the sun and heat were at their highest, to give Los Catrachos more of a home-field advantage.

“It was a brutal day,” remembers MNT captain Michael Bradley. “It was hot as could be, humid and this was back when there were still single fixture dates. I believe this was a game on a Wednesday where we had all played on the weekend and were returning right after the game to play another game with our club teams. As usual, we met in Miami on Sunday or Monday, flew down to Honduras, trained once in the stadium and then played.

USA-Honduras, February 6, 2013 Starting XI

“Those fixtures were always whirlwinds, and when you add in the fact that most of us were playing in places where in February the weather was cool [eight of the 11 starters were playing in Europe at the time], it meant that it was a real challenge in terms of the conditions and getting ourselves ready. It was early afternoon, very hot and the grass there is traditionally left very long and is slow and thick. We knew from the beginning it was going to be a tough day.”

As expected, the early moments of the match saw Honduras on the front foot, but the U.S. sustained the pressure as they served up a few opportunities that Tim Howard easily dealt with. 

“We were having to defend and take care of some things, but I don’t think it was huge chance after huge chance. Nonetheless, they had the upper hand and they were looking at home to really be aggressive. We were able to withstand some pressure and quite honestly you’re always going to have to do that on the road in qualifying.”

The U.S. picked its moments and came close when Eddie Johnson crossed for Jozy Altidore who’s flick-on redirection grazed just over the bar in the 29th minute.

Two more Honduras chances came just after the half-hour mark when Roger Espinoza made his way into the box and pushed the ball past Tim Howard, only to have Fabian Johnson clear the danger away from lurking Honduras forward Jerry Bengtson. Moments later, Espinoza forced a turnover at the back which led to Mario Martínez blasting a shot that Howard had to punch over the bar.

Against that pressure, the U.S. found the go-ahead goal in the 36th minute. A small bit of possession in midfielder resulted in Jermaine Jones sending a weighted ball into the area, where Clint Dempsey timed his run before volleying past Noel Valladares and inside the left post.

“There are going to be periods where you have to deal with the home team really being aggressive and coming at you and you have to understand in those moments how to take care of things and still not give anything away,” Bradley said. “I thought we were able to do that and obviously it ends with the fact that we were able to get a really good goal to go up 1-0.”

While the U.S. looked to take the lead into halftime, the goal instead galvanized Honduras, who struck back three minutes later. Following a corner kick, defender Victor Bernárdez chased down a ball in the right corner and crossed for Maynor Figueroa. The center back chested the ball up in the air where Juan Carlos García rose to slam home a bicycle kick inside the top left post.

“To give away a goal right after we went up 1-0 and right before halftime was not ideal in any way. In a game like that if you can take your goal into halftime and they’ll have a little bit of time to regroup and get yourselves ready for the second half. That makes a big difference.”

Halftime did little to quell the Honduras attack. Oscar Boniek García fired just wide of Howard’s goal in the 52nd minute and what looked like the go-ahead goal was waved off when Carlo Costly was judged to be offside.

“We couldn’t make a play. Obviously the longer the game goes, the heat and travel certainly come into play. In the end, those are thing we’ve all dealt with before and to not be able to walk out of there with a point was very disappointing.”

Tiring in the afternoon heat, the U.S. mostly bunkered in hopes of stealing a point, but finally conceded what would stand as the game-winner in the 79 the minute. A worn-out U.S. defense saw Figueroa slip Boniek Garcia through before sliding for Jerry Bengtson who finished into an empty net.

“I just remember us being slow to react all afternoon and a little bit sluggish and you see that on both of the goals we gave away.”

June 18, 2013 – USA 1, Honduras 0

The U.S. rebounded from that opening defeat, earning a 1-0 victory against Costa Rica in the famous SnowClasico on March 22 before an historic 0-0 draw away to Mexico four days later. Entering the summer set of qualifiers, the MNT used a late goal from Brad Evans to earn a 1-0 win at Jamaica on June 7, and goals from Eddie Johnson and Jozy Altidore to take a 2-0 home win vs. Panama on June 13.

Those four results gave the MNT plenty of momentum going into the June 18 date against Honduras in Salt Lake City, with a win vs. Los Catrachos likely setting the U.S. up for qualification come the September international window.

Playing at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah, the U.S. pressed the attack early on, with Clint Dempsey’s seventh-minute header going just wide of the right post. Moments later, Fabian Johnson exploited the left flank and crossed for Eddie Johnson whose one-time effort was only kept out with a sprawling save from Valladares.

A scoreless first half led to more U.S. chances in the second, with Dempsey leading the way.


The veteran forward’s snap header was well-saved in the 56th minute. Four minutes later, a wild scramble in the box concluded with Dempsey heading the ball down where Honduras midfielder Wilson Palacios committed a clear hand ball, yet avoided a penalty kick. In the 70th minute, Graham Zusi crossed for Dempsey again, but his glancing header was again kept out by Valladares.

Just as it looked like the goal might not fall for the U.S., Dempsey and Johnson worked a quick combination up the left, before centering for Altidore who coolly finished to the back post, scoring in his fourth-consecutive U.S. match.


The MNT locked down and closed out the game, and that September defeated Mexico 2-0 in Columbus to qualify for the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

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MNT Mar 23, 2017

IN PHOTOS: Carlos Bocanegra and Conor Casey Recall 2009 World Cup Qualifiers vs. Honduras

The USA’s World Cup Qualifying series with Honduras has served up memorable matches at every turn. After a wild set of matches in 2002 FIFA World Cup Qualifying, Honduras missed out on the 2005 Hexagonal meaning the two sides wouldn’t meet again until the Final Round of qualifying for the 2010 FIFA World Cup.  U.S. captain Carlos Bocanegra delivered the game-winning goal in the Read more
MNT Mar 21, 2017

Gallery: Dos a Cero Kicks Off 2009 World Cup Qualifying

For a third straight Hexagonal, the U.S. Men's National Team's 2-0 win against Mexico to begin the Final Round of FIFA World Cup Qualifying gave fans at Columbus Crew Stadium in Columbus, Ohio the satisfaction of singing "Dos a Cero" once again on Feb. 11, 2009. Read more
MNT Sep 19, 2016

Personal 'Dos A Cero': General Bradley Bags a Brace vs. Mexico in 2009

Originally published on October 10, 2015. A self-admitted fan of the U.S. Men’s National Team long before he ever wore the red, white and blue, Michael Bradley fondly recalls the feeling he had ahead of his first World Cup qualifier against Mexico in Columbus in 2009. “I remember sitting on the bus, driving to the stadium and letting it all sink in,” said Bradley. “Obviousl Read more
MNT Oct 10, 2015

U.S. Takes Top Spot In CONCACAF Qualifying With 2-2 Draw Against Costa Rica

  •  After Michael Bradley Pulls a Goal Back in the 72nd Minute, Defender Jonathan Bornstein Scores Off Header to Tie the Match in the 95th Minute
  • Honduras Defeats El Salvador, 1-0, to Earn Third and Final Automatic Berth from CONCACAF to 2010 FIFA World Cup
  • Costa Rica Earns Spot in Playoff Against Uruguay, the Fifth Place Finisher in South America  

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Oct. 14, 2009) -- With a berth to the 2010 FIFA World Cup already secured, the U.S. Men’s National Team took care of one last piece of business during its 10th and final game of CONCACAF Qualifying, mounting a furious comeback that finished with just 10 players on the field while earning a 2-2 draw with Costa Rica on a rainy night at RFK Stadium. 

The draw, in front of an enthusiastic crowd of 26,243 fans, coupled with Mexico’s 2-2 tie against Trinidad & Tobago, gave the USA first place in the group. The USA finished the Hexagonal with a total of 20 points, ahead of Mexico (19) and Honduras (16), who finished above Costa Rica (16) on goal differential. Costa Rica was just 30 seconds away from finishing in third place in the group and earning an automatic berth into the World Cup when Jonathan Bornstein scored off a header from a corner kick by Robbie Rogers in the 95th minute to tie the match. 

The USA had fallen behind 2-0 midway through the first half, but launched a fierce comeback that included a 72nd minute goal from Michael Bradley, who finished a rebound of a Landon Donovan shot, and then came Bornstein’s dramatic header with the final seconds ticking away.  

The USA was reduced to 10 men for the last seven minutes of the game, plus five minutes of stoppage time, after defender Oguchi Onyewu went down in the Costa Rican penalty box with a torn patellar tendon in his left knee, suffered while he was backpedaling after a corner kick. He had to be stretchered off and, as the USA already had used all three of its allowed substitutes, the Americans played a man down the rest of the way. 

As the fourth place finisher in CONCACAF, Costa Rica will have to face South American fifth place finisher Uruguay in a home-and-home series to vie for a spot in South Africa. 

U.S. head coach Bob Bradley made three changes to the starting lineup from the side that defeated Honduras 3-2 last Saturday in San Pedro Sula to clinch a berth to South Africa 2010. Bradley called upon veteran Steve Cherundolo at right back, inserted Benny Feilhaber into the center midfield, and gave Jozy Altidore a run at forward alongside Conor Casey, one of the heroes of the USA’s victory in Honduras after scoring twice, his first two career international goals. 

Costa Rica came into the match with everything to play for as only a victory would guarantee the Ticos CONCACAF’s third and final berth. In the early going, Costa Rica’s desperation turned into goals as the teams traded chances but the Central Americans put theirs away.   

The first U.S. chance came in the ninth minute as the Americans counter-attacked off a Costa Rican corner kick. U.S. forward Jozy Altidore controlled the ball on the right wing and powered his way through two defenders before spotting Casey wide open in the middle of the field. Altidore played a long square pass to the streaking Casey, but with a wide open look at goal, he spun his 14-yard shot wide right. 

Two minutes later, a Costa Rican cross from the left flank was met on the full volley by Tico captain Walter Centeno at the right edge of the six yard box, but U.S. goalkeeper Tim Howard was in great position to make the save at the right post and used impressive reactions to push the driven ball over the crossbar. 

In the 18th minute, flank midfielder Stuart Holden popped free on the right wing after a nifty back heel from Casey and chipped a cross into the middle to Altidore, but his diving header attempt from the penalty spot went skidding wide left. 

Soon after, Costa Rica scored twice in a four-minute span to rock the Americans. In the 21st minute forward Bryan Ruiz ran onto a pass into the left side of the penalty area, pushed past Onyewu then cut into the six-yard box. Ruiz was almost at point blank range when he squeezed his shot through Howard’s legs to make it 1-0. 

Just three minutes later, Costa Rica made it 2-0 on an unstoppable blast from Ruiz, who popped open just outside the penalty area on the right side after a nice give-and-go. The Costa Rican forward sizzled a world class 19-yard shot on a line with his left foot into the upper left corner, giving Howard no chance. 

After the Costa Rican flurry, the USA became the aggressor and, truth be told, the Americans were unfortunate to not score once or even twice before the halftime whistle. 

In the 28th minute Donovan took a free kick from the left side just on the edge of the penalty area, but his spinning service well punched away by Costa Rican goalkeeper Keilor Navas, who did well all evening to get his fists on the frequent U.S. services into the box. 

In the 32nd minute, Donovan had a direct free-kick chance from just about the same distance as his goal against Honduras last Saturday, albeit on the other side of the penalty arc, but he spun his shot over the top. 

In the 37th minute Donovan almost finished off a great solo run, lifting the ball over Costa Rican defender Luis Marin after collecting a flick header from Altidore. Donovan raced into the left side of the penalty box, but fired his left footer from a sharp angle over the bar from 10 yards out. 

In the 42nd minute, Altidore was taken down on left side just above the penalty area. Donovan touched the ball to the right to Bradley, but his low, driven blast was deflected away for a corner kick. 

The USA had two fantastic chances to score in the final two minutes of the first half. The first came when Altidore won the ball on the right wing with a powerful tackle. He played the ball into the middle for Casey, but he let it run to Donovan, who he tried to slot the ball into the lower right corner from just inside the penalty spot. Navas stabbed his left hand to the ground and made a fine save to smother the shot. 

Less than minute later, Donovan burst down left flank and cut a pass back to Altidore in the middle as his defender slipped to the ground. Altidore took a touch to settle, but his powerful shot from 13 yards was batted away by the charging Navas, who closed the distance in an instant. 

In the second half, it became clear that Costa Rica was content to defend its two-goal lead while the Americans attacked with fervor looking to pull one back.  

Costa Rica’s only dangerous looking chance after their goals came in the 60th minute as Ruiz fired low from distance, but Howard was easily able to make the save. Otherwise, it was a pretty much one-way traffic for the last half hour as the Americans attacked in waves in search of the group title. 

Bradley made all three of his substitutions in the final 27 minutes, sending on Jose Francisco Torres for Feilhaber in the 63rd minute, Rogers for Holden in the 69th and Kenny Cooper for Casey in the 79th minute. 

The USA finally broke though in the 72nd minute as Rogers crossed from the right wing. The ball was headed up in the air by Bradley and it fell to Donovan in the left side of the penalty area. He wound up on a defender, cut the ball into the middle and then shot quickly from 14 yards out. The low shot was parried by Navas, but Bradley slid to power the rebound into the roof of the net with his right foot from three yards away. It was Bradley’s seventh career international goal and fifth in World Cup qualifying. 

Rogers almost tied the game himself a minute later as he ran onto a through ball in the right side of the penalty box, but couldn’t get enough on the shot to bend it around a closing defender and the goalkeeper, sending it wide right. 

The USA continued to push hard for equalizer, especially down the right flank through the tireless work of Cherundolo and the fresh legs of Rogers, who also sliced a header wide left of the net after a cross from the right back. 

In the 80th minute, a forced turnover in midfield led to a U.S. break and Altidore roared past a defender into left side of the box, but his shot under pressure flew over the goal. 

The frantic ending to the match featured the ejection of Costa Rica head coach Rene Simoes and a member of his staff, who both engaged the fourth official in a heated exchange as the game moved into stoppage time. Both had to be escorted from the field by security. 

The USA also had two corner kicks in stoppage time, scoring off the second one, despite Costa Rica implementing its best time-wasting tactics. 

On almost the USA’s last kick of the game, with more than four and half minutes of the announced five minutes of stoppage time gone, Rogers took a corner kick from the right side and Bornstein sliced through the pack of players to power a six-yard header off the base of the right post and into the net to tie the match.  The goal was Bornstein’s second career international tally, and first in World Cup qualifying.   

Seconds later, referee Benito Archundia blew the whistle and the shocked and dismayed Costa Ricans left the field in tears, while the Americans, champions of CONCACAF World Cup Qualifying for the second straight cycle, celebrated wildly with each other and their fans. It was also the second straight time that the United States has edged out rivals Mexico to capture the group title.  

After the match, the U.S. players paraded around the field with American flags and many displayed messages of support for teammate Charlie Davies, who was seriously injured in a car accident early Tuesday morning. In the ninth minute of the match, thousands of U.S. fans positioned at midfield held up “9” signs in honor of Davies, who wears that jersey number. 

The match marked sixth time in 10 qualifiers that the U.S. had surrendered the first goal. In those six matches, however, the U.S. has earned 11 of their 20 points with three come-from-behind wins and two come-from-behind ties.  

The USA joins Argentina, Brazil, Germany, Italy, Spain and Korea Republic as the only teams who have participated in all six World Cup since 1990, including secured berths to South Africa in 2010.   

Fans who wish to follow the U.S. team to South Africa are encouraged to join U.S. Soccer Supporters Club, the official fan membership program for fans of the U.S. Men’s and Women’s National Teams. U.S. Soccer SC members will have priority status to purchase 2010 FIFA World Cup tickets through U.S. Soccer, with access ahead of the general public. 

                                                                       -    U.S. Men's National Team Match Report  -

Match: United States vs. Costa Rica
Date: October 14, 2009
Competition: FIFA World Cup Qualifier – Final Round
Venue: RFK Stadium – Washington, D.C.
Kickoff: 8 p.m.ET
Attendance: 26,243
Weather: 45 degrees, rain

Scoring Summary:     1     2     F
USA                             0     2     2
CRC                             2     0     2

CRC – Bryan Ruiz (Michael Barrantes)              21st minute
CRC – Bryan Ruiz (Walter Centeno)                 24
USA – Michael Bradley                                   72
USA – Jonathan Bornstein (Robbie Rogers)      90+5

USA: 1-Tim Howard; 6-Steve Cherundolo, 5-Oguchi Onyewu, 3-Carlos Bocanegra (capt.), 12-Jonathan Bornstein; 7-Stuart Holden (9-Robbie Rogers, 69), 16-Benny Feilhaber (14-José Francisco Torres, 63) , 4-Michael Bradley, 10-Landon Donovan; 17-Jozy Altidore, 8-Conor Casey (Kenny Cooper, 79)
Subs not used: 2-Jonathan Spector, 13-Ricardo Clark, 15-Jimmy Conrad, 18-Brad Guzan
Head Coach: Bob Bradley

CRC: 1-Kelor Navas; 16-Christian Montero, 3-Luis Marin, 5-Dennis Marshall (12-Douglas Sequeira, 90+2); 2-Esteban Sirias (15-Junior Diaz, 74), 14-Randall Azofeifa, 10-Walter Centeno (capt.), 6-Michael Barrantes, 17-Pablo Herrera; 9-Alvaro Saborio, 11-Bryan Ruiz (13-Cristian Bolanos, 83)
Subs not used: 4-Michael Umana, 7-Rolando Fonseca, 8-Victor Nunez, 18-Ricardo Gonzalez
Head Coach: René Simões

Stats Summary: USA / CRC
Shots: 17 / 6
Shots on Goal: 5 / 5
Saves: 3 / 3
Corner Kicks: 8 / 3
Fouls: 14 / 11
Offside: 0 / 1

Misconduct Summary:
USA – Jozy Altidore           (caution)                   14th minute
CRC – Christian Montero     (caution)                   35
CRC – Alvaro Saborio         (caution)                   89

Referee: Benito Archundia (MEX)
Assistant Referee 1: Hector Delgadillo (MEX)
Assistant Referee 2: Marvin Torrentera (MEX)
Fourth Official: Haro Delgadillo (MEX)

ussoccer.com Man of the Match:
Michael Bradley

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MNT Oct 14, 2009

MNT Behind the Scenes: USA 1, TRI 0 - Sept. 9, 2009

This is a behind the bcenes look at the U.S. win against Trinidad and Tobago. The match was a FIFA World Cup Qualifying game played in Port of Spain, Trinidad. Read more
MNT Sep 28, 2009

U.S. Picks Up First Road Win of Final Round Qualifying with 1-0 Win in Trinidad & Tobago to Move into First Place

U.S.Sits in First Place with 16 Points with Two Matches Remaining in Qualifying; Clinches Top Four Position in the Table Clark Scores First Qualifying Goal; Donovan Registers Eighth Assist in Final Round Two Qualifiers Remain as U.S. Travels to Honduras on Oct. 10, Hosts Costa Rica on Oct. 14 in Washington, D.C. PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad (Sept. 9, 2009) — Ri Read more
MNT Sep 9, 2009

U.S. Men's National Team Gets Three Points Closer to South Africa with 2-1 Defeat of El Salvador

·        U.S. Comes From Behind With Goals From Clint Dempsey and Jozy Altidore in Final Five Minutes of First Half ·        Landon Donovan Sets U.S. Record With 32nd Career World Cup Qualifying Appearance ·        Up Next is Trinidad & Tobago at Hasely Crawford St Read more
MNT Sep 5, 2009

U.S. Men Continue Impressive Form at Home in Qualifying With 2-1 Victory Against Honduras at Soldier Field in Chicago

CHICAGO (June 6, 2009) — The U.S. Men’s National Team posted a historic 2-1 victory against Honduras behind a successful penalty kick conversion from Landon Donovan and a game-winning header from team captain Carlos Bocanegra in the 68th minute this evening in front of 55,647 fans at Soldier Field in Chicago. The win improved the USA’s unbeaten streak at home in World Cup qualify Read more
MNT Jun 6, 2009

U.S. Men Fall 3-1 to Costa Rica in World Cup Qualifying in San Jose

SAN JOSE, Costa Rica (June 3, 2009) – The U.S. Men’s National Team fell 3-1 to a spirited Costa Rican side in front of 19,200 raucous fans on Wednesday evening at Estadio Ricardo Saprissa in San Jose. Costa Rica used two early goals to take control of the game before adding a third goal in the 69th minute to put the game away. A late penalty kick from Landon Donovan in second-half stop Read more
MNT Jun 3, 2009

Altidore Hat Trick Provides U.S. Men's National Team With 3-0 Victory Against Trinidad & Tobago

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (April 1, 2009) — Forward Jozy Altidore became the youngest player in history to score a hat trick for the U.S. Men’s National Team, tallying all three goals tonight for the U.S. Men’s National Team in a dominating 3-0 victory against Trinidad & Tobago in front of a raucous crowd of 27,959 at LP Field in Nashville, Tenn. With the victory, the U.S. continued t Read more
MNT Apr 1, 2009



Date Matchup Result Venue Attendance Goal Scorers
2-2 D RFK Stadium; Washington, D.C. 26,243 Bradley, Bornstein
3-2 W Estadio Olimpico; San Pedro Sula, Honduras 37,000 Casey (2), Donovan
1-0 W Hasely Crawford Stadium; Port of Spain, Trinidad 4,700 Clark
2-1 W Rio Tinto Stadium; Sandy, Utah 19,066 Dempsey, Altidore
1-2 L Estadio Azteca; Mexico City, Mexico 104,499 Davies
2-1 W Soldier Field; Chicago, Ill. 55,647 Donovan, Bocanegra
1-3 L Estadio Ricardo Saprissa; San Jose, Costa Rica 19,200 Donovan
3-0 W LP Field; Nashville, Tenn. 27,959 Altidore (3)
MNT vs El Salvador 2-2 D Estadio Cuzcatlan; San Salvador 30,500 Altidore, Hejduk
2-0 W Columbus Crew Stadium; Columbus, Ohio 23,776 Bradley (2)