When does a tie feel like a win? Last night it sure did, as the U.S. overcame plenty of adversity to escape their final World Cup qualifier with a tie. Since the U.S. had already qualified in their previous match against Honduras, this one did not matter, but in so many ways it did. The U.S. squad wanted to win for Charlie Davies, and in the process, they showed they could come from behind against a pretty good team that desperately wanted a win to qualify for South Africa and the 2010 World Cup.
With the Americans trailing 2-0, Michael Bradley put in a rebound in the 72nd minute. With Costa Rica just 20 seconds or so from getting the win it needed to qualify — and with the United States playing a man short after losing defender Oguchi Onyewu to a torn tendon in his left knee — Bornstein headed in a corner kick from second-half substitute Robbie Rogers from about 7 yards.
There is a lot of work to do before the trip to South Africa, and the team is starting to get injury plagued. Of course none of this mattered; Davies is alive and should recover, and Team USA showed some serious pride and determination on a rainy pitch when it mattered the most.