Twelve years ago today: the U.S. national team's historic 'dos a cero' World Cup qualifying win over Mexico

UPDATE: I was sent a very polite e-mail by renowned soccer historian - and former Inquirer sports copy desk stalwart - Roger Allaway on Friday morning which pointed out that this wasn't the first "dos a cero" U.S. win over Mexico.

In 1991, the United States recorded a 2-0 upset El Tri in the semfinals of the CONCACAF Gold Cup at the Los Angeles Coliseum. The goals were scored by John Doyle and current Sporting Kansas City coach Peter Vermes. So technically, the 2001 World Cup qualifier wasn't the first "dos a cero" game. I updated the headline accordingly.

Exactly 12 years ago on Thursday, the U.S. national team recorded one of its all-time signature victories.

If you've ever wondered why the quadrennial home World Cup qualifier against Mexico is always in Columbus, Ohio, watch the video below.

It's the February 28, 2001 game against Mexico that the U.S. won 2-0. The U.S. Soccer Federation posted the entire ESPN broadcast on YouTube today.

I'm sure that many of you watched the game. I'd bet that some of you even made the trip to sub-freezing Columbus to be there in person.

My vantage point was a friend's couch, as I was a junior in high school at that point.

American soccer has come a long way since then. But the players who took the field at Crew Stadium that night remain some of the most famous in North American soccer history:

United States (4-1-2-1-2, left to right; head coach Bruce Arena)

Goalkeeper: Brad Friedel
Defenders: David Régis, Jeff Agoos, Eddie Pope, Tony Sanneh 
Midfielders: Chris Armas; Cobi Jones, Earnie Stewart, Claudio Reyna (captain) (Clint Mathis 43')
Forwards: Brian McBride (Josh Wolff, 15'), Joe-Max Moore (Carlos Llamosa 79')

Mexico (5-3-2, left to right*; head coach Enrique Meza)

Goalkeeper: Jorge Campos
Defenders: Marco Antonio Ruiz, Alberto Macías, Claudio Suárez, Rafael Márquez (Victor Ruiz 69'), Salvador Carmona (Miguel Zepeda 56')
Midfielders: Germán Villa, Pável Pardo, Braulio Luna (Jesus Arellano 75')
Forwards: Luis Hernández, Francisco Palencia

* - Playing in Columbus got into Mexico's heads really fast. It hasn't left.

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