The U.S. Soccer Federation has announced a special "victory parade" in Washington, D.C. to celebrate the 0-0 draw in a World Cup qualifier against Mexico at the Estadio Azteca. It was only the second time the U.S. earned a point in World Cup qualifiers at the Azteca (the first time coming in 1997) and follows the country's first ever win in Mexico last year. U.S. fans both in the stadium and back home reacted to the result as if they won a minor trophy and now the USSF plans to do the same.
"This is a historic event for the U.S. national team and the fact that it comes in our federation's centennial year only makes it more special," USSF president Sunil Gulati told reporters. "So, like Spain does after winning every real trophy, we will hold a victory parade through our nation's capital to mark this momentous occasion. There will be ballon animals for the kids and the fan who had the most mystery liquids thrown on them at the Azteca will be awarded the Medal of Honor. By Morgan Freeman. Dressed as Abraham Lincoln."
The U.S. only had one shot in the match, while Mexico had 19. And though a rash of injuries forced the U.S. to rely on defenders Omar Gonzalez and Matt Besler and goalkeeper Brad Guzan, who all came through with strong performances, they were also helped by the referee, who ignored Mexico's penalty shout in the second half. Most of this was glossed over in the jubilation over the result, but U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann tried to keep things in perspective.
"I think it's a stupid idea," said Klinsmann when asked about the parade. "We need to act like this has happened before -- which it has in 1990-freaking-seven -- and move on with the qualification process. Now let's focus on actually winning matches and things instead of Morgan Freeman in a Lincoln suit."