After a slow start to the World Cup qualifying Hexagonal, the U.S. national team managed to breeze to the top of the standings and reach the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
Just hours after Sporting News, a partner site of Goal, published an article that quoted several sources and anonymous players questioning Jurgen Klinsmann's coaching methods, the Americans took the field against Costa Rica just outside of Denver on the evening of March 3.
The Stars and Stripes badly needed a World Cup qualifying win after losing to Honduras a month earlier, with the Central Americans and a major snowstorm standing in their way. It was one of the sloppiest games you will ever see, but the U.S. got the result thanks to Clint Dempsey's first-half goal.
"I would have done anything possible not to stop it," Klinsmann said after the 1-0 victory.
The U.S. went on to draw against Mexico at Estadio Azteca and win three in a row after that. Los Ticos would get their revenge on the U.S. with a 3-1 win on Sept. 6, but the Americans finished atop the Hex standings.
More U.S. national team Hex highlights:
Oct. 15, 2013 - On the last day of WCQ, the USA saved Mexico by scoring two late goals against Panama.
Sept. 10, 2013 - The Americans once again raced out to a 'dos a cero' victory at Crew Stadium.
June 7, 2013 - Brad Evans scores winner in stoppage time to beat Jamaica 2-1 in Kingston.
March 25, 2013 - The USA played to a 0-0 draw against Mexico in front of 85,500 at Estadio Azteca.