The USA Men's National Team resumes World Cup Qualification tonight in Costa Rica. By Tuesday night against Mexico, the USMNT could clinch a spot in the 2014 World Cup. The US is also riding a record 12 game winning streak into tonight's game at the Estadio Nacional. Tonight's qualifier has taken on an extra bit of spice thanks to soccer's own version of the Snow Bowl in March – a 1-0 USA victory over Costa Rica in the Colorado snow. Costa Rica was incensed the game was allowed to be played in such conditions and even threatened to host the USA at the antiquated yet fearsome Estadio Saprissa before relenting.
But after all the complaints and protests, now Costa Rica has made it personal with us. How so you ask?
They've taken a shot at Bob Ley.
Ley himself tweeted out the article from QCostaRica.com and it even drew Keith Olbermann into the mix on his show as well. The article actually instructs fans on how best to heckle, annoy, and bait the USA team while they enjoy their visit to the country. What hospitality! Also included are thoughts on the classic picture above, with Ley, Alexi Lalas, and Kasey Keller braving the elements and snow on their desk to cover the game.
"For hecklers and badgerers, the game was a lot of fun. Players could barely stay on their feet and were visibly frustrated; fans began lodging snowballs into the pitch and at each other in the seats; ESPN broadcasters Bob Ley, Alexi Lalas and Kasey Keller put on anoraks and ludicrous snow hats, and the second half played out like a rugby game where players could not touch the ball or each other with their hands.
The game was an embarrassment for FIFA, and Costa Rica’s late appeal fell on deaf ears. It was resolved that the matter was to be left alone, at least until the next match against the U.S., and that time has come. La sele is ready to reclaim the three point lost in the snow, and fans in Costa Rica are fine tuning their secret weapons: Heckling, baiting and riding."
Snow hats aren't really that ludicrous, especially when it's snowing. In fact, I found the hats of Keller and Lalas to be quite fashionable. (Of course, Bob Ley didn't need a hat because he isn't afraid of a little snow. Snow is afraid of him.)
If there's anything that's going to ratchet up the intensity of tonight's qualifier, it's attacks against our soccer commentators and their choice of winter clothing. This will only truly be settled once Ley demolishes his Costa Rican equivalent in an MMA fight during halftime of tonight's game.