The U.S. men's national team was floundering. It had began the CONCACAF Hexagonal with a demoralizing loss in Honduras. Tensions were high. Pressure was rising on Jurgen Klinsmann and his players. Then Mother Nature had her say.
Playing under a Colorado blizzard at Dick's Sporting Goods Park, the Americans rode an early Clint Dempsey goal and defeated Costa Rica 1-0 a year ago Saturday in a game that gave birth to Jermaine Jones' SnowFro and will forever go down in history as El SnowClasico.
Despite a brief game stoppage in the second half as the white powder piled up on the DSGP field, play continued. The Costa Rican federation filed an official protest with FIFA following the match, which was promptly denied, because Costa Rica did not take the proper steps to go about its protest.
Costa Rica got its revenge in September, overwhelming the Americans on home soil in another qualifier after a "warm" welcome that featured inconvenience after inconvenience and fans throwing eggs at the U.S. team bus amid chants of "No Fair Play! U-S-A!" In the end, both automatically qualified for the World Cup, finishing 1-2 in the Hex standings, but that doesn't take away from one of the legendary storylines in this region's World Cup qualifying history.
As fate would have it, snow is in the forecast again Saturday, when the Colorado Rapids are slated to host the Portland Timbers in their home opener. Mother Nature may or may not wear a U.S. jersey, but she definitely has a sense of nostalgia.
Take a trip down memory lane and re-live the SnowClasico below: