On a snowy night more suitable to slaloms than soccer, Clint Dempsey scored early in his first start as the American captain and the United States beat Costa Rica 1-0 on Friday at Commerce City, Colo in a key qualifier for next year’s World Cup. Plows and shovels were used to clear the penalty areas, center circle and midfield stripe as snow got heavier, and a yellow-and-purple ball was used. There was even a brief stoppage in the 55th minute when it was unclear whether the match commissioner would let the contest continue. But the game resumed and will be remembered in American soccer for the elements as much as the 1967 Ice Bowl is in the NFL. “It was difficult out here to see anything,” Dempsey said. “We were able to come together when we needed to.” – AP
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