Kick Off: USMNT dump Mexico, book their ticket to World Cup

Here are the top 15 soccer stories we’re following today:

1. US BOOK THEIR TICKET TO BRAZIL

The US national team is heading to its seventh consecutive World Cup after a 2-0 victory over Mexico in Columbus on Tuesday night. (watch highlights here). Goals from Eddie Johnson and Landon Donovan gave the US the victory that will truly cement the phrase "Dos a Cero" in US supporters' minds forever. With their passage to Brazil confirmed an hour later thanks to draw between Honduras and Panama, the US started celebrating and Donovan summed it up: “It certainly never gets old.”

2. WHO WERE THE STAR PERFORMERS?

Now that the US have secured a place in Brazil, every player will surely be doing their best to earn a spot on Jurgen Klinsmann's roster for next summer. Eddie Johnson showed he can step up when needed, but who else impressed during last night’s match? MLSsoccer.com's own Greg Seltzer breaks down the performance, Socceramerica.com struggles to disagree and Goal.com looks at Mexico’s team as well as the US.

3. COLUMBUS, HOME OF THE BRAVE

Perhaps the most important players of all, however, were the fans that filled Crew stadium. The place has become hallowed ground for the US team and judging from the atmosphere and the tifo on Tuesday night, it’s easy to understand why. But how did we arrive at this point? It’s the story everyone wanted to tell: Here’s SI.com, ESPNF.com and FoxSoccer.com with their takes. Yet, does the old ground need some improvements if it wants to host future games?

4. INTERNATIONAL ROUNDUP

It wasn’t just the USMNT’s good work that booked their ticket to Brazil on Tuesday night. They needed a little help from other results in the Hex as well, which they got, thanks to Panama and Gabriel Torres. But what about Mexico? Could they actually miss out on the World Cup?

5. BRADLEY'S EGYPT STAY PERFECT

Bob Bradley's Egyptian side won on Tuesday to remain the only side in World Cup qualifying with a perfect record. The 4-2 win over Guinea makes it six wins out of six for the Pharaohs. Meanwhile, after a round of South American qualifying, FC Dallas are taking no chances making sure they get their star 'keeper back from duty with Peru.

6. CANADA FALL TO MAURITANIA

The Canadian national team lost the second and final game of their Spanish camp on Tuesday, falling to Mauritania 1-0 after going down to 10 men late in the second half. The next test for Benito Floro's developing side? Looks like they could be facing off against a couple of Red Bulls.

7. TORONTO LOOKING FOR BRIGHT START TO NEW ERA

Could Bright Dike make his Toronto FC debut Wednesday against the Chicago Fire (7:30 pm ET, MLS Live)? That’s up to TFC head coach Ryan Nelsen, but the Nigerian striker is ready to go and believes he can make a difference for his manager: “I’m another weapon he can use.

8. SEATTLE READY FOR RSL TEST

A team you have to beat if you want to win MLS cup.” That’s how Seatlte defender Marc Burch describesReal Salt Lake ahead of Friday's Western Conference showdown between the two sides. If Seattle can win they will move in to first place with a game in hand but, regardless of what happens, Burch is confident of his side's playoff chances: “We’re going to see them again soon.”

9. NEW CHOICES FOR RED BULLS

Lloyd Sam isn’t the only Red Bulls player to have made an impression in the last couple of games as new signing Bradley Wright-Philips is also starting to turn some heads. Is he now a first choice ahead of Fabián Espíndola and Péguy Luyindula? While the extra option is certainly good news for Mike Petke, the Red Bulls head coach has other people to worry about: “I thought I was doing a better job of not taking my work home with me but I’m not … according to my family.”

10. USL LINK WORKING IN REVERSE FOR D.C. UNITED

While the Richmond Kickers may have benefitted from D.C. United loanees during the USL PRO season, now it’s time for Richmond to return the favor. Reports suggest that three members of the league-winning side will be training with D.C. and, with the roster freeze on Friday, D.C. may just be looking to add a little extra depth.

11. INVESTING IN REAL ESTATE

Orlando’s stadium funding took another positive step on Tuesday, to the tune of $2 million, while, as reported previously, FC Dallas Stadium has indeed been renamed Toyota Stadium, with the 17 adjacent soccer fields being rechristened the Toyota Soccer Center. D.C. United also signed a project labor agreement for their potential new home, meaning if it does get built, it'll get built on time.

12. SCORPIONS STRIKE FOR CHARITY

The San Antonio Scorpions play in a new, expandable stadium, average a crowd of 8,000 fans and harbor ambitions of one day playing in the MLS. But did you know about the heavy links the club has to a local charity? One very close to the hearts of Scorpion ownership.

13 EDUCATION FROM TRAGEDY

The loss of a child is something most of us cannot even begin to fathom, nor hopefully ever have to. But Colorado Rapids head athletic trainer Jaime Rojas and his family have turned a family tragedy into a movement to raise awareness about myocarditis and sudden cardiac arrest in children. Take a second to read this one.

14. THE MANAGER'S HANDBOOK

Managers and owners alike have, no doubt, all at some point wished there was a guide with advice on how to successfully control a franchise long-term. Well, if there was ever a man to provide such a holy grail it would be Sir Alex Ferguson, the legendary former Manchester United manager, and that’s exactly what he’s done.

15. RETRO USMNT

Ever wondered what legends from USMNT history would look like as eight-bit video game characters? Wonder no more! Now all you have to do is name them (no prizes for getting Alexi Lalas).

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