The U.S. National Team plays its first pre-World Cup tuneup match tonight in San Francisco against Azerbaijan (10 p.m. EST, ESPN2). We know Landon Donovan won’t be there. One vitally important item that will be there — at the tailgate anyway — is Jermaine Jones-inspired “Sno-Fro Stout,” created by the Modesto Chapter of the American Outlaws supporters group. (A homemade microbrew and soccer? It’s too bad the New York Times style section already wrote that trend piece, right?)
Jones’ hair — a result of a March 2013 qualifier vs. Costa Rica played in a driving snowstorm outside Denver — turned out to be a good luck charm of sorts for Jurgen Klinsmann’s team. After dropping the first qualifier vs. Honduras, the German coach’s qualifications were called into doubt thanks to story in the Sporting News which cited unnamed sources questioning his skill in charge of the National Team. The U.S. won 1-0 in the snow and from there went on to be the first team from CONCACAF to qualify for Brazil.
Everything inside the U.S. camp appeared to be calm, until the Donovan decision last week which rapidly swirled into the biggest talking point in American World Cup history.
After all that debate, we could all probably use a beer. Jones looks like he wants a bottle for himself, too.