Foxboro, Mass. The U.S. players huddled in the north end of Foxboro Stadium, waiting. They had just beaten Jamaica 2-1 Sunday on Joe-Max Moore's tiebreaking penalty kick in the 81st minute, but they stayed on the field to await their fate.
Three minutes later, Costa Rica finished a scoreless tie against Mexico. A minute after that, Trinidad and Tobago upended Honduras 1-0.
The huddle of American players started jumping up and down. Fans still left from the crowd of 40,483 waved the Stars and Stripes and cheered. The trip to the World Cup was on. The United States clinched a berth with one qualifier to spare.
About 90 minutes before the start of the game, news spread of the U.S. military attacks on Afghanistan. Players were misty-eyed during the national anthem. Because of military action, ABC dropped its telecast of the game, meaning the fans in the stadium were the only ones to witness the U.S. clinching a World Cup berth on home soil for the first time.