Dynamo players and coaches shared their thoughts and emotions from Wednesday, when Landon Donovan's goal in the 91st minute sent the United States through to the World Cup Round of 16.
Midfielder Richard Mulrooney
"I was sitting on my couch in my house watching by myself. When the goal was scored, I felt a sense of relief. It was a long time coming, we were the better team, and as a soccer player you always want to see the better team win. I think the U.S. was rewarded for being the better team. "
Defender Mike Chabala
"I was in my bed watching at home, biting my fingernails and throwing my water bottles. We missed chance after chance, but when we broke downfield, I got up in my bed and started screaming.
Those guys are not only co-workers and colleagues that I’ve played with or against, but they are friends. They are not only representing MLS, but they are representing everybody here in this country. It’s uniting the nation, whether you like it or not. Whether they are football fans, baseball fans, or first-time soccer fans, you can’t not like what is going on right now."
Midfielder Brad Davis
"I was watching at home with my seventh-month-old son on my lap. When [Landon] Donovan scored, I jumped up with him and screamed “Yes!” and started tickling him and he started laughing. It was awesome. I think everybody here was pulling for them, going from possibly not advancing to then winning the group. I am happy for Landon. He said a few things in the press conference about working hard, and I think he has. I’m really happy for him that he scored that goal."
Forward Brian Ching
"I was in Midtown with friends and acquaintances. I wanted to be out in the public and get the reaction from people and celebrate with everyone.
I was up out of my seat, jumping up and down. I was shaking all day. It was an exciting and exhilarating game and fun to watch. I was extremely happy for Landon on a personal level. I think he’s worked hard to get where he’s at, and I don’t think he’s done yet. I’m just proud of him, and hopefully he can continue to lead us to more victories."
Midfielder Brian Mullan
Famously quoted as saying he would rather watch Sesame Street than the Champions League final.
"I watched the second half. And when we scored, I yelled."
Goalkeeper Tally Hall
"One of the fans I’ve gotten to know over the past year, I went to his house and watched it.
There were such highs and lows in the game. You start off at the beginning, and you don’t want to rely on a tie. All of a sudden, they get a volley against the crossbar in the first five minutes, and you think it could be a long game. We got so many chances we could have put away, and I’m sure the guys wished they could have finished them. I was nervous. It has a big impact on us, and I think if the U.S. does well, then more people will show up to the games and be interested in soccer."
Head coach Dominic Kinnear
"I was at home on the couch watching with my wife, my son, and his friend. After the goal was scored, I felt euphoria for about five or 10 seconds. I have never hugged my wife at a soccer game before, because usually we are hundreds of yards apart. I just couldn’t believe it when I saw Landon get the ball, and I thought, 'This could possibly be an opportunity.' Then after the ball went into the box and then Landon comes out of nowhere, we started jumping up and down yelling and screaming, and I wouldn’t say it was disbelief, but relief definitely came into it."