February 11, 2009
By Michael Lewis
WORLD CUP NOTEBOOK
Weird weather before the kickoff
Columbus, Ohio -- Strange things were happening with the weather in and around Columbus Crew Soccer Stadium prior to Wednesday's World Cup qualifier between the United States and Mexico.
There was a tornado watch prior to the match.
About 90 minutes before the game, the heavens opened up and a major cloud burst engulfed the stadium. Wind gusts up to 61 miles per hour were recorded at the stadium. Had the game been on, the referee surely would have called it for at least 10-15 minutes. It rained so hard that puddles formed near the center circle and in the south goal.
Fans were urged to stay and remain in their cars until the bad weather passed.
The sky was ominous. After the downburst, there was a yellow glow from the skies to the west with a giant rainbow sprouting to the east.
That didn't last very long.
About a half hour later the sky's colors changed dramatically. A black cloud slowly moved out of the south toward the stadium. Many observers feared that the cloud and inclement weather would reach the ground just in time for the 7:14 p.m. ET kickoff.
Former Mexican international Claudio Suarez was a pre-match curiousity as he was mobbed in front of the Televisa booth.