Wednesday, January 16, 2008


As the countdown to the 500th game continues, you all have displayed some impressive recall of the great moments in U.S. Soccer history and presented some thoughtful arguments on who and what deserves to be called the best. We've hit on the best players and the best goals; in the end the cold, hard fact is that sports are all about results. Is a player as well regarded if he hasn't 'won' anything? Is a goal just as sublime if it doesn't contribute to a victory? Might not be fair, but it happens to be so.

With that in mind, it's time to list your Top Three games in U.S. Soccer history. And while it doesn't have to be a 'W' - a certain magnificent performance against a recent World Cup host comes to mind - the MNT has certainly had some famous ones amongst the 193 they have collected since 1916. There's been eight World Cup finals appearances, four Gold Cup titles, a third-place finish at Copa America; in other words, plenty to choose from.


John said...

U.S vs. Germany in WC02. WE SHOULDA WON!!!

Amy said...

3. US-Germany, WC 2002. As many of the Germans said after the game, the US was the better team on the day. However, Oliver Kahn was a monster in goal and a certain ref made one of the more notorious calls in our history to keep us out of the semis.
2. US-Mexico, GC 2007. A great team effort to come back from being 1-0 down. Benny's AMAZING goal to seal the win was a big plus.
1. US-Portugal, WC 2002. The best team effort ever. From the opening whistle, we took the game to Portugal and it showed: 3-0 up in the first 36 minutes. The defensive effort (excluding the Agoos own goal) in the second half was outstanding. Watching Cobi and Tony repeatedly take the ball into the corner, and seeing the total frustration it brought to the Portuguese players, was outstanding.

cnelson said...

VS Brazil, when Keller played what Romario called the best performance by a keeper he'd ever seen.

VS Portugal in '02, hello America, welcome to world football.

VS Mexico in '02, tell me El Tri, who is top of CONCACAF?

benny206 said...

(TIE) 3rd...

WC'94 - 0-1 LOSS v Brazil
WC'06 - 1-1 TIE v Italy


WC'02 - 3-2 WIN v Portugal

TOTAL EXCITEMENT and LONG LASTING HOPE AFTER THIS GAME, knowing we were now the group leader and just beat the best of our group!

WC'02 - 2-0 WIN v. Mexico

ESTABLISHED US AS #1a IN CONCACAF. Mexico is #2, or #1b at best, but it will take a Gold Cup AND a WC victory to get #1a back from us...

Over-achievements, all of them...I LOVE THIS TEAM!

Craig said...

1. US 1 Brazil 0 in the Gold Cup. Magnificent performance by Kasey Keller

2. US 2 Columbia 1 in the 94 World Cup. This was such a huge victory for us, putting us in the second round of the world cup for the first time since 1930.

3. US 3 Portugal 2 in the 02 World Cup. We were the giant slayers on this particular day.

mood said...

v. Italy, WC '06. That was intense.

Asaf said...

94 world cup vs Brazil
06 world cup vs Italy
07 gold cup vs Mexico

Asaf said...

94 world cup vs Brazil
96 world cup vs Italy
07 gold cup vs Mexico

Jeremy said...

Historical perspective:

#1 US-England - 1950 World Cup

Terrence said...

3. Our first game ever against Sweden 3-2 WIN
2. 1-0 Loss vs Germany in the '02 WC
1. 2-0 WIN vs Mexico in the '02 WC

Andrew said...

I can not distinguish between any of these games because they are so phenominal. While other games are important or mile stones, these games give me the most emotion. Each of these games had me standing up nervously and excitedly the WHOLE game. I reminisce about the games in both the joy they brought and what else could have been. I screamed in joy and cried in happyness and sadness. Portugal WC02, Mexico WC02, Germany WC02, and Italy WC02.

shannon said...

-wc 'o2 vs. germany by far, i was going to put that as the most important goal, but as we all know that mysterious non-hand ball kept it from being our most famous goal ever
-wc'02 vs portugal/mexico, could we ask for anything more
-wc'06 italy, it may just be because i was only 4 rows from the pitch, but we gained some respect from a fairly disappointing campaign, the itialians werent so cocky anymore :) plus we were much lowder than them in the frtiz-walter stadiom

Josh said...

3-USA v Colombia WC '94. Literally got me evicted.

2-USA v Italy WC '06 I have never seen our side dig as deep.

3-USA v Portugal WC '02 People, you have no idea the impact on my life this game had. Watched it in the dark, in bed with my girlfriend. That game turned her into a soccer fan, and now she is known to utter phrases such as "I miss Kanu playing for Arsenal." My life is charmed, and it all started with that brilliant, fateful game.

mbarry said...

1. 1950 England- Beating England in the WC- hard to beat that for a country that isn't in the top tier.
2.Argentina- Copa America- First time we showed the world that US needs to be taken seriously.
3.WC '02 Portugal/Mexico- This is a tie. Portugal because they were highly regarded, and Mexico because beating Mexico any time is great- in the round of 16 at the WC is like fairytale! This was the final proof that the US is the undisputed CONCACAF # 1!!!!

J. said...

Hard to say not having seen all the games ever played, but who could possibly discount the performance of the US side that was completely written off at 500-1 odds in the '50 World Cup hosted in Brazil. This team provided the only US player to EVER be selected to a World Cup All-Star team, in Johnny Souza.

#1 US game of ALL TIME
'50 WC (Brazil) US 1 : England 0

Liz said...

I agree with Craig on the top three but would change the order to:
1. US 2 Columbia 1 94 World Cup. Absolutely most exciting game for an American fan following the sport since Germany 74. Balboa's bicycle kick as seen from behind the goalie! Alexi celebrating wrapped in Ole Glory. Carpe Diem.
2. US 3 Portugal 2 02 World Cup. Good soccer, proud of team. Love Cobi.
3. US 1 Brazil 0 Gold Cup.
The type of game that made you glad to be alive and a USA soccer fan. Someone in the stands yelled "Preki is an angel but Keller is G.."

ebado said...

Too many to choose from..

Brazil in the Gold Cup - What a performance by Keller

Italy, 2006 WC - I have never been as emotionally invested in a game as this one. It was beautiful at times, quite ugly during others, and so many twists and turns before finishing 1-1. Amazing game.

Portugal, 2002 WC - Not much to be said that hasn't already been said.

Germany, 2002 WC - Almost our proudest moment. Thats football though.

Mexico, Gold Cup 2007 - I was on summer break at my parents house, watching the match by myself in Spanish. After Feilhaber's goal, the neighbors came over to make sure I was okay. That, plus Howards point blank save on Bofo made it an alltime classic.

droneeley said...

1. US v Germany WC 02 - Our best game ever at the highest level. The US showed that they are a top flight national team in this battle for the semis and outplayed, but sadly lost to a quality German side. Only Kahn's saves kept us out of th semis.
2. US v England 1950 - One of the greatest WC upsets of all time.
3. US v ? (okay so my memory stinks) 1990 WC Qualifier - The "shot heard round the world" as the US qualifies for its first WC Finals in 40 years.

Roadrunner626 said...

I am not sure what order to put these in (how do you measure their impact?), but here are my top three:

1950: US defeats England 1-0 with semi-professionals.

1989: US defeats T&T 1-0 booking trip to World Cup for first time since 1950.

1994: US defeats Colombia 2-1 advancing to second round of World Cup.

Trap said...

#3 WC '06 vs. Italy 1-1 Tie
I was there and it was fun to watch. It was a strong effort from a team that was down from its first game performance.

#2 1989 Qualifier vs. Trinidad and Tobago 1-0 Win
Paul Caligiuri’s goal was the shot heard around the world. This game was the start of the USA’s streak of consecutive trips to the world cups.

#1 WC ’02 vs. Mexico 2-0 Win
Again, I was in the stands. The team beats its archrival in a grand stage. The only thing better would be to beat them in the final match for the World Cup!

Brent McD. said...

1. 2002 World Cup 2nd round vs. Mexico
2. 2007 Gold Cup Final vs. Mexico
3. 2001 WCQ vs. Mexico ("la Guerra Fria")

hmmm, do we see a pattern here?