US Men’s National Team soccer has had a lot of great games throughout the course of history, but America has been absolute shit at the national level for the past couple of years. Not only have they failed to qualify for the World Cup but the under-23s even failed to qualify for the Olympics. That being said, there are still plenty of games that deserve a place at the table when it comes to great soccer moments.
- USA versus Algeria–23 June 2010 (1-0)
Obviously the number one game in United States Men’s Soccer history, not because it did anything extraordinary, but because of the feeling that it gave US fans across the country. The United States, if they did not win this game, would have failed to qualify for knockout stages of the World Cup. The way the game was heading it looked like the US was not going to make it out of the group stages, until Howard threw an absolute seed out wide to Donovan who charged forward and played the ball to Altidore who crossed to Dempsey. Dempsey’s shot gets stopped until Donovan comes out of nowhere and puts it home. I still remember going crazy with my buddies watching this game. Nothing beats Ian Darkes’ “go go, USA! You could not write a script like this”. Chills.
- USA versus Mexico–17 June 2002 (2-0)
Not the original “Dos a Cero” moment for the United States against Mexico in the knockout stages of the 2002 World Cup, but would come to be an OG moment. A couple of OG USMNT legends leading from the front. The scoring started from Brian McBride’s goal in the 8th minute of the game. Who would’ve thought that the United States would take the lead against their greatest rivals eight minutes into a knockout game at the World Cup. Not only did the US dominate the hard fought game, a total of 10 yellow cards and 1 red card, but they proved to the world that they would not be pushed over. A goal from a young Landon Donovan in the 65th minute sealed the victory for the United States, but it started the phenomenon we know today. Dos a Cero baby, Dos a Cero.
- USA versus Portugal 5 June 2002 (3-2)
No one expected the United States to come out of the Group Stages in the 2002 World Cup having to play against the likes of Portugal, Poland, and the host nation of South Korea. This USMNT was different though, they had a core of veteran players surrounded by some young faces that would go on to become American legends. The US were able to grab an ealy 3-0 lead and hold on for a 3-2 victory against a dominant Portugal squad that contained FIFA legend Luis Figo. The United States men’s national team had arrived at the scene ready to ruin the bookies day, and by god they did that more with their performance at this World Cup. None of which would be possible without this result. This was truly the start of America coming to the forefront of world soccer and may have even paved the way for the young 18,19,20, and 21 year old Americans that we see today, this game could have that big of an impact.
- USA versus Colombia 22 June 1994 (2-1)
I know what you’re thinking “but you weren’t alive for that game!”. You’re right. I don’t care. This game has to be one of the best days in United States history, but not for the reasons you would think. Yes, this game was the coming out party for the United States on the world scale, let us forget those absolutely terrible uniforms though. This game should be remembered because it got a great player killed, not a US player, a Colombian, Andres Escobar. This is a game that will live in infamy for the Colombians, but should be a cherished memory for United States fans, who in their own backyard, beat the best team in the World, the favorite for the World Cup. At a time when soccer in America was essentially dead, the 1994 team was able to bring life back into the sport that day and propel American development of soccer forward for the next millennium.
- USA versus Trinidad & Tobago 10 Oct 2017
Why the hell would I want to erase this game and watch it again? Simple, I just want to watch Taylor Twellman’s reaction again. This game is a dark day in United States history. Not only did this game show that the US team has taken major steps backwards, but it showed that we could no longer rely on the aging players that we had. This game was a defining moment in the history of the USMNT and it remains to be seen if we have actually taken steps in the right direction or have completely fallen off of the tracks. As much as it would pain me to go back and watch this game again, not knowing how it would turn out, it is 1000% worth it to watch the now famous Taylor Twellman rant. Truly great.
Written by: Tyler Bond aka Charlie Tweeder (@tybond16)