One year ago today, one of the most memorable moments in U.S. Soccer happened. The United States opened the 2014 World Cup against familiar foe Ghana. The Americans got off to a dream start when Clint Dempsey scored 31 seconds into the match to put the U.S. up 1-0. It is the fastest goal the USMNT has ever scored at a World Cup.
After the goal, Ghana gained all the momentum. Losing our best striker, Jozy Altidore, after only 20 minutes seemingly killed all attacking rhythm or game plan the U.S. had. Ghana piled on the pressure and stacked up chances. Finally they broke through and equalized the game in the 82nd minute when Andre Ayew beat Tim Howard with a very nice near post strike.
All hope of a win looked lost. With the U.S. being lumped into the very difficult group of Germany, Portugal, and Ghana, the task of advancing to the knockout round seemed almost impossible if three points weren't gained in the opening match.
In the 86th minute the U.S. won a corner. Graham Zusi's out-swinging corner found the welcoming head of John Anthony Brooks. The German-American was a halftime substitute who was only in the game due to an injury to Matt Besler. Brooks' downward header flew past the Ghana keeper and a nation erupted into delirious delight.
The U.S. defended with their lives to stave off another equalizer. Ghana's late attempts fell short and the USMNT came out victorious in one of the most dramatic games in their history. John Brooks will forever be known for his game-winning goal against Ghana.