It’s America’s birthday and we’re all ready for our day drinking, grilled meats, and fireworks. To get you in the appropriate mood, here are some of the best American goals of the past 10 years for the USWNT and USMNT. “Best” can be taken to mean a lot of things - the importance of the game, the skill involved, the first of a great career - but these are all goals that should be celebrated for helping the United States win games and grow the sport.
Let’s kick it off with an oldie but a goodie. Brazil has been a longtime foe of the United States, their threat to the US on the field waxing and waning over time. The rivalry was pretty heavy at the 2008 Olympics, when Carli Lloyd skipped this one in to give the United States the gold medal in overtime.
Here’s a great one that you probably all remember. The 2014 World Cup opened for the USMNT against an old-yet-familiar foe: Ghana. After taking a 1-0 lead in the 1st minute thanks to Clint Dempsey, Ghana got one back to equalize. Then, John Brooks decided that we would not go quietly into that good night.
The WNT has plenty of dramatic goals that won tournaments, but just as important are the goals that kept them in it to win it. There is perhaps no women’s match in recent history (or all of woso history?) that is as dramatic as the 2012 Olympic semifinal between the United States and Canada. At the game’s dying breath, Alex Morgan rose above the pack.
When the USMNT began the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup, it was in terrible fashion. Somehow, a miracle during the last day of the group stage sent them to the semifinals and a date with Spain, the team that was considered unbeatable. And, to that point, they hadn’t lost in 35 consecutive games. The USMNT decided that the world had seen enough. After Jozy Altidore gave the United States the lead in the 1st half, Clint Dempsey knocked in the 2nd and told the world that the United States were no longer the team that they should look forward to playing.
Speaking of goals that kept the team in it to win it, Kelley O’Hara paved the way for THAT Carli Lloyd performance in the 2015 Women’s World Cup final with this goal against Germany in the semifinal, putting the game out of reach for the Germans.
This one is more recent but it’s the one that will likely forever stick in the minds of all who were there and all who saw it. Michael Bradley stuns the Azteca crowd into silence while 1,000 American fans go absolutely bonkers. Bradley leaves Memo Ochoa looking foolish with this incredible strike last month in Mexico City, becoming the 6th MNT player to ever score in Estadio Azteca.
The goal. You know the one. USWNT vs. Brazil. 2011 Women’s World Cup. You can just hear the commentary. “Rapinoe gets the cross in. It’s towards Wambach-”
To close it all out...you know where we’re going. We don’t even need to say anything about this goal. We really don’t. You probably know this entire thing by heart at this point. So, just enjoy it: Landon Donovan. USMNT vs. Algeria. 2010 World Cup. Go Go USA!
Let us know which goals you loved the most. Happy Independence Day from all of us here at Stars & Stripes FC!