June 24, 2016
Oh, hello again. It’s me, the guy you called – among many unsavory things – a traitor to my homeland because I dared root for Lionel Messi and friends vs. the United States men’s soccer team the other night.
That’s fine. I’m a big boy who understands national pride and, like you, a soccer fan who was quite disappointed the USMNT didn’t really show up in Houston on Tuesday night.
Three days removed from that mess, though, you can safely admit the free kick that the Greatest Soccer Player In The History Of Organized Sporting Competition drilled into the upper corner from about 28 yards away was a work of athletic artistry. Let’s savor it again, shall we? (Even that smug grin on his face is priceless.)
Really, really nice, actually.
But what’s the use in dwelling in the immediate past? Yes, it lost to Argentina, but the USMNT will take the pitch on Saturday night in the third-place game versus a Colombia side that lost to Chile in the semifinals. It's a chance to avenge a 2-0 defeat on the opening night of this very tournament. They Americans need you at your best, folks.
If they win, it’ll represent their best-ever Copa America finish. This is something we all want to happen. Call me revisionist bandwagon if you will, but rising from the ashes of a crippling defeat would bode well for a squad that performed quite well – for the most part – over the course of June.
To that end, let’s watch 10 of the greatest USMNT goals of all-time.
In some cases, it’s the beauty of the goal that landed each shot in this collection; in others, it’s what they represent to the evolution of the game in the United States. (This list is by no means exhaustive, so if you see one that I missed, drop me a line with a link via email, the comments section or social media.)
Sure, the third-place match won’t start until 8 p.m. Saturday – do watch it, folks – but there’s no crime in getting hyped up a day and a half earlier.
Here’s hoping somebody scores one on Saturday that’s worthy of this sort of recognition.