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This is without a doubt the greatest single moment in sports in 2010.
This was a great game, but the incredible 91st minute goal by American superstar Landon Donovan is what puts this game, and this moment, above all others in American sports in 2010. Whether you like soccer, the real football, or not, you cannot deny this.
With the power of Spain, Germany, and the other perennial powers heading into 2010, no one expected the US to contend for the World Cup title. Well, they didn't, but what they did is beyond what anyone could have believed, they captivated a nation.
When the draw for the Group Stage was announced in December of 2009, an English tabloid ran the following headline for Group C:
Well, the USA tied England in an epic affair that if not for one defensive hiccup, the USA would have won. Then it was on to Slovenia, where the Comeback Kids as they have been described overcame a 2-0 deficit, and won the game, only to have the winning goal called back for "offsides." The only two things that happened on that play were that a Slovenia player was hugging Michael Bradley (should have been a penalty if the ball didn't go in) and Maurice Edu blasted the volley home cleanly. As they did in 2002 and 2006, the USA got screwed.
They went into the Algeria match knowing they needed a win to guarantee progression into the Round of 16, something only done three times by an American team: 1930, 1994, and 2002. Five minutes in, Clint Dempsey scores, but its called back, again, for "offsides." It looked like it would be one of those days.
The Yanks were around the goal all game, but the woodwork was their enemy nine times out of ten.
That one time was pretty sweet.
Second minute of four in stoppage time, Algeria gets off a lousy shot right at Tim Howard, who played the ball up and the US went off to the races. Donovan carried the ball up the pitch, played it to Altidore, who laid it off for Dempsey, just deflected by the Algerian keeper, right to Landon. 1-0.
I will never forget this game or the call by commentator Ian Darke: "AND DONOVAN HAS SCORED! OH CAN YOU BELIEVE THIS! GO GO USA! CERTAINLY THROUGH! OHHHHHH ITS INCREDIBLE! YOU COULD NOT WRITE A SCRIPT LIKE THIS!"
No you cannot. It was a goal that brought Americans to their feet, and many, admittedly myself, to tears of joy. From sea to shining sea, the United States stood as one to celebrate the greatest goal in American history and the greatest American sports moment of 2010.
To me, this video says it all...