Home > Soccer, Sports > USA shocks Spain!

USA shocks Spain!

By:  Michael Dunham

When I heard that the USA was playing Spain I figured I would watch and get a good laugh at the pounding that would ensue.  The only thing is, despite my enourmous American pride, I thought I would be laughing at the pounding those dirty Spaniards would put on America.  Instead, I saw one of the greatest performances under extreme duress I have ever seen.

The game started just as I figured it would, Spain, the number one ranked team in the world, was constantly in the American third of the pitch, shooting shot after shot at goalie Tim Howard.  Every time the U.S. would attempt to move the ball to the other side of the pitch it would get stolen back and the barrage of shots would continue.

Finally, in the 27th minute, Clint Dempsey succesfully moved the ball to the Spanish third where he fed Jozy Altidore who fought off Spanish defender Capdevila’s best attempts at the ball and found the back of the net.  GOAL!  I was stunned.  Was the fourteenth ranked team in the world actually beating number one?! All of the sudden, America had a chance.

After the chaos of the goal completed and Altidore put his shirt back on after his yellow carded celebration, I realized, ‘America is still playing Spain, the number one ranked team in the world.’ I chuckled at myself for thinking that America could win and continued watching the game.

The Spainish attack continued as strong as before, but still, no goal.  The halftime whistle blew and the teams went to their locker room where I figured Bob Bradley would make some adjustments to help his defence out and put some more pressure on the Spanish side.

Instead, the opposite happened.  Spain made adjustments and their offense was even stronger than before.  I have never seen a game where a team was winning the game and their defence looked amazing, yet the commentators talked about how the United States would loose if they did not change their tactics.

When Spain’s pressure seemed to be at its peak, the US broke into the Spanish third and, just like before, found a way to make the most of a hopeful situation and score again.  After a cross by Donovan, Sergio Ramos chose to take a touch before clearing the ball and Clint Dempsey snuck in and poked the ball off Ramos’ foot and into the back of the goal.  Now the US really did have a chance!  2-0 over Spain! WOO!!  Then again, I realized they were playing Spain and there was still about 20 minutes left in the game.

The game continued as before in a fashion of:  Spain shot, Spain shot, clear, Spain shot, then it would all repeat again.  It was only made tougher when, in the 86th minute, Michael Bradley was red carded on a play that was a questionable yellow at best.  The next 10 minutes where likely the longest in the lives of most of these United States soccer players.  Think about this situation; you are playing the number one team in the world, they are on a 35 game unbeated streak, although you have a 2-0 lead, you have been outplayed in every facet of the game, if the amount of pressure being applied were to be weighed, it would make a sumo wrestler look in shape, and let me repeat THEY ARE THE NUMBER ONE TEAM IN THE WORLD!  If I were any of those players out there, I would have broken down and cried.  Luckily for America and viewers worldwide, I was watching the game on my couch like the rest of you.

87th minute: 2-0

88th minute: 2-0

89th minute: 2-0!

90th minute: 2-0?!

91st minute: 2-0!!

92nd minute: 2-0!!!!

93rd minute: 2-0!!!!!!!!

The Americans have done it!  U-S-A! U-S-A!  I think i did a backflip while celebrating.  This is the most incredible thing I have ever seen!  I am screaming like a schoolgirl who just got the latest gossip feed!  This is the best gossip I have ever heard!!  HAHA Spain in your face.

I know that anyone else who watched the whole game was doing something similar if the watched the game start to finish.

When I think about the game I can’t help but think of the similarities between this game and the 1980 ‘Miracle on Ice.’  Both games were against teams ranked number one in the world while the common thought was that the Americans had no chance.  Both games were in the semi-finals of a major international tournament; granted the Olympics or the soccer equivalent World Cup is on a different level than the Confederation Cup, it is still a similarity none the less.  Most importantly, the United States won both games.

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Categories: Soccer, Sports
  1. Clove Lightning
    June 24, 2009 at 4:50 pm

    I’m pretty sure that Jozy turned Capdevilla, not Xavi (who is not a defender anyway) to score. But anyway, yeah, awesome performance by the USA. I watch a lot of La Liga, so I was loving this matchup as I, frankly, know the Spanish team players better than I know the MLS players on the US squad. I don’t think this is like the miracle on ice, but I can see how people compare it to that to try to convey the magnitude to non soccer fans in the US. But it wasn’t in a tournament final. I think this is bigger than the win over Brasil in the Gold Cup because this time we were not playing at home, Spain had a record unbeaten streak on the line and a record win streak on the line. Spain has been absolutely invincible and without Howard’s play this one would have ended 6-2 Spain. I watched that game against Brasil back in 98 and I think this is a much better US team that played a much better game. I think this Spain side is also a much MUCH better side than what Brasil put on the field against us in 98 as well.

  2. PardonYourInterruption
    June 24, 2009 at 5:05 pm

    clove lightning,
    thanks for your comment. I couldnt tell in the replay who it was but the espn commentary (http://soccernet.espn.go.com/commentary?id=270153&cc=5901&league=FIFA.CONFEDERATIONS) says Xavi so who knows. Also, the miracle on ice actually happened in the semi-finals. That is why I made that comparison. again, thanks for the feedback, you had some very good input and its good to know some people do actually read these things!

  3. CR9
    June 24, 2009 at 5:06 pm

    yo this was incredible 🙂
    greatest game iv seen in a while. Its sad because Usa upsetted my dear Portugal in 2002 and now they do it to Spain. Its to hard to belive. but i had a feeling spain is definetly not unbeatable. this to me gives me alot of hopes. That alot of teams Like Usa,Portugal,and France teams that have been struggling can still make it to South Africa :))

  4. Bob
    June 24, 2009 at 5:15 pm

    Good article, you should sent it to espn

  5. Kevin
    June 25, 2009 at 10:31 am

    Im pretty sure it wasnt duce who passed to Jozy but rather charlie davies…

  6. PardonYourInterruption
    June 25, 2009 at 10:41 am

    No it was Dempsey

  7. Edward
    June 25, 2009 at 11:18 am

    This victory over number 1# Spain Proof”s a piont that U.S. soccer(call football in central/south america & europe) should be RESPECT that M.L.S. League is geting BIGGER & BIGGER and the development of Players in America. GOOOOOO U.S.A

    Very proud “Good” win over number 1#Spain, “Greater” win, to win the Trophy

  8. Gary
    June 25, 2009 at 11:24 am

    USA had more chances then Spain in the beginning leading up to the U.S. goal and outplayed them the first half.

  9. June 25, 2009 at 7:07 pm

    the passion we played with was amazing! sliding to get balls and winning damn near everything in the air and the passing.. jesus! we made passes that were not 30 yards long to the striker!!!

    Bradley is out.. i think Benny will start.

  10. PardonYourInterruption
    June 25, 2009 at 8:25 pm

    Does anyone know if Bradleys red card can be rescinded?

  11. Bob D
    June 26, 2009 at 9:34 am

    I don’t think the US was under all that much pressure in the first half. The second half, yes, but Howard didn’t have to make a save until very late in the first half and the US had at least as many good chances as Spain in the first half.

    I also don’t blame Ramos much on the second goal. He was moving backwards and I don’t think he had a realistic chance of clearing that ball from that position. Getting a touch on it was about all that was possible.

    Excellent article, particularly the description of counting down the last few minutes.

  12. July 6, 2009 at 8:16 pm


  1. June 24, 2009 at 5:19 pm

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