Every once in awhile, a landmark sporting event occurs. Something that people will remember for many years, whether they are sports fans or not. These are the times when something so important happens that it goes beyond the sports pages and becomes front page news.
Earlier this week in soccer, Team USA pulled off an upset victory that may become one of these special moments.
U.S. 2, Spain 0: The U.S. matched up against Spain on Monday in the semifinals of the FIFA Confederation Cup. The Federation Cup is considered a rehearsal for next year's World Cup. Spain entered the game as the top-ranked team in the world. Going in as the underdog, the U.S. team played excellent defense and took advantage of some of Spain's mistakes; eventually recording one of the most improbable wins in United States soccer history.
What made it so amazing?: Spain was considered the best team in the world, and the United States didn't have a very good history playing against top-ranked teams. In its last seven games against teams ranked in the Top 5, the U.S. was 0-6-1. Spain had won 15 international matches in a row, and hadn't allowed a single goal in the tournament! The U.S. has never beaten Spain in three matches.
Heroes: There were a number of heroes for the Americans in the game. Jozy Altidore and Clint Dempsey scored goals for the United States, and goalie Tim Howard was spectacular. He consistently turned away Spain's goal-scoring charges with a series of spectacular saves. Howard anchored the American defense, which was one of the main reasons why Team USA was able to win the game.
What it means: For many years, the United States wasn't considered a major power in international soccer. With the win over Spain, that changes. When the World Cup begins next summer, Team USA will be a legitimate contender. By beating Spain, previously the best team in the world, the United States showed that they can play competitive matches with any other team in the tournament.
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