As we continue to bring back our Top 5 Lists series, we will have some guest writers from time to time. Andrew Pokorny writes about the USMNT for stoopsports.com and is here to give us his Top 5 USMNT qualifiers so far before we play the last two.
1) Snow Game – March 22, 2013
The Costa Rica v. USA battle in the middle of a blizzard is a sight I will never forget. The game wasn’t about skill nor technical ability but rather about heart and desire. The USA won this whiteout because of Dempsey’s desire to score. It became more exciting as players started to slip and slide around. However, the thing that really did it was the reaction of the entire Costa Rican bench once the game was over. Even though both teams had to play in these miserable (a fact they still can’t seem to understand), they cried like little babies, making this victory that much sweeter.
2) Tie at Mexico – March 26, 2013
This game was huge. For the first time since 1997, the USA traveled to the Azteca and picked up a point. It also started a trend of miserable games for Mexico from which they have yet to bounce back and because of which Chepo was fired. The game itself did not feature that exciting of play, but rather the prospect of stealing a point in Mexico made it more exciting than any goal. This result will be remembered by US soccer fanatics for years to come.
3) Panama in Seattle – June 11, 2013
This game had what was probably the best atmosphere at any USMNT game, ever. Sam’s Army brought CenturyLink Field alive. I still get goosebumps whenever I see the crowd dressed in red, white, and blue jumping or signing together. To top it off, the US played beautiful soccer throughout and completely dominated the game. Altidore and Johnson had two great finishes off of two great balls by F. Johnson and Cameron, respectively.
4) Dos a Cero – September 10, 2013
Another classic in Columbus. The USMNT shut down the Mexicans in a clinching victory. Three things made this victory great. First, we beat Mexico, and there is nothing better than better the team from south of the border. Second, it was played in Columbus in front of an excellent crowd of diehard soccer fans. Third, with this victory we qualified for Brazil 2014. How could a game turn out any better?
5) Late Winner in Kingston – June 7, 2013
I will always remember watching this game on my laptop with an illegal stream. I will also remember Brad Evans late winner after it looked like all hope was lost. The Office exploded after Jamaica scored late in the game, but the USMNT would not die. Three points rather than one in Kingston made qualification a whole lot easier for the squad. An impressive, late winner makes this game the fifth best qualifier so far.