From Agony to Euphoria
Hanging on for dear life on the brink of elimination, the United States women's national soccer team did something that still leaves an impact to this day...
In the final minute and a half of stoppage time, midfielder Carli Lloyd dribbled the ball up near midfield before passing it to Megan Rapinoe, who bombed a cross into the box. The ball flew past the reach of the goal keeper and connected with the head of star forward Abby Wambach, who blazed it into the back right corner of the net. The goal sent the game into a penalty shootout, which the United States won 5-3.
Why the Rapinoe to Wambach goal was more than just a clutch equalizer:
- The United States was seconds away from their worst ever finish in a Women's World Cup.
- The entire 122-minute game was an emotional, and at some points, controversial affair, the exact type of contest where the losing team was guaranteed to leave heartbroken.
- In the 65th minute of the game, US defender Rachel Buehler received a red card and was forced to exit the game. This left the US competing with one fewer player for the final 57 minutes.
- The goal inspired a generation of young American soccer players, especially women.
- It resurged popularity in a nation that has historically shown underwhelming support for both soccer and professional women's sports leagues.
Relive the Moment
Why the low-quality video?
1. Ian Darke's play-by-play call is superior to that of other broadcasts.
2. The emotion in both his and Julie Foudy's voices voice appropriately conveys the excitment and miraculousness of the moment.
3. Nearly every sports fan these days is spoiled by high quality television broadcasts. Take this moment to enjoy a blast from the past.
I still remember being home alone with my younger brother Robbie. I was 12 and he was 8. We have never been good losers, and this was not about to be an exception.
When Carli Lloyd received the ball to give the United States one last chance, I remember telling her through the TV in a frustrated voice to "do something." Well she did something all right, and when that cross went up and the ball came down into the goal, Robbie and I lost all control, screaming and hugging. It will forever be one of my favorite memories watching sports with him.
This page is not here to make you care more about soccer, or any sport for that matter. I just love being able to share one of the most iconic moments of my childhood, and I hope that this inspires you to look back at a moment in time that you will forever cherish. It's important not to take something special for granted. Thanks for reading.