Cynics will snicker and make cries of silly nationalism. Skeptics might end up bemused that Americans suddenly become interested in sports they’re usually oblivious to. But either way, U.S. sports teams have shown a flair for the dramatics during international competition this year.
In case you were at work or isolated from just about every social network, the U.S. soccer team advanced to the Round of 16 in exciting fashion, needing a Landon Donovan extra-time goal to qualify for the World Cup’s second round with a 1-0 victory.
This caps an interesting year in late heroics for American sports. The U.S. soccer team was three minutes away from being eliminated from the World Cup, just like the American Olympic hockey team was under a minute from losing the gold medal game before Zach Parise scored an almost unthinkable goal in the waning seconds.
Of course, Canada ended up winning thanks to Sidney Crosby’s iconic overtime gold-medal winner, but Parise’s clutch goal promoted the game from a nail-biter to an incredible moment for hockey. It gets even better when you consider that both the men’s soccer and hockey teams were heavy underdogs and – in my opinion – provided great moments even if they both fall short of their ultimate goals.
It’s probably hasty to put up this poll right now since the U.S. hockey team lost (and it happened months ago) while the soccer moment occurred just moments ago, but I can’t help but ask the question. What was a more exciting moment for you: Zach Parise’s gold medal game-tying goal or Landon Donovan’s stoppage time heart-stopper? Vote in the poll below.