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SBI's Top 5 USMNT Goals of 2010

Landon Donovan 14 (Getty Images)


The year is nearing its end, and while most United States national teams are eagerly awaiting to see what the future holds, SBI is looking back at the memorable year that was for the Americans.

From a pair of drama-filled, late goals in the World Cup to a couple of finishes off of assists from players making their U.S. national team debuts, 2010 had plenty of goals worth watching again.

With 19 total goals scored during the year, there were some nice finishes, including Edson Buddle's first against Australia, which barely missed the cut. With that said, here are SBI's Top Five USMNT Goals of 2010:

5. Jozy Altidore vs. Poland 10/9

The finish was easy. The pass was sublime. Jozy Altidore scored his second goal of 2010 for the U.S. national team and the opener in a 2-2 draw with Poland when he made a nice run behind the defense and got on the end of a perfect pass from Jermaine Jones. Facing questions about whether or not he'd fit in with his new teammates, Jones delivered the sweet assist in his U.S. national team debut.


4. Juan Agudelo vs. South Africa 11/17

In a game that looked to end in a scoreless draw, then-17-year-old Juan Agudelo scored a late winner for the United States in his international debut. Having come off the bench in the second half, Agudelo received a cheeky pass from fellow debutant Mikkel Diskerud before smashing home a finish from close range in the 85th minute. The goal made Agudelo the youngest American to score for the senior national team in the modern era and gave the United States its second Nelson Mandela Challenge victory (both 1-0 wins).


3. Landon Donovan vs. Slovenia 6/18

Having suffered as bad a first half as one could have imagined, the United States' memorable comeback to tie Slovenia in the World Cup was sparked by Landon Donovan, who scored in emphatic fashion almost immediately after halftime. Steve Cherundolo played a ball down the right flank, and after some questionable defending, Donovan was able to find space, dribble into the penalty area and rifle home a shot into the roof of the goal. Slovenian goalkeeper Samir Handanovic was essentially just another spectator at Ellis Park on Donovan's crucial Group C goal.


2. Michael Bradley vs. Slovenia 6/18

With time winding down and with World Cup hopes fading, the United States managed to pull off its comeback against Slovenia when Donovan hit a long ball towards Altidore, who then headed it down into the path of Michael Bradley. With Herculez Gomez pulling a defender away, Bradley had a clear path to the ball and was able to capitalize on his late run by getting under the ball and flicking it over Handanovic to pull the Americans even at 2-2.


1. Landon Donovan vs. Algeria 6/23

If the late-game heroics against Slovenia weren't enough, the United States sent American fans everywhere into a frenzy when Donovan broke a scoreless draw in the 91st minute of the team's Group C finale against Algeria. Having missed chance after chance, the Americans saw their near elimination turn into a group-leading finish when Tim Howard heaved the ball to Donovan, who then dribbled upfield before passing to Altidore. Altidore passed the ball across the penalty area, but Clint Dempsey's shot was denied, only for the ball to lay in front of goal with Donovan there to knock it in. The goal may not have been a difficult one, but the moment in which it came combined with the fact that it came on the sport's grandest stage with so much on the line (not to mention Ian Darke's exquisite delivery in the broadcast booth) makes this the top U.S. men's national team goal of 2010.



What did you think of SBI's top five goals? Agree with the order? Is there another goal that you think should have made the cut?

Share your thoughts below.

  • Phil

    great list. I second the Ghana friendly idea, as well as playing Russia and Iran, also would love to see us play Japan, other very even matched squad to us that would be end to end.

    But getting back to playing under pressure

    I think we should play Iran in North Korea and have the stakes be that stadium spectators get fed if we lose.

    Too far?


  • Vincent

    but is it just me or did anyone else noticed that jozy didnt get his first touch the ball bounce off the ground he was lucky it took that kind of bounce or he wouldnt have scored


  • Brendan

    It doesn’t matter what happened the next round, a moment for the ages, and Ian Darke was just brilliant.


  • GJJ

    Look on youtube for Fenerbahce fans. If Turkey is like that for national team games, it’s somewhere the US absolutely needs to go. I very much like the Japan idea. The Japanese seem to have made a commitment to playing a finesse style and although they are not there yet, it’s great to see them aspire to all that beautiful game stuff.


  • Mojo44

    This one shows Howard’s throw better than any I have seen. You get the whole sequence, for upper middle of stadium.


  • Dainja

    I have to admit, Agudelo’s goal is a tough candidate for number two on my list. Probably the single most unforgettable image from the year (not moment) is Juan’s face with his hands covering his mouth in shock because he just scored the game winner as a 17 year old teenager in his first cap. Amazing!!!


  • Geoff

    the donovan goal brings tears to my eyes. It’s one of those moment’s you can watch a hundred times over…and trust me I have. I’m also Canadian.

    Ian Darke’s call was one of the great calls in American sporting history. It’s a notch below “do you believe in miracles?”, but just a notch.


  • Chris

    +1 I absolutely teared up at Bradley’s goal and at Donovan’s goal. Memories to last a lifetime for sure.

    In regards to the call, does he say “goal goal” or “go go”? Either way, great call. Chills.


  • TimN

    I’m not entirely sure Jozy’s goal versus Poland belongs on this list, but the others are certainly worthy. Donovan’s goal against Algeria was simply awesome…I remember following that game on a podcast from my office and going from total dejection to total jubilation in the span of about 30 seconds. It’s why soccer is such a great game.


  • The Dude

    Donovan’s goal is basically the only thing that’s guaranteed to make me start weeping.


  • ga-gone

    It was a great way to end the year for the team. I have a lot of hope for this next generation of players, they seem to be at a higher level technically. 2014 could be downer of a World Cup as we transition between two eras, but 2018 should be massive.


  • agnigrin

    I agree but the NFL commercial is totally contrived and doesn’t even come close to the drama of Landon’s goal…


  • Glaing

    Interestingly..Ian Darke was asked in an interview and said he couldn’t recall but later said it was Go Go USA. He admitted he got caught up in the moment. It seem Harkes did too, because he seemed speechless. I can’t say I blame him there.


  • Jose

    there should have been an honorable mention of that goal cause if that would not have been disallowed the way it was it would have ranked maybe 2nd on the list. That also would have marked one of the greatest comebacks!


  • Wow!

    Jozy’s goal. Just awful. Take a look at that terrible touch he takes, it does nothing. There has to be a better goal than that to take #5!


  • Tim

    Every time I think of that should be goal, I just think of how great that would have been come backing from 2 down and winning the game 3-2.


  • Dan in New York

    Say what you want about Jozy Altidore but he was responsible for 3 out of the 5 goals on this list.


  • Byron

    What about Carlos Bocanegra’s goal against Honduras at (I believe) Soldier Field. That was pretty epic. Does anyone remember how significant that goal was?


  • Future not with Jozy


    Jozy has been in the right spot at the right time 90% of the time rather than relying on skill.


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