Photo by ISIphotos.com
By FRANCO PANIZO
Another year is about to go into the books, but like any year, 2012 saw a handful of gems scored by the U.S. Men’s National Team.
The Americans scored 23 times in 2012, and several of those goals were quality strikes. From jaw-dropping, one-timed volleys to a pair of historic finishes, there were plenty of goals for U.S. fans to remember as they head into a 2013 that will be jampacked with matches.
So before we turn the page on the year that was, here are SBI’s Top Five USMNT Goals of 2012:
5. Clint Dempsey vs. Italy, Feb. 29
Clint Dempsey helped the U.S. make history in a big way in February, scoring the decisive goal in the Americans’ first win over Italy in a friendly in Genoa. Following a cross from left back Fabian Johnson, Jozy Altidore brought down the ball and laid it off to Dempsey, who did not hesitate to hit a one-timed shot past Gianluigi Buffon for the 1-0 triumph.
4. Eddie Johnson vs. Antigua and Barbuda, Oct. 12
On the cusp of settling for a disappointing draw with Antigua and Barbuda in World Cup qualifying that would have really raised some eyebrows and questions about the direction of the U.S. team, Eddie Johnson came to the rescue. Johnson netted his second goal of the game off a clutch header following a perfectly-lofted cross from Alan Gordon in the 90th minute, which gave the U.S. a 2-1 win and put an exclamation point on Johnson’s return to the national team fold.
3. Michael Orozco Fiscal vs. Mexico, Aug. 15
It might not have been one of the more difficult goals to score, but for a chunk of American fans it certainly was the prettiest because of what it meant. Minutes after entering the game as a late substitue, Michael Orozco Fiscal gave the United States their historic first win over Mexico at Estadio Azteca, finishing from close range after a low cross from Brek Shea and back-heel from Terrence Boyd to make it 1-0.
2. Michael Bradley vs. Russia, Nov. 14
Michael Bradley showed just how good his technical skills are with his strike against Russia in the Americans’ final match of 2012. After a long ball from Maurice Edu was headed down by Juan Agudelo, Bradley pulled the U.S. level at 1-1 with a venomous volley that stung off the left post. Bradley got nothing but clean contact with the ball on his 11th international goal, and it helped the U.S. earn a 2-2 draw to close out the year.
1. Michael Bradley vs. Scotland, May 26
If you liked Michael Bradley’s last goal, you will love this one. Bradley scored the winner in the United States’ 5-1 rout of Scotland in a friendly in May by one-timing a bouncing pass from Jermaine Jones into the upper righthand corner. The volley was a thing of beauty not just because of the way it curled into the upper 90, but also because of the distance from which it came.
What do you think of SBI’s Top 5 USMNT Goals of 2012? Do you agree with these five finishes? Think another goal should have made the list?
Share your thoughts below.