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USA vs. Trinidad & Tobago: A look back at ‘The Shot’

With tonight marking the latest installment of the USA vs. Trinidad & Tobago rivalry, it is only right to look back at the most memorable moment in the history of the series, and one of the most important moments in American Soccer.

That moment came on November 19, 1989, when U.S. national team defender Paul Caligiuri sent a curling left-footed shot into the net from 35 yards away to help give the Americans a 1-0 win and berth in the 1990 World Cup, the first World Cup berth since 1950.

Here is a thorough and detailed account of the match and the goal.

Enjoy this bit of American soccer history known by many as ‘The Shot’:



  1. Re: Bob Ley’s respect for soccer

    I was good friends with Ley’s twin younger brothers, and played junior high and high school soccer with them.

    If memory serves, Bob Ley got his start in broadcasting in the 70s doing our (Bloomfield, NJ) high school games for the local cable company, and I believe he went on to be the PA announcer for Cosmos games at Giants Stadium.

    So, his respect for soccer has some history behind it.

  2. I love this! The only goal I like better is when Earnie Stewart scored against Columbia in WC 94. I hurt myself coming out of the chair. I have been rabid ever since.

  3. DeLarge,

    I like most of your post, EXCEPT the part about us going “3 and out” in 2010. That will greatly depend on the group draw. I still don’t think those who were so sharply critical of the MNT in 2006 truly appreciate just how tough our group was…Italy, Czech Republic, and Ghana!! Not to mention that we got TOTALLY SCREWED by FIFA in the seeding phase, where amazingly just before the seedings were given out, the US somehow slipped from 7th to 9th in the ranking, and Mexico grabbed the top seed out of CONCACAF, even though we won CONCACAF and beat El Tri twice. As a result, Mexico got a cake walk to the 2nd round, and we had to play 2 of the top 10 teams in the world, and a very talented but under-rated Ghana team.

  4. WOW! Now, that’s how you play the game with heart.

    But, a 1-0 result in an away game? A defender who scored? Hmmm..have we really come a long way? Hhahaha..just kidding!

    We’ve definitely come a long way. It’ only gonna get better and brighter in the future. Go USA!

  5. I’ll never forget that shot. I was probably one of 12 people actually watching that game on ESPN. What a day…thanks, Ives. Great post.

  6. BTW, when Ives was taking suggestions for the site on that thread yesterday, someone mentioned a “where are they now” segment. Would be cool to do one on the players from that game. I know Ives has updated us recently on Tab Ramos, and has probably said something about Meola recently, and we know what Harkes is up to, but look at the names that come up – Vermes and Windischmann and Bliss and Doyle and Murray.

  7. I remember my dad telling me in 1994 that he never thought he’d live to see the day when the US would host the Cup. Then, when I took him to the HDC in ’03, he said he thought he’d never live to see the day such a place existed in the U.S.

    This is not to mention the U.S. doing well in ’02. And Euro 2008 was on ESPN for God’s sake just this past summer. We as a country have come a long way.

    And although Bunker Bob and our team will go 3-and-out in 2010, I like our chances in 2014. Our team will only get better with time.

  8. Good stuff Ives,

    and look, Bob Ley was actually respectful when doing a soccer highlight.

    If that had been current Sportscenter anchor Scott Van A**, then he would have made fun of the sport throughout the highlight

  9. Two things I noticed … 1) The shorts were were short back then, and 2) Bob Ley shakes his head around like he has advanced Parkinson’s.

  10. With all of the complaining that goes on it is good to be reminded how far we have come as a soccer nation in less than 20 years. We now are disappointed if we don’t cruise through qualification, and we get to see all of the matches on TV.

    I should also add we have some a long way as far as the length of the shorts go.


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