Where does the ‘Spanish shocker’ rank among U.S. soccer upsets?

Posted on 25 June 2009 by ASN Staff

As the minutes counted down to the U.S. Men’s National Team’s shocking upset of Spain in Bloemfontein, South Africa yesterday, the speculation started: How big of an upset was this? Obviously, huge. CONCACAF clubs don’t just beat the reigning European champions (least of all fielding their ‘A’ lineups) in the knockout rounds of major tourneys. Throw in the fact that Spain had won a record-tying 15 straight matches in international competition, was unbeaten in 35 and had not been scored on in eight and it raised the stakes even more.

No surprise, then, that the BBC immediately called it “one of the biggest upsets in world football.”. But what about other great upsets in U.S. Men’s National Team history? How does yesterday’s triumph compare to those exploits? Grant Wahl, in his excellent postgame reaction piece, ranks the Spanish Shocker (a.k.a. The Beatdown in Bloemfontein) in the top five of all-time USMNT victories. His others:

  • U.S. 2, Mexico 0, 2002 World Cup, second round.
  • U.S. 1, England 0, 1950 World Cup, first round.
  • U.S. 3, Portugal 2, 2002 World Cup, first round.
  • U.S. 2, Colombia 1, 1994 World Cup, first round.

With apologies (and thanks) to Mr. Wahl, we will add one more to the list: the 1-0 defeat of Brazil at the 1998 Gold Cup. These six matches, then, form our choices in the poll of all-time U.S. Men’s National Team soccer upsets. Cast your vote and defend your choice in the comment fields below.

[polldaddy poll=”1734909″]

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