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.

This entry was posted in U.S. Men's National Team, YouTube Soccer Clips. Bookmark the permalink.

76 Responses to SBI’s Top 5 USMNT Goals of 2010

  1. Brando says:

    Ummmm. I think you forgot Maurice Edu’s goal vs Slovenia

  2. DJ Tacologic says:

    Dempsey’s goal against England!

  3. Tony in Quakeland says:

    This is probably the easiest list you ever made!

  4. Patrick says:

    Dempsey’s goal against England and Donovan converting Dempsey’s penalty against Ghana.

    Not the prettiest, but HUGE goals.

  5. Jimbo Fisher says:


  6. PCFC says:

    you beat me to it.

  7. Wonderful says:

    Indeed. SBI should do a list of top 5 US matches of 2010. Would also be pretty easy to do with the three WC games in the top three spots. USA v Slovenia second half should be number one.
    link to

  8. GJJ says:

    Lot’s of memories. It got me thinking that I want the US to schedule a friendly in Ghana against Ghana. Got to get that one out of our system no matter how many tries it takes. I’d also like to see us play Iran, Turkey and Russia away. I think the psycho atmosphere of each place would do us good.

  9. Kosh says:

    Which goal was that? Just kidding – quadruple F you Coulibaliy, or whatever your cursed name is.

    Great selections and Landon’s winner against Algeria is still one of the best for me. I still get emotional every time I see that goal. Agudelo’s opener was a great moment for me too.

    Great work in 2010 US now onward and upward in 2011.

    USA! USA! USA!

  10. Josh D says:

    This. Wasn’t pretty, wasn’t even a good goal but it meant so much for us as a nation and as a team. Helped set us up for the group winning heroics of the team.

    Not sure what friendly goals mean in terms of “Top 5″ unless we’re going on aesthetics but then we’d have to take out Donovan’s goal..

  11. Turgid Jacobian says:

    Hell yes.

  12. Marty says:

    Goal number 1 brings back memories of one of the most fun days of my life. What a game.

  13. Nick says:

    I love Demerit’s somersault. I’m pumped for the Gold Cup and everything else 2011 has to bring us.

  14. Waterlewd says:

    I just love these end-of-year lists! Keep em coming.

  15. kev says:

    I look forward to 2014 when we have like 10 goals or something scored by our strikers

  16. Freddie Footballer says:

    Was that Sorber with the double fist pump outside the pile afterwards? Awesome!

  17. fischy says:

    Yeah, but how about that call of Donovan’s goal against Slovenia?

  18. Vince Clortho says:

    I love #3, Landon’s ‘stay out of the way or this ball is going to take your head off’ goal.

  19. JD says:


    Those World Cup goals kill me everytime I see them.


  20. Sam says:

    I love the crying fan clip after M. Bradleys goal. You and me both, buddy!

  21. Brokenbil says:

    I feel just like that kid crying in the stands after Donovan scored in stoppage time against Algeria. That and Bradley’s awesome goal against Slovenia remind me why I love the beautiful game.

  22. Second City says:

    Was Charlie Davies’ goal against Mexico at the Azteca, in 2010? If not, time is really flying in the football world.

    Loved that goal.

    *Followed by Davies doing the stanky-leg.

    *Followed by random items being thrown over the metal fencing at him.

    *Followed by my laughter.

    Ah, yes. Good ol’ healthy Charlie Davies.

  23. Brokenbil says:

    …Oops, I referenced the wrong goal. Well, as my later mother-in-law would say “You know what I mean!”

  24. Brokenbil says:

    …Er, “late” mother-in-law. Whatever.

  25. jig says:

    fitness coach, pierre.

  26. Jack says:

    Davies was injured in late 2009, so I don’t think so.

    Michael Bradley’s goal is awesome–not a pretty, perfectly hit bending ball, but just the good, gritty soccer that the USMNT can do so well. I hate that it’s often overshadowed by what happened after.

  27. canchon says:

    Davies stanky-leg in Azteca was in 2009. If the USMNT had held on to win 1-0 at Azteca his goal goes into top 5 all time perhaps.

    how things can change so quickly…

  28. Thor says:

    Mix with the number one assist of the year

  29. Second City says:

    Ah, yes.

    Time truly is flying, that’s for sure. Indeed, how things change so quickly.

    Despite the outcome, that’ll remain one of my favorite goals.

  30. Matt says:

    I think this goal deserves a mention:

    link to

  31. Andy in Chicago says:

    Loved watching the Donovan goal and Darke’s call of it again.

    As a sports fan, that moment is the most excited I have EVER been for ANY sport. I wish I could re-live that moment or have something come along that is as exciting as that, but I don’t know if that will ever happen again.

  32. Andy in Chicago says:

    I’m talking about Donovan’s Algeria goal but I don’t think I needed to tell you that.

  33. Jahoki says:

    Great list. Thank you Ives for a reminder of some great moments from the USMNT.

    In terms of the “skill quality” of the goal, I’d put Agudelo’s on the top based on Diskerud and Agudelo’s composure in a tight space.

    But I also loved Bradley’s goal. Can you imagine being Bob and watching your son score in a World Cup like that? How do you keep it together in such a situation?

  34. Big Chil says:

    Nah. Jozy to Bradley.

  35. 20 says:


    Go on facebook and vote Landon in the Sportsnation poll, it is between Landon and John Cena, a lot of soccer fans are voting and Landon is catching up

    link to

  36. 20 says:

    that’s my favorite goal too (not counting the emotion and meaning of the Algeria goal)

  37. Hensley says:

    Every time I watch Landon’s goal against Slovenia, it plays like this in my head: Quiet. Quiet. Quiet. BOOM! Here We Go. Cue the Music.

  38. 20 says:

    Vote for Landon in this poll

    link to

  39. Chris says:

    I can honestly say that I got obliterated the second that game finished.

  40. Chris says:

    Best thing Findley has ever done in a US jersey.

  41. Glaing says:

    Has anyone noticed that the NFL has copied the idea of the youtube video of Landon scoring vs Algeria. In commercials they are using Super Bowl highlights with the fan (Bar/Living Room) reactions side by side. What do you guys think of that?

  42. Eliminate the Offsides Rule says:

    Andres Cantor’s call of the Donovan goal is awesome.

    link to

  43. USDTorero says:

    Great post

  44. Agreed. CONCACAF away games are tough and intimidating … but this list of teams would actually have good technical ability and not just hack and foul.

  45. Cabrito says:

    The Spanish (Univision) call of the Bradley goal against Slovenia gave me chills. Best ever.

  46. EastBayGrease says:

    Landon’s goal against Algeria is a testiment to his incredible stamina. He made that full sprint run in the 91st minute of the game to follow up the play, he beat the keeper to the ball by one step. Had he not sprinted as hard as he did, and had the ABILITY to sprint that fast after so much running, no goal for USA and no match against Ghana.

    In an interview with the USA fitness trainer (cant recall his name), the trainer stated that Donovan is not only incredibly fast, but he has a freakish ability to maintain that speed throughout a match…hence that final fun and the game winning goal.

  47. sandtrout says:

    It’s good, but it’s got nothing on AndrĂ©s Cantor’s famous call of the same goal. link to

    I can listen to that all day, even now!

  48. natsalways says:

    This. Almost as good as the guy crying during the South Korea game in 02. I am pretty sure I looked just like that, too. I was in a Boise ID bar for that game, and I threw my pancakes up in the air by accident. It was well worth the loss of a good breakfast!

  49. natsalways says:

    Great comment. I would love to see my son score a goal like that in a world cup someday! :-)

  50. Phil says:

    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?

  51. Vincent says:

    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

  52. Brendan says:

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

  53. GJJ says:

    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.

  54. Mojo44 says:

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

    link to

  55. Brendan says:

    Thats exactly what i said first time i saw it. “Wonder where they got this idea from?”

  56. Dainja says:

    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!!!

  57. Geoff says:

    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.

  58. Chris says:

    +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.

  59. TimN says:

    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.

  60. The Dude says:

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

  61. Lil' Zeke says:

    Yep, that was a pretty dang good thing

  62. ga-gone says:

    Re: Japan

    We’re not going to fly 18 hours for a friendly, and neither are they.

  63. ga-gone says:

    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.

  64. agnigrin says:

    Hand not heard Cantor’s call for the goal. Thanks for sharing it!

  65. agnigrin says:

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

  66. Glaing says:

    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.

  67. Jose says:

    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!

  68. Wow! says:

    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!

  69. Tim says:

    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.

  70. Dan in New York says:

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

  71. Byron says:

    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?

  72. Byron says:

    Oh wait, was that 2009? I can’t even remember anymore.

  73. Guy Gayle says:

    Why not? Japan has flown here before, and it’s not 18 hours.
    February 10, 2006 – San Francisco

  74. Future not with Jozy says:


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