And we're back with part two of the Friday Feedback, answering the question: What is your favorite soccer memory?
Yesterday, we were lucky enough to receive answers from some of the other SBN writers, and today the team of 7500 to Holte will share theirs. Again, if you didn't jump in yesterday, be sure to add your favorite soccer memory in the comments!
Aaron: There are plenty that stand out of course-just recently there's been Milner nailing the penalty to win last year's Second City Derby, Donovan's goal against Algeria and the final whistle of the US Open Cup-but I don't think that anything will ever top the reaction to Fredy Montero's late winner against Chicago on August 28th of this year. Fredy hasn't always been a fan favorite in Seattle (for reasons that defy logic) but after he headed Nathan Sturgis' cross past the keeper in the 92nd minute every bit of that was forgotten. Every person inside that stadium, all 36,000 of them sang Fredy's praises in unison. It gave me goosebumps, it made the hair on the back of my neck stand up, and I'll admit that I choked up just a little bit. It was everything I love about sports in one moment; a fantastic team effort, a fantastic individual effort, a rush of emotion, and the love affair between a star player and those he represents being expressed in the most primitive and visceral possible fashion. It was a singular moment in the life of a fan, and one that I will take with me to my dying day.
Gareth: I think my favourite football memory would have to be my first. I was ten years old for World Cup '98, which was just about the perfect time for me to fall in love with soccer. I had been playing the game for a few years, but I'd never really had the opportunity to follow it. Partly, this was because I lived in Canada, which didn't really cover the European leagues (or any leagues) at the time. Not only that, but my family doesn't really have a tradition of following football. If we watched sports at home, it was usually either hockey or tennis (my mother's sport.)
World Cup '98, for me, was all about Ronaldo. He was a total legend, and in 1998 he was still fairly new to everyone. Every little bit of skill he did was an absolute revelation, and my brother and I were completely enchanted by his talent. Now, that doesn't necessarily mean I supported Brazil, just because I liked Ronaldo. I also remember Michael Owen (another young striker who would soon be plagued by injuries) scoring a brilliant goal against Argentina before the heartache of Beckham's sending off and the eventual elimination of the Three Lions on penalties. Speaking of wonder goals, who could forget Dennis Bergkamp vs. Argentina, a goal which must be listened to with the Dutch commentary on full volume to truly appreciate it. Absolutely brilliant. Not to mention a young French team getting to win the World Cup for the first time on home soil. Everything about it was just the best, I still get a rush of excitement thinking about it now.
Kirsten: Well there was the time when I was four and I scored my first goal, and then went back to picking dandelions...
While last year's Open Cup match against Houston was an intense nailbiter, my favorite memory has to be the Carling Cup final against Manchester United. It may seem strange that I'm choosing a final in which Aston Villa lost, but this game was about so much more than the final score (thank goodness, since I paid something like $300 to go to it). There was the atmosphere all around Wembley, with Villa fans surging toward the stadium, and claret and blue everywhere. The fear of having to scalp a ticket. The excitement of finally getting a ticket, and then being there, being with this huge crowd who all seemed to want the same thing--for Villa to win a trophy. Sure, there were United fans there, but they didn't make a sound until Wayne Rooney took the pitch.
The cup final was my first and only time seeing Villa in person. It's the only time I've screamed and cursed in unison with thousands of Brummie accents, and even if the end result was sadness, at least I had that chance, that time at Wembley.
Robert: As much as I'd like my answer to be about Villa, I've gotta go with the moment that gave me the new-found passion for soccer in the first place. The US-England match to open both team's World Cup this year saw me in Washington DC's Dupont Circle. There, with about 3,000 other people on a 99 degree day, I watched on a giant screen as England scored the opener against us. The place went silent for a bit (save for some England fans), but then the crowd got back into it. It was early, and we still had a chance. And then this happened. It wasn't pretty, but it drew the US even. And even more importantly to me: Dupont circle went nuts. I still get chills watching that video. I felt instant camaraderie with everyone there. Even though the game would end in a draw, that moment was exactly what sports are about to me, and it's one of the few occasions I've ever gotten to experience something like that. So it's going to take a lot to topple it as my favorite soccer memory.