You think 13-9 was big? To me in some ways this news is even a bigger deal. Carlos Bocanegra (Bruin Alum and the team captain of US Soccer team) along with two other Bruins helped the Stars and Stripes put together one of the biggest victories in the history of American soccer and perhaps one of the more memorable upsets in the history of the game. The Yanks just beat European Champion, the number 1 ranked Soccer team in the world, Spain in the semifinal round of Confederations Cup in South Africa.
In a stunning upset, the U.S. National Team shut out World No. 1 Spain, 2-0, in the semifinals of the FIFA Confederations Cup on Wednesday, advancing to Sunday's final against the winner of Brazil and South Africa.
UCLA soccer alumni Carlos Bocanegra, Benny Feilhaber and Jonathan Bornstein contributed to the win, with team captain Bocanegra starting at left back and playing all 90 minutes, Feilhaber setting up the team's second goal and Bornstein coming in as a late sub to help preserve the shutout. Marvell Wynne is also on the U.S. team but did not play in Wednesday's game.
Jozy Altidore gave the U.S. a 1-0 lead with a goal in the 25th minute, and Feilhaber helped increase the lead to 2-0 in the 74th minute, just minutes after entering the game as a sub. Feilhaber dribbled up midfield and sent a through ball to Landon Donovan on the right side. Donovan's cross into the box found Clint Dempsey after deflecting off the foot of a Spanish defender, and Dempsey finished for his second goal in as many games.
The U.S. defense came up big, with goalkeeper Tim Howard making eight saves in the game. Bocanegra made his first appearance in the tournament after sitting out the first three games with a hamstring injury and his first start at left back for the U.S. in two years.
Simply unbelievable stuff. Here are the highlights via WWL:
The AP wire has the following from Bocanegra:
"I think it just shows that we can compete with the best. Now we need to do it on a consistent basis," U.S. captain Carlos Bocanegra said.
Some more data points on how historic the win was for Carlos and his team-mates:
Not only was it just the second win ever for the U.S. against a team ranked No. 1 in the world (the U.S. had been 1-7-1 against top-ranked teams, with the only win coming against Brazil in 1998 in the CONCACAF Gold Cup), but it also ended Spain's FIFA-record 15-game win streak and 35-game unbeaten streak. Altidore's goal was the first allowed by Spain in 451 consecutive minutes.
Steve Davis from ESPN has more on how the Bruins and their team-mates sent shock waves all over Europe today. They get to sit back and bask in the glory a bit till Sunday when they will take on the winner of the other semifinal between Brazil and South Africa. I hate to use a cliche but after today's incredible win pretty much anything it's possible at this point and its awesome to see all of it taking place under the leadership of a Bruin.
UPDATE (N): More on the match from our SBN friends at Global Futbol. GO BRUINS.