A sports shocker: The USA national soccer team defeated the world's top-ranked squad, Spain, 2-0, in the Confederation Cup in Bloemfontain, South Africa (which will host the upcoming 2010 World Cup), to reach the championship match, the first time the USA has ever reached a FIFA final since 1916. Only a week ago the USA team was on the verge of heading home, having lost their first two games and staring at a 1-7-1 all-time record against No. 1-ranked teams.
In addition, Spain, the European champion, had won 15 straight games and run up a 35-game undefeated streak. Yet 19-year-old New Jersey native and sensation Jozy Altidore's (above, center, ) goal in the 27th minute, coupled with excellent defense and Tim Howard's impenetrable goalkeeping, brought a US victory. Clint Dempsey added an insurance goal in the 74th minute.
The US will play either Brazil, to whom they lost 3-0 in their second match of play, or host South Africa, but in a sense they have already won the biggest match of the tournament, and one of the most important in US soccer history. Let's hope they can carry this winning style of play into the final and also into next year's World Cup.