The captain of Team USA had an exceptional game on Sunday night. In fact, Clint Dempsey's crotch goal almost won the World Cup game over Portugal. That's right: the guy brought the game to 2-1 over Portugal with a shot that definitely wasn't off his chest. Honestly, is there anything more American?
After the game Dempsey told ESPN that the U.S. was still looking good in their group, nicknamed the "Group of Death" for its stack of talented teams, after the game, despite Portugal tying it up in the game's last seconds. Dempsey also kind of tried to say the ball bounced off his chest.
I just tried to stay onside. The ball came onside, I just tried to put it on my chest.
Good try, Dempsey, but we know what really happened.
The game was a nail-biter throughout, with an early goal by Portugal going unanswered until the second half, when Jermaine Jones scored. Later in the second half, Dempsey scored his memorable goal, which bounced off his crotch after a kick from Graham Zusi. In related news, Dempsey's Wikipedia page was immediately updated to call him "the greatest American since Abraham Lincoln," according to reporter James Mirtle.
Dempsey's also the guy who played in the game despite suffering a broken nose last week. What a champ. But it was #crotchshot that was trending on Twitter after the game.
The biggest disappointment of the game for many soccer fans (though perhaps not U.S. fans) was Cristiano Ronaldo's performance. Ronaldo didn't score, although he did set up the miraculous down-to-the-wire goal that saved Portugal. That goal was a gigantic hit for the U.S., which would have been guaranteed to advance had they won, though a tie is still much, much better than a loss.
Another winner of the game? Jurgen Klinsmann, the U.S. team's head coach, who was heavily scrutinized prior to the World Cup for cutting American soccer legend Landon Donovan from the team. He's well on the road to redemption after two strong performances from the U.S. And after the game ended, he railed against FIFA for stacking the deck against the U.S. with its grueling schedule. He told ESPN "things are set up" so the teams in the "Group of Death" that are expected to move on, like Germany, do. (Note: This does not include Team USA, which was widely expected to be a weaker team in the group. The U.S. team's performance so far has defied expectations.)
We're already thinking about Germany. ... It's going to be another (nail-biting) final, but it's what the World Cup is all about. They all went to their limit but this is what it is now. You have to show the world you're the best soccer players in the country. We didn't (move on to the next round) this game, but we have to do it against Germany.
The fate of the U.S. is now murkier. If the team wins or ties against Germany, it'll advance. Otherwise, it will depend not just on the U.S.'s performance against Germany but also how the Portugal-Ghana game shakes out. The U.S. will play its game against Germany on June 26.