In some places, they call it squeaky-bum time.
Whether it has you squirming in your seat or holding your chest, nothing quite tops the magic of the stoppage time goal. Ricardo Clark’s game-winner on Saturday against Venezuela was just one of many memorable injury time finishes by the USMNT over the past dozen years. MLSsoccer.com runs down the Top 10 since 2000:
10. March 12, 2000 – Ben Olsen 92’+ vs. Tunisia (1-1 tie / FRIENDLY)
The current D.C. United manager was waiting at the far post for a stray ball and found it, equalizing against Tunisia in a friendly at Legion Field in Birmingham, Ala.
9. Feb. 24, 2010 – Sacha Kljestan 92’+ vs. El Salvador (2-1 win / FRIENDLY)
The former Chivas USA playmaker slotted home the game-winner at Raymond James Stadium to save face in a friendly in which the Cuscatlecos took a first-half lead. Watch it here.
8. March 13, 2004 – Danny Califf 94’+ vs. Haiti (1-1 tie / FRIENDLY)
“Haiti was the better team tonight,” is how Bruce Arena started his postgame press conference. In arguably the lowest point of the Arena tenure, Danny Califf chested the equalizer to disappoint a largely pro-Haitian crowd at the old Orange Bowl.
7. Jan. 19, 2002 – DaMarcus Beasley 92’+ vs. Korea Republic (2-1 win / GOLD CUP)
Beasley began to make his case for the US World Cup team with a volley under the crossbar to give the US a win in front of more than 42,000 fans at the Rose Bowl for their Gold Cup group opener.
6. April 28, 2004 – Eddie Pope 93’+ vs. Mexico (1-0 win / FRIENDLY)
It doesn’t get any better than a late game-winner against El Tri for USMNT fans. Pope pounced on a rebound after goalkeeper Oswaldo Sánchez spilled a header by Taylor Twellman to give the US a victory they deserved at the Cotton Bowl.
5. Oct. 14, 2009 – Jonathan Bornstein 95’+ vs. Costa Rica (2-2 / WCQ)
The goal didn’t mean much for the USA – except for the fact that they finished on top of the CONCACAF hexagonal. It was even bigger for the guests, though, as Bornstein’s header pushed Costa Rica into the play-in round against Uruguay, gifting Honduras the last automatic ticket to the 2010 World Cup. The left back became an instant celebrity among Catrachos. Watch it here.
4 . July 11, 2009 – Stuart Holden 92’+ vs. Haiti (2-2 / Gold Cup)
Again, the USA needed late heroics to salvage a result against Haiti. This one, at Gillette Stadium, is arguably the most spectacular of this list as Holden ripped a shot from 25 yards out to give the USA a tie that clinched the top spot in their group. Watch it here.
3. Sept. 8, 2004 – Cobi Jones 92’+ vs. Panama (1-1 / WCQ)
It was a scrappy goal in the box by Jones, who the Panamanians still argue was in an offside position on the play. But he was in the right place to rescue the USA from defeat in World Cup qualifying at Estadio Rommel Fernández.
2. July 21, 2005 – Oguchi Onyewu 92’+ vs. Honduras (2-1 / Gold Cup)
It ranks as the most dramatic comeback ever by the US national team, and it came in the Gold Cup semifinals at Giants Stadium. With a strong Honduras side looking set to clinch a berth in the final, John O’Brien scored with four minutes remaining and Onyewu capped the stirring turnaround with a diving header off a Landon Donovan free kick.
1. June 23, 2010 – Landon Donovan 91’+ vs. Algeria (1-0 / World Cup)
Guaranteed goosebumps for US fans just to recall this moment from the 2010 World Cup, as Ian Darke’s call for ESPN and the dog pile that ensued will live on as one of the greatest moments in the sport for US fans. Donovan's goal got the USA through to the knockout stages and caught the attention of the whole nation.