The editorial staff at MLSsoccer.com is looking back over the year with our "Best of 2010" awards, running Dec. 13 through Jan. 2. Each day we'll hand out an award from a variety of categories culled from the storylines of Major League Soccer and the North American soccer scene.
The Celebration of the Year - which goes to all the US fans who erupted after Landon Donovan's game-winning goal against Algeria at the World Cup - was one of the easiest picks we made.
When it came to looking back at the Best of 2010, we didn’t have to look far to find the Best Celebration of the year. Most of us were right of the middle of it.
There were, of course, the antics on the field. The Columbus Crew’s Emilio Renteria called home with his shoe after scoring a breakaway goal against Philadelphia on Oct. 24.
Thierry Henry paid tribute to the late father of New York teammate Carl Robinson on Sept. 11.
David Ferreira and FC Dallas juked and jived most of the year, Chicago’s Marco Pappa popped a backflip and the US national team made it a very, very good year for the lost art of the dogpile.
But the Best Celebration wasn’t confined to one single act of creativity or emotion, but rather an outpouring of glee felt in bars across America and all the way to the raucous stands and parking lots in South Africa.
The celebration that ensued after Landon Donovan’s last-gasp winning goal against Algeria on June 23 was one of the definitive moments in American soccer history. The goal itself sent the Americans through to the Round of 16 at the World Cup and was historic in its own right, but the collective and sudden shift from distress to absolute elation was perhaps even the better moment to watch, and a comforting sign that there are more of us out there cheering than we ever imagined.
So forget the words. The Celebration of the Year speaks for itself.