What Is Your Favorite American EPL Moment?

Wow, what a fun trip down memory lane.

I was just commenting on the Altidore story and trying to grasp the level of excitement that seems to have encapsulated the American soccer community with Jozy Altidore’s Hull debut Saturday.

The impact that JZA had on the game, the chants of “USA! USA!” by the crowd, the shear threat that an American striker could present in an Premiership game. Just fun to have as part of the weekend of soccer.

Howard, beginning his legacy

Howard, beginning his legacy

It got me thinking to the biggest moments that I can remember for Americans overseas, specifically in the EPL.

I would say JZA at Bolton is one of maybe four momentous events without giving forth to hyperbole that I can remember in terms of the media coverage and just shear “buzz,” for lack of a better word. I’m sure I’ll be embarrassed by ones I’ve missed–that you will add to the commentary here–and I’m a bit melancholy that I am not including at least one moment from Brian McBride.

Chronologically they are:

1990 – John Harkes Goal of the Year for Sheffield Wednesday against Derby County. I was in high school at the time and everyone thought John Harkes was the second coming of Ruud Gullit or something here in the States. I remember my parents buying me a Gullit Netherlands jersey actually–I wish I still had that.

2003 – Tim Howard’s Shield victory on penalties over Arsenal. I didn’t really comprehend the magnitude of Howard’s role at the time or this might have been more prominent a moment in EPL time for me.

2007 – Clint Dempsey’s goal for Fulham to avoid relegation.

2009 – Altidore’s debut against Bolton

Harkes’ goal by far is the most memorable moment in my mind, maybe the years have added to the legacy. Here’s the clip below; one that I have watched countless times before. You know it was such a vicious a strike because he had such a badass mullet.

What moments is TSG forgetting? Or what are yours more specifically?

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6 responses to this post.

  1. 2002/2003 – Blackburn Rovers Brad Friedel is named to the EPL’s “Team of the Season” after posting 15 clean sheets. This, of course, was right after his dominant 2002 WC.

    Along with Keller, signaled the arrival of the American keeper as the hot product for EPL teams, opening the door for Howards’ later success (and, I hope, Guzan’s continued and future success).

    Reply

    • Posted by matthewsf on 2010/01/08 at 6:37 AM

      Good one, Dan…the award as the culmination.

      Amazing Friedel doesn’t get more press even now when you think of it.

      Reply

  2. This is probably because I’m a McBride fan, but there’s a few I think should’ve been included:

    – McBride’s first goal for Fulham – it not only showed the dogged determination that made him a fan favorite, but it came against Kasey Keller’s Tottenham side. I believe it was the first time an American scored against an American in the Prem.

    – McBride’s knee injury and subsequent return helping to stave off relegation – though he scored only a few goals in that run at the end of the season, his manager and teammates all point to his return as a turning point in the campaign. His whole career with Fulham (and Everton….hmmm maybe Hodgy is lining up a bid for ‘Cakes in the near future) is one of the reasons why more and more Premiership teams are taking on American players.

    Reply

    • Posted by matthewsf on 2010/01/08 at 7:07 AM

      Great one Nick on that second one — I remember that return and how Fulham played. I can’t say I remember that first goal though…good memory.

      I think you’ll need resuscitate this column and do a second one.

      Reply

    • Also McBride’s sweet chip goal on his Everton debut (am I remembering that right?) inside 10 minutes against Tottenham. Four goals in his first five games.

      BTW -I was on ToffeeWeb (http://www.toffeeweb.com/players/past/McBride.asp) and they said that McBride’s “weaknesses” were that he “wasn’t a good target man” and “lacks bite” which I don’t think I could’ve picked two more off base criticisms of McBride.

      Reply

  3. [...] August 22nd, 2009:  Jozy enters in the 60th minute against Bolton and his first touch, an over-the-head volley, leads to an assist on a Kamil Ghilas goal. (August 23th, 2009) TSG wonders, with all the stateside press and excitement around Jozy, if this is one of the bigger American EPL moments. [...]

    Reply

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