When we were out in Salt Lake a couple of weeks ago for the US MNT WCQ against Honduras, we got the chance to head to the official pep rally held the night before the game – a pep rally that was pretty well done and a lot of fun. Interviews, players and coaches there, US legends, ESPN 700 radio show, etc. etc. etc. but one of the best things were the videos that they showed during and in between segments. One of the best videos they showed was one featuring the Paul Caligiuri goal against Trinidad and Tobago in 1989.
That actual video from the night hasn’t been made available, but it sparked something in Beans and I and we think its a really good time to look back at the goal and get some of the background on it.
“Shot heard round the world” as it is referenced in American soccer, is used to describe the goal scored by Paul Caligiuri for the United States against Trinidad and Tobago in Port of Spain in 1989. The win propelled the team to the 1990 FIFA World Cup, helping to start a resurgence of American soccer, which has seen the U.S. appear in every World Cup since that time, including its hosting of the 1994 World Cup, which in turn led to the creation of Major League Soccer. – thats what wikipedia says, but we know its greater than that.
Wining this game meant that the US was going to the 1990 World Cup in Italy and wouldn’t have to wait until 1994 when they hosted to make a return trip to the World Cup with the automatic bid for hosting.
We earned it.
That goal put us in the World Cup after an absense of over 40 years. That was one of those moments where people say that men’s soccer arrived in America. It helped drum up interest for the World Cup that would be hosted here years later… it lead to Major League Soccer. Wonderful moment.
Paul David Caligiuri, a Hall of Famer, is obviously best known for this goal, but he is a very accomplished footballer. His s professional career spanned 16 years, playing for numerous teams in the United States and Germany, and for the U.S. national team. During his 14 years as a defender and defensive midfielder with the national team, he earned 110 caps and scored five goals.
Sportscenter coverage of the match……