Stressful times abounded on Sunday afternoon as the United States men’s national soccer team was deadlocked with Panama in the Gold Cup final in Chicago. Enter Brek Shea as a 68th-minute substitution.
It took just 42 seconds for Shea to put the American side on top for good — with an inadvertent assist from all-time national scoring leader Landon Donovan, who tried and failed to put in a great pass from Alejandro Bedoya.
The ball would have probably gone in regardless, but only because Donovan’s whiff was so utterly perfect.
Meanwhile, up in one of the press boxes, suspended USMNT coach Jürgen Klinsmann COULD NOT CONTAIN HIS EXCITEMENT. A close call in the 84th minute caused him to basically vaporize into the ether.
Shea’s would prove to be the only goal of the match, and the United States won its first Gold Cup — which is played every other year — since 2007. For Panama and its fan base, the defeat was a major sting.
By then, Klinsmann’s blood pressure had fully returned to normal and the celebration was underway.
USA! USA! (Mild fist-pumping is the new setting off fireworks.)