What are your Best XI Soccer Moments of 2008?

Another year, another stack of great soccer memories.

Now that 2008 is winding to a close, I can't help but think about all the great soccer moments of the year, all the games and goals and comebacks and stunning finishes. All the unforgettable crowds and inspired players. All the beautiful stadiums and spectacular saves.

It's tough to really think about the whole year and which moments were the best, but for each of us, there are moments that must stand out from the rest.

What are your Best XI Soccer Moments of 2008? Keep in mind that, in this context, Best can mean whatever you want it to mean, it can just as easily just mean Most Memorable.

Read my Best XI moments after the jump, then feel free to share your own (Actually, my list was temporarily erased, I'm working on bringing it back so stay tuned if you hadn't seen it yet).

Share your Best XI Soccer moments of the year below.

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61 Responses to What are your Best XI Soccer Moments of 2008?

  1. Tony B says:

    Not necessarily my “best moment,” but if you’re going to include any Red Bulls moment, it has to be the 3-0 win in Houston. Biggest upset in MLS playoff history? I can’t think of any bigger. And given what the team was going through, all the more extraordinary.

    For that matter, how do you leave out the Olympic women’s final. Brazil was the better team. The U.S. outplayed them to win gold. That might be the No. 1 moment from a U.S. perspective.

    And the U.S. U-20 women also won a world championship.

  2. Adam says:

    USA v Cuba, was my first USA national team game in person!

    Also Dempsey’s brace, especially as a Fulham fan.

  3. Daniel Karell says:

    I went to the USA vs Argentina game and it was definetly the highlifght of the year for me, what a game…also my first ever national team game so I was very pumped…too bad gooch couldnt score.

  4. Homey says:

    I’m not sure I can pick a specific game, but surely there should be a mention of Euro 08. In particular the Holland/Russia game, and the overall magical display from Spain. One of those games should be on this list.

  5. Eric O. says:

    The Fire’s dismantling of the Red Bulls @ Toyota Park, Oct. 23. 5-2 final with a first half hattrick by Chris Rolfe. I was dying of hypothermia throughout due to the frigid temperatures and constant down pour but i enjoyed every second of it. Also, all the goals were beautiful.

  6. elmatador says:

    Since this is is a USSOCCER Blog, you must mentioned the Women’s Soccer U-23 Olympic Gold Medal the U-20 Chile WC Champions and the U-17 women that came into 2nd place to round up all US women’s soccer dominance over the world

  7. Al17 says:

    This is an easy one.

    2008 African Cup of Nations Final

    Accra, Ghana

    Egypt (1)- Cameroon (0)

    “The Pharoahs” – “Indominatble Lions”

    This is how a Final should be played!!!

    Non-stop action from end to end and despite Egypt being the better team in the entire tournament, this was not an easy win for them. It was also refreshing to watch a match in which sportsmanship was on display at all times. Doing battle but always respecting your opponent – this is the way it should be done on a regular basis instead of the exception.

    I watched it live at the Globe Pub in Chicago on a very, very cold Sunday morning (it was minus something and that was before windchill) but it was a sunny day. Over 300 people were on hand to watch this match and they actually had to stop allowing people into the pub due to a lack of space. The atmosphere was great with fans from both countries in abundance making this a fun time for all.

    The icing on the cake was the awards ceremony. Normally, I’m not to big on them but this was KOOL. A little girl dressed as an African Princess with the biggest smile on her face being hosted onto a platform with the trophy carried and being carried on this platform by four of some of the biggest men I have seen in my life. Hell, this is worth watching even if you never saw the match. If you get the chance, watch the match – come to think of it, I think I’ll ring in the new year watching this one again on tape.

    No other match that I’ve seen this year comes close. Not the Barcelona match mentioned earlier, nor the Hoffenheim/Bayern match nor the Champion’s League Final.

  8. Mark says:

    A couple of my favorite moments…

    Jozy’s big move to Spain

    US-Argentina – Had the pleasure to be there in person, and took a couple friends to their first US game, and they were hooked

    Red Bulls improbable playoff run

    US grinding out results away from home in WC qualifying. Wasn’t pretty at all, but they got the job done which a huge improvement over past qualifying cycles

    US-Netherlands game in Bejing

    US Women winning gold in Bejing

  9. Matt says:

    US Open Cup 3rd Round
    Revs v. Richmond Kickers
    Game was so so, but the pre-match weather and the subsequent delays made it very very memorable. It was also Chris Tierney’s coming out party to an extent.

    The Chase Hilgenbrinck story is one I won’t forget soon.

  10. Danny says:

    11. LA Galaxy still sucking lol

    10. Man City becoming rich out of no where lol

    9. Real Madrid’s 07/08 La Liga winning season

    8. Ronaldinho joining AC Milan

    7. Euro 2008- Spain finally wins a big one and Turkey’s amazing run

    6. Man United winning the EPL, CL, and Club World Cup

    5. Taca De Portugal game between Sporting and Benfica

    4. U.S NT games against powerhouses Eng, Spa, and Arg

    3. The Red Bulls Playoff Run

    2. Benfica signing Aimar, Reyes, and Suazo

    1. BENFICA HIRING THE GREAT RUI COSTA AS THEIR SPORTING DIRECTOR

  11. ag nigrin says:

    Happy New Year to you Ives and all those who post here on SBI!

    My personal best of 2008 picks are:

    1- NY Red Bulls make it all the way to the MLS Cup final!
    2-USWNT winning the Olympic Gold over the Brazilians. What a goal by Carli Lloyd in the final.
    3-USWNT U20s winning the World Cup over North Korea. What a goal by Alex Morgan in the final.

  12. VictorM says:

    USA – Argentina. Fabulous! Great on the field and the stands. More support for USA than I expected. Kudos to Argentina fans — wait to root for your team and stay classy.

  13. BrianK says:

    Ives,

    How about Hope Solo standing on her head vs. Brazil as the USA women captured Gold in the Bejing Olympics? Not only did Solo come up big in the match but she stuck it to all of the teamates that abandoned her at the World Cup during the Scurry debacle.

  14. Michael F. says:

    Happy New Ives, all the best to you and your family.
    Thanks again for the best site there is.

    In no particular order:

    1. Jozy transfer to Villa Real
    2. NYRB 3-0 playoff win vs. Houston
    3. Man Utd winning the EPL, CL, and Club World Cup
    4. Dempsey brace vs. Chelsea
    5. US Olympic team run

  15. Michael F. says:

    Oh, and just following the Americans Abroad weekly stories…

  16. Johnny says:

    Chicago fire sign Tomasz Frankowski!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  17. Chris says:

    as a man city fan, of course the highlight of the year was the DOUBLE over man u last season. that was just incredible. the other one for me was watching venezuela practically dominate brazil at gillete staduim. the atmosphere was great. those are the two that stick out for me

  18. A.S. says:

    #1 – USA-Argentina. Was there in person. What a fun atmosphere – the place was absolutely packed (as I recall, it was the 4th largest crowd in the history of Giants Stadium). The Argentine fans really seemed to be having a great time, as of course the US fans did. And the most memorable part for me was how the crowd really got into it when the rain started falling in the last 10 minutes and the US was able to apply a bit of pressure.

    #2 – Final of Euro 2008. Wasn’t a great game, but was nice to see Spain finally win something.

  19. Bob says:

    ES-PAN-A, ES-PAN-A

  20. m_____s says:

    It is easy for me: The Seattle Sounders signing Freddie Ljundberg, a move which I don’t necessarily support, but which nonetheless signals the start of something big here in Seattle.

    And Sigi’s coming, too. Go team!

    Deuce did a lot that solidified his role as an incredible talent, and Jozy flashed brillance with his first goals at MNT/La Liga.

  21. CALI23 says:

    JOSE FRANSICO TORRES CHOOSES USA

    KENNY COOPER FINALLY GETS THE USA CALL

    USA NOT LOSING TO MEXICO

    USA QUALIFIES TO THE HEX

    JOZY TO VILLREAL

    2009 SHOULD BE COOL WITH MENS U-17 U-20 WORLD CUPS, CONFERDERATIONS CUP, THE HEX, GOLD CUP. SHOULD BE PLENTY OF NEW PEOPLE GETTING CAPS.

  22. Will L says:

    Shalrie Joseph’s equalizer against the Dynamo in the Superliga final.

    Liverpool 4-2 Arsenal

    Germany 3-2 Turkey

    John Terry’s missed penalty, the room i was watching it in absolutely erupted when that happened.

    Boca’s goal vs. the dirty Guates

  23. Chris says:

    On a personal level it would be the US-Argentina match at Giant’s Stadium. Fun game to be at and it was great to see the US being the stronger team the later it got in the game (and when the rain started to come down around the 80 min mark just set the place off). Most fun I had watching a match this year.

    Of course the biggest story has to be Spain at the Euros. Well deserved winner and well played matches. I will say though that the team that was most fun to watch in the tournament was Turkey. Talk about a team that refused to loose (well, until they did actually loose). More and more players unavailable as the tourny went on and they kept coming back with improbable come from behind victories to advance. They quickly became the “don’t miss their matches” team of the tournament.

  24. jmart says:

    john terry slipping and missing the PK in the champion’s league final

    spain winning the Euros

    checking this site constantly

  25. RichK says:

    Yes, USA qualifying for the hex. But that all got started with Bocanegra’s header at Guatemala, in a hostile environment, and after Eddie Lewis took a vicious elbow to the forehead. I have never wanted retribution so badly, and it seemed as if the entire US side was playing with vindictiveness after Eddie Lewis left the pitch. What a satisfying goal! That set the tone for the rest of the qualifying stage.

  26. WK says:

    The Return of the San Jose Earthquakes!!

  27. Tony in Quakeland says:

    I second WK’s post: The Return of the Quakes

    Also Darren Huckerby’s electrfying runs and the Quakes beating Houston at Buck Shaw!

  28. sciroccer says:

    Real Salt Lake gets a stadium, makes the playoffs, and almost the cup.

  29. mikeK says:

    Dane Richards scoring in Houston. The game we were supposed to lose horrible, and Dane Richards takes a pass from Ubi and gives us the lead, and eventually the game.

  30. beckster says:

    1) USA women winning the gold

    2) Spain vx Italy – Euro 2008

    3) Turkey’s run in Euro 2008

    4) Women’s u20 winning world cup

  31. Hincha Tim says:

    1. Spain’s stellar beautiful playing in Euro -08 and being justly rewarded for it.

    2. Barcelona’s stellar beautiful play the first half of La Liga and so far being rewarded for it.

    3. RSL’s progress on the field and their new stadium.

  32. Tony in Quakeland says:

    Okay, I’m not seeing Ives Best 11…am I missing something?

  33. Drew says:

    1. Spain’s Euro win
    2. Real Madrid’s La Liga championship
    3. Fire smoking Red Bulls and Revs all year

  34. Derek says:

    US/Argentina was my first USNats game in person. It was SOO hot, then that downpour at the end with the excitement on the field was very entertaining.

    First year I also made it out to Giants Stadium for the Red Bulls regularly and became a huge fan. It was worth it…and now Im a season ticket holder!

    Great site Ives! Happy New Yrs to all

  35. Ives says:

    Sorry folks, for some reason my list was cut off of the post. I’m on the road right now so if anybody can mail me the RSS Feed with the original list I would greatly appreciate it.

    Email it to me at Soccerbyives@gmail.com.

  36. Section133 says:

    This is sooo easy!

    –The Redbulls winning the MLS Cup!!–

    Shut up. They won. I don’t know what you are talking about. Stop it right this minute.

  37. arkjayback says:

    1. Croatia’s goal in the 119th minute and Turkey’s subsequent equalizer.

    2. Sacha Kljestan’s goal against the Netherlands in the Olympics.

    3. ManU wins the Champions League.

    4. David Beckham’s 65 yard goal.

    5. Spain wins the EURO Cup.

    6. Howard’s superior defense against Argentina.

    7. Cooper and Adu score in the win over Guatemala.

    8. Jozy sold for record $10 million.

    9. Columbus Crew crowned MLS Champions (and Mr. Don Garber forgetting who their captain was . . )

    10. Dempsey rises again with a “deuce” at year’s end.

    11. Torres declares for the US.

  38. Ives says:

    Tony B, the list was my list, what part about “Your Best XI Moments” didn’t you get?

    The Red Bulls upset of Houston was a great moment, and would probably make my Top 15, but I can’t say I was blown away by it, maybe because I’d seen the Red Bulls get results against Houston before. The West Final made the list for everything that took place in that game. Now, I could totally see why a Red Bulls fan would include the Houston win on their own list. Perhaps I would rank the Houston game higher if the RSL West Final never happens.

    As for the Women’s Olympic Final, I was in the airport in Guatemala City when that game was being played so i didn’t watch it.

    Maybe I wasn’t clear enough. This is everybody’s own personal list of the 11 moments that stood out to them, so it’s pretty pointless to question anybody else’s list. It’s their own opinion and preference.

  39. Danny says:

    Not a “best” moment, but certainly one of the most memorable for me was the Orazco red in the olympics. Crappy that it happened, but a real signature on our Olympic experience.

  40. LDQ says:

    Revs winning SuperLiga

  41. metrostar 4 life says:

    wow some great moments.

    how bout US vs Argentina

    RBNY vs Barca was entertaining (i was there, so this is up there for me)

    turkey euro 08 2 goals in like 5 minutes or less.

    and ESPANA!

  42. Brian says:

    The Fire’s dismantling of the Red Bulls @ Toyota Park, Oct. 23. 5-2 final with a first half hattrick by Chris Rolfe. I was dying of hypothermia throughout due to the frigid temperatures and constant down pour but i enjoyed every second of it. Also, all the goals were beautiful.

    yes

  43. Brian says:

    Or the Fire shooting down the Revs in every game this year!

  44. Andrew says:

    For me it was being at the RSL vs Chivas playoff game in Utah. What a game!!!

  45. ManicMessiah says:

    The US-Argentina match as well as Red Bull-Houston stand out for me.

    Also, there were a bunch of euro 2008 moments for me, having gotten to watch a great number of those games live. A great tournament, and so many of the teams were just going for it rather than sitting back.

  46. Chase says:

    1. LFC v. Arsenal. CL Quarterfinal 2nd Leg at Anfield, a great game, with an even better finish, from the stunning goal by Torres that seemingly gave LFC the win, to the Adabeyor equalizer that gave Arsenal the lead on away goals, only to be followed by the Gerrard penalty and the Babel finisher, this game was the perfect exhibit of everything that is great about the CL (unless you are a gooner I suppose).

    2. Turkey v. Czech Republic. Incredible finish, especially with the circumstances that Turkey was facing at that point (a mountain of injuries).

    3. Spain v. Italy and Spain v. Germany. Finally a team that played beautiful football is rewarded with a major international championship.

    4. USA v. Argentina (from a US perspective at least). We played a world class side incredibly tough and Giants Stadium was rocking. An exhibition of how well supporterd football can be here, when world class talent is on display. It also followed a couple of very disapointing US performances against England and Spain, giving US supporters something to look be optimistic about.

    Worst Moments for Me

    1. Liverpool v. Chelsea, CL Semi-Final. From the Risse own goal to the needless Hyypia penalty, a very hard loss to swallow, especially with LFC finishing 4th in the PL.

    2. USA v. Holland (Olympics). This easily could have been one of my top moments, but the silly set piece conceeded in the waning minutes of the game cost us a win we thoroughly deserved. I knew that would end up screwing us and after Orozco’s moment of madness against Nigeria, my fears were realized.

    3. USA v. England. A hapless performance, by our A-squad, who failed to create one decent chance the entire match. It served as a reality check for many supporters (including myself) who had overestimated how far the US game had progressed.

  47. mas says:

    Sasha Kljestan’s goal against Netherlands…no doubbt!

    I will remember waking up early in the morning to watch those games and having a great time watching the USA compete against world talents. At that moment I felt like the USA could and would compete at the highest levels around the globe.

  48. brian says:

    I don’t know about all 11, but certainly Forest winning promotion and the Crew’s MLS Cup are at the top of the list.

  49. WonsanUnited says:

    Fulham’s miracle escape from relegation and the Red Bulls in the MLS Cup!

  50. Mike from linden says:

    RED BULLS WESTERN CONFERENCE CHAMPS? Hey Ill take it, its better than the Open cup trophy that DC won. Red Bulls For Life

  51. TFC OZZ says:

    1.2500 TFC fans at Columbus

    2.Signing of Dwayne De Rosario to TFC

    3.Canada just losing to Brazil in a friendly, that easily could have gone the other way.

    4.Mo Edu to Rangers

  52. Joe says:

    in no order

    Getting McBride
    Losing Carr to injury
    Getting rid of Barrett
    Torres’ goal in the Final
    Fabregas being named captain
    Beating NE everytime we played them
    Beating NY on the last day of the season
    Soumare playing so well this year
    LA being the disgrace of the league
    Lalas getting fired

  53. unknown says:

    Ives do you know anything about Frederico Moojen. He played for the railhawks and thunder of the usl and now he plays in the misl for the ironmen. He is 25 so still pretty young. I found a video of him and he is pure class. link to youtube.com that’s the link, do you think the red bulls would be interested in him.

  54. Steve W says:

    Champs League Final — I was in Vegas at the Mandalay Bay and the match was on the giant screen. Crowd was insane and I had money on ManU to win!

  55. craig says:

    Columbus wins the double….no brainer

  56. douglas says:

    one of my top moments was Freddy Adu v. Holland in the Olympics. The game turned out to be a disaster for the US, but Adu was excellent.

  57. kevin says:

    definitely John Thorrington’s last minute winner against Toronto FC. Honestly that was one of the happiest moments in my life although it is something very small in the grand scheme of things. It seemed like a really huge game in the season though at the time.

  58. Gerald says:

    Traveling with my fellow Red Bull fans to playoff games in Houston, SLC and LA

    USA-Argentina (other fans have already summed it up)

  59. TomM says:

    The Netherlands dismantling France and Italy in their Euro openers.

  60. ComeOnYouWhites says:

    The hot streaker at the Olympic qualifier in Tampa. I sat next to he before her jaunt onto the pitch. It was the first match I’d ever been to & the US scored the winner in the 4th minute of stoppage time!

  61. torosrojosfan says:

    1 – Red Bulls improbable run to MLS Cup. Here’s hoping for a repeat in 2009. ;)

    2 – Spain winning the Euro Cup … finally.

    Now for my worst soccer moments

    1 – Peru being kicked out by FIFA & their national team sitting @ the bottom of the South American WC qualifiers … what a disaster! Maybe I’ll never see again the Peruvian team reaching the old glory days of the 70s. :(