News Apr 14, 2014
w/MNT Forward Peter Vermes
Dec 20, 2005
He curled around the Italian wall and there it was. Just sitting there like a 20-dollar bill on a street corner waiting to be plucked by a lucky pedestrian. But this wasn’t a matter of money. Oh, no. That loose ball in the Italian box was worth much more than that.
When he looks back on it now, he might first cringe when he notices the long hair and tight shorts he’s sporting, but Peter Vermes knows the part that matters is just seconds away. He pounces on the loose ball and drills it low towards the ‘keeper. The ball goes through his legs and it doesn’t appear the Italian had made a save, but inexplicably it doesn’t carry on to the back of the net. It had somehow, someway, hit the ‘keepers backside just enough to stop it short of the goal line, allowing it to be cleared by a defender.
When the U.S. faces Italy in the FIFA World Cup this summer, it won’t be the first meeting between the two countries on soccer’s biggest stage. They’ve actually met twice before – facing off in 1934 and 1990.
While it may be tough to draw anything from the 7-1 defeat the U.S. was handed in ’34, the 1-0 loss in ’90 was something of a stepping stone for the Americans. Sure, the U.S. lost 1-0 and was outplayed by a more talented Italian squad, but there were moments the U.S. could hang its hat on. Moments such as Vermes’ shot on goal that allowed Americans to speculate on what could be in the near future.
In the following podcast, the former MNT forward will take you back not only to that match against Italy and his almost goal, but his account lets you in on what it was like to qualify for World Cup after a 40-year absence, what was going through his mind after getting spanked 5-1 by Czechoslovakia in their opening game and how the U.S. mindset has changed 16 years later.
Listen up to get the lowdown on the tensions that boiled over in practice before the Italy game, hear Peter’s “I-can’t-believe-I’m-playing-in-a-World-Cup” moment and the surprised reaction he received from the media and fans after the match.
If you still aren't doing the podcast thing (or worse, haven't been smart enough to just click the link and let your computer do all the work), then now is the time to start. You don't want to miss this one.