U.S. Men's National Team Wins 2009 ESPY for Best Upset for FIFA Confederations Cup Semifinal Win Against Spain
CHICAGO (July 16, 2009) – For their victory against world No. 1 ranked Spain in the semifinals of the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup, the United States Men’s National Team was awarded the 2009 ESPY for “Best Upset” at the 17th annual awards ceremony in Los Angeles, Calif. The show will be televised on ESPN and ESPNHD on Sunday, July 19, starting at 9 p.m. ET.
With the win, the United States snapped the 2008 European Champions record-setting streak of 15 consecutive wins, as well as their astounding 35-game unbeaten streak dating back to November of 2006. The victory advanced the U.S. to the first FIFA tournament final in U.S. Men’s history. The victory marked the second time the U.S. has beaten a No. 1-ranked team in the world, the other a 1-0 win against Brazil in the 1998 CONCACAF Gold Cup semifinals. In the 2-0 victory against Spain in Bloemfontein, South Africa, Jozy Altidore and Clint Dempsey scored for the United States while Tim Howard – who won the Golden Glove as best goalkeeper of the tournament - and the rest of the U.S. defense came up huge to stifle a famed Spanish attack that featured forwards Fernando Torres and David Villa.
Beating out other nominees Mine That Bird (winning the Kentucky Derby as a 50-1 shot), Oregon State (beating then-No. 1 ranked USC last fall) and the Tampa Bay Rays (winning the American League Championship Series), the U.S. Men’s upset against Spain was chosen through online balloting from sports fans across the nation.
It is the first ESPY for the U.S. Men’s National Team; the U.S. Women won the Outstanding Team award in 2000 for their performance in winning the 1999 Women’s World Cup.
Landon Donovan also took home an award from the evening, winning his second ESPY for Best MLS Player for his league leading 20-goal season with the Los Angeles Galaxy last year.