The Goal That Shocked The World

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Harry Keough heading in the U.S. win against Britain in June 29th, 1950.
National Soccer Hall of Fame
The New World shocked the Old at soccer on June 29, 1950.

It was 53 years ago when a U.S. pickup team of amateurs and semi-pros faced heavily favored England in an early round of the World Cup in Brazil.

Sailing into the match, the U.S. team's ambitions were modest.

"To be honest with you, I really didn't think we could win," said Harry Keough, who played right fullback on the U.S. soccer team. "I thought if we gave a good game, kept the game close, two to nothing would have satisfied us."

But far from having to settle for a 2-1 loss, the American team pulled off a 1-0 win.

"Every Brazilian in that stadium — there were about 30,000 — was rooting for us," said Keough.

He believes the South American country supported the U.S. team because it was an underdog and Britain was the Brazilians main soccer rivals.

Brazil went on to the championship's finals, only to lose dramatically to Uruguay. But America's early round upset made headlines around the world, and is being remembered all over again in a new movie titled "The Greatest Game of Their Lives" with Keough and some of his team-mates as advisors.

Not that U.S. soccer is resting on that laurel. Last year, the U.S. advanced as far as the World Cup quarterfinals. And there's hope of going all the way at the next World Cup in 2006.

At least, that's the goal.