U.S. vs. England
2010 World Cup
U.S. viewing audience: 17.1 million viewers (ABC)
After going 0-3 in 2006, the U.S. Men's National Team started the 2010 World Cup on shaky footing.
The team drew what was supposed to be its strongest foe, England, in the first match and got a taste of just how rough a road it was going to be when England's captain David Gerrard scored in just the fourth minute. Then things got weird.
After clamping down on defense and holding England scoreless for 40 minutes, the U.S. showed young soccer players everywhere just what could come of simply putting a shot on goal. Clint Dempsey put what seemed to a lifeless shot right into the hands of England goalkeeper Robert Green. Sadly for Green, it proved just a bit more slippery than he'd imagined.
The goal that became knowns across the pond as the "Hand Of Clod" held up as U.S. goalkeeper Tim Howard shut down a big scoring opportunity by England supersub Emile Heskey to preserve the draw. Both teams would end up advancing to the next round, but a draw against England that could have been a win if striker Jozy Altidore capitalized on a few of his open looks at the net was a huge boost for the U.S.
The match itself, meanwhile, was the third highest-rated in U.S. Men's National Team history with a 7.3 share. It was also the first step to the single most-watched match in the history of U.S. soccer.