By Ryan Mayer, CBS Local Sports

Last night, the USWNT advanced to the World Cup Final by beating Germany 2-0.  They will play the winner of China vs. England on Sunday night with the chance to win their 3rd World Cup. The team has brought out our sense of national pride, which already will be at a fever pitch this weekend with our greatest holiday: July 4th.  With that in mind, let’s take a look back at some of the best sports moments in US history.  First, let’s cue up some background music for you: 

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And away we go. 

Bonus: Go Go USA! 2010 World Cup

This moment doesn’t have nearly the same implications as the rest on this list but for me, watching live and seeing the reaction to the men’s team it was awesome. 

5) 2008 Olympics Michael Phelps

Heading into the Olympics in Beijing in 2008, Phelps was going for something unprecedented: 8 gold medals.  The build-up to the Olympics was all about whether or not Phelps would be able to do so. We all knew that he was the best swimmer in the world at the time, but you wondered whether or not he would tire out over a grueling schedule. He didn’t, we got what we wanted and the celebration began:

Tell me that watching the celebration after that race you weren’t proud to be an American. 

4) 1992 Dream Team

This team qualifies as a moment because it was the first of its kind in the Olympics.  Now it’s commonplace to see Team USA trot out some very good NBA stars to the Olympics.  However, the rest of the world has largely caught up in many respects in basketball.  This team was dominant. Oh by the way, what’s the first conversation we always have when the USA basketball team is announced? “Could they beat the Dream Team?” The answer is always no.  We revere these guys. There’s a 30 for 30 about them. I’ll shut up and allow you to enjoy the following montage.

3) Jesse Owens 1936 Olympics

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Yep, we’re hopping in the time machine and going back for this one.  Deservedly so. In a tumultuous time in the world, Jesse Owens showed it didn’t matter what you looked like, it is all about the talent.  The 1936 Olympics held in Berlin were under a lot of scrutiny because of Hitler’s growing influence in the country.  Owens competed in the marquee events 100m, 200m, 4X100m relay, and the long jump, winning gold in every single one.  

2) 1999 Women’s World Cup Final

The iconic image that came out of this moment was imprinted on the front of newspapers everywhere.  You know the one I’m talking about. 

Credit: Hector Mata/AFP

That celebration came after a dramatic penalty kick to win the World Cup for the United States for the first time since 1999.  We learned the names of this special group of ladies over the course of the three week tournament and grew to love them.  Let’s go to the tape.


1) 1980 “Miracle On Ice”

You had to know this was coming right? What list of top sports moments for the US would be complete without the single biggest upset we as a country have ever pulled? You know the story, your kids know the story, I feel like I was there I’ve heard the story so many times and I wasn’t even born yet! The same goes for kids growing up today.  This will live on forever and so will the final call, turn your speakers up people and enjoy the dulcet tones of Mr. Al Michaels.


Gives me goosebumps. Every. Single. Time. 

Enjoy the 4th, and keep that US pride rolling right into the next day at 6pm when our women look to stand atop the world once again. 

Ryan Mayer is an Associate Producer for CBS Local Sports. Ryan lives in NY but comes from Philly and life as a Philly sports fan has made him cynical. Anywhere sports are being discussed, that’s where you’ll find him. Agree/Disagree? Thoughts, comments, complaints? Email him, tweet him or just complain to your friends. 

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