By sheer force of will, the US Men’s National Team powered through on June 16 to win their World Cup opening match against Ghana, 2-1. The shocking win came on the shoulders of a guy who scored an early goal and another who scored a late one — now find out more about Clint Dempsey and John Anthony Brooks.
Soccer fever is back in the United States after the US Men’s National Team roared back to win 2-1 late against Ghana in their opening match of the World Cup on June 16. But as the Team USA bangwagon fills up, there are two names on the lips of fans right now — Clint Dempsey and John Anthony Brooks, the men who scored the US’s thrilling goals. So who are they?
Clint Dempsey: 3 Things To Know About The USA Soccer Vet
1. He’s Been At This For Awhile
For those tuning into the World Cup for the first time this year, Clint’s a new face, but he’s actually one of the most recognizable, longest-tenured players on the USMNT (Dare we say he’s as big as Landon Donovan?). In fact, this is his third World Cup. Clint scored his first World Cup goal all the way back in 2006 — oddly enough, it was against Ghana.
2. Now That’s Fast!
Clint’s shocking goal on June 16 against Ghana came just 29 seconds into the game! It was the fifth fastest goal ever scored at the World Cup, and the fastest goal ever scored by a US player in the tournament.
3. He Plays For Family & Friends
When he scores, Clint usually gives a unique salute to the sky — he holds up one finger on one hand, and three fingers on the other. It’s a tribute to both his sister Jennifer, who tragically died of a brain aneurysm at the age of 16, and his friend Victor Rivera Jr., a school teammate who died when he was accidentally shot in the head, The Daily News reports.
John Anthony Brooks: 3 Things To Know About The New Hero
1. Beginner’s Luck
Whereas Clint is a tried and true player for the US, John has barely gotten on the pitch wearing the red, white and blue — he has only played in five games with the international team. In fact, the Ghana game, which John won by scoring as a substitute in the 86th minute, was his first World Cup game ever.
2. Born In The USA?
John was not. The Notorious J.A.B. is the son of an American serviceman who was born and raised in Berlin. He played soccer for the youth academy Hertha BSC and later signed a professional contract with the club. But his heart lies with the stars and stripes — as a dual citizen of the United States and Germany, when it came time to pick which international team he’d play with, John chose the US. Everyone should be glad he did!
3. He Dreamt About This
No joke. After the Ghana game, John revealed that he had a premonition about his late heroics. “I told my teammates about it,” he told a reporter. “In my dream, I scored in the 80th minute and we won the game. I scored on a header from a corner kick.” Wow — John was only six minutes off in his dream.
So HollywoodLifers, which US soccer star do you love the most? Let us know.
— Andrew Gruttadaro