SiriusXM FC looks back at the 11 best matches from the 2014 season.

1 – June 17, 2014: FIFA World Cup Group Stage: USA 2 – Ghana 1

The revenge game.

Not only did the US Men’s National Team draw the group of death for the 2014 World Cup, they were pitted against the country that knocked them out in the two previous World Cups – Ghana.

An early goal for the U.S. from Captain America, AKA Clint Dempsey, an equalizer from Ghana, then delirium four minutes from time courtesy of John Anthony Brooks.

Even though it was the first game of the tournament for the USA, it is why they advanced to the knockout rounds. A moment no one will ever forget.

2 – July 13, 2014: FIFA World Cup Final: Germany 1 – Argentina 0

The 2014 World Cup final pitted the best team in the world against the best player.

Lionel Messi had carried Argentina through the group stage, scoring a couple magesterial goals along the way. Germany was coming off one of the most awe-inspiring performances in World Cup history in the semifinals against Brazil.

The evenly matched game fittingly went into extra time and super sub Mario Gotze scored a sensational goal in the 113th minute, becoming the first substitute to score a World Cup-winning goal.

Mario Gotze’s game-winning goal for Germany

3 – UEFA Champions League Final – Real Madrid 4 – Atlético Madrid 1

La Decima.

Real Madrid cruised through the group stage of the Champions League with the best goal differential (plus-15) of any team, but in the final, Los Blancos went up against Atlético Madrid. A week earlier, Atléti topped Barcelona to win La Liga, and here, were tantalizing close to the double. Real survived thanks to Sergio Ramos’ header three minutes into stoppage time.

Extra time proved too much for Atlético as the stars came out, and Madristas worldwide celebrated when Cristiano Ronaldo iced the game by converting a penalty kick in the 120nd minute. It was his 17th of the UCL campaign, most ever in a single season.

4 – FA Cup Final – Arsenal 3 – Hull City 2

It’s may not be the Champions League or the Premier League, but for Arsenal, it was a piece of silverware. The win ended a nine year drought and, for a few days ended a website. The website is back and Arsenal, languishing in mid-table, can only hope for fourth place in the Barclays Premier League.  Baby steps.

5 – July 8, 2014: FIFA World Cup Semifinals: Germany 7 – Brazil 1

Nobody saw this coming.

Brazil, the host nation, was in the semifinals. The entire football-loving nation believed this World Cup was a birthright, and facing Germany was a formality.

Even with star forward Neymar out with a back injury, a win over Germany was a given before raising the World Cup in Rio de Janeiro’s fabled Maracanã, and setting off celebrations across the country, right?


The Germans wrote themselves into the record books with what many will consider the most decisive victory in tournament history.

Thomas Muller claimed his second straight Golden Boot, Miroslav Klose tallied his record-breaking 16th World Cup goal and social media lit up across the globe as Die Mannschaft led 5-0 after 30 minutes.

Who remembers the second half?

6 – May 17, 2014: La Liga Finale: Atlético Madrid 1 – Barcelona 1

After nine straight seasons, Diego Simeone and Atlético Madrid released La Liga from the stranglehold of Real Madrid and Barcelona.

Atléti’s entire season was about Simeone getting his parts to play better as a whole. Diego Costa emerged as one of the more prolific strikers in the world and Thibaut Courtois was the rising star among goalkeepers.

Yet all season long, the story was about the team, and this match personified that notion when Diego Costa limped off in the first half, followed by playmaker Arda Turan. Alexi Sanchez opened the scoring for Barcelona, but Atlético knew a draw would be good enough, and stayed the course until Diego Godin found an equalizer for the title.

Barca would have won the league with a victory.

7 – May 5, 2014: Barclays Premier League: Crystal Palace 3 – Liverpool 3

If Liverpool fans had any doubt that their team could win the league last season, this game epitomized every worry.

Knowing the title could be decided on goal difference, the Reds didn’t sit on a 3-0 advantage – not against lowly Crystal Palace.

The football gods and Dwight Gayle doled out a heaping bowl of humility over the span of nine minutes to the delight of Manchester City fans.

Luis Suarez would lead the league in scoring, but Liverpool would have to take solace in the fact that secound place meant a place in the Champions League.

8 – March 23, 2014: La Liga: Barcelona 4 – Real Madrid 3

El Clásico.

It captures a worldwide audience of over 600 million people and for good reason – no other game has the same kind of star power.

Not every rivalry game lives up to the hype. This exceeded it.

Marred by injury, Lionel Messi was not having the best of seasons while Cristiano Ronaldo was dazzling Europe en route to breaking his Champions League single-season scoring record. Messi’s response? A hat trick, of course, becoming the all-time leading goal scorer in El Clasico history, surpassing Real Madrid legend Alfredo Di Stefano. He also set up Andres Iniesta for the first goal of the game.

Bragging rights to Barcelona.

9 – Dec. 7, 2014: MLS Cup Final: Los Angeles 2 – New England 1 (AET)

Landon Donovan finally got his storybook ending.

Major League Soccer’s all-time leading goal scorer and assist man hoisted his record sixth championship trophy after the LA Galaxy downed the New England Revolution, 2-1 in extra time. League MVP Robbie Keane won similar honors in this match after scoring the game-winning goal.

The Galaxy are the first franchise to win MLS Cup five times, and Donovan played a leading part in four. New England lost their fifth final.

MLS adds two new teams in 2015 – but who will be the new torchbearer in US soccer?

10 – July 1, 2014: FIFA World Cup Round of 16: Belgium 2 – USA 1

There are watershed moments in a player’s career, and this was it for USA goalkeeper Tim Howard.

His 16-save performance goes down as one of the all-time great games by a goalkeeper in World Cup history. No one saved more shots in a game on the world’s biggest stage.

GIF via Yahoo! Sports

Belgium outplayed the United States in nearly every facet of the game. The only thing preventing the game from becoming a blowout? The great bearded one parrying shots away from point-blank range, saving the defense time and time again.

It sparked a world-wide phenomenon about things Howard could have saved. Everything from Mufasa to Rob Stark.

11 – Nov. 25, 2014: UEFA Champions League Group Stage: Manchester City 3 – Bayern Munich 2

How good is Sergio Agüero? Well, he might’ve saved Manchester City’s season both in England and in Europe.

His hat trick against UCL favorites Bayern Munich kept the Citizens alive in Europe and reinvigorated the club domestically.

Trailing 10-men Bayern Munich at home late in the second half and facing the prospect of being bounced from the competition, Agüero’s heroics lifted City to victory.

Steve Wilson of the BBC joined Ray Hudson and Neil Barnett on The Football Show on Dec. 4 to talk about the impact of his goals.

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