Better game: 2002 men v. Portugal or 1999 Women v. China?

Discussion in 'MLS: General' started by Michael CM1, Dec 9, 2004.

  1. Michael CM1

    Michael CM1 New Member

    Jun 5, 2002
    Atlanta, Georgia: US
    I saw a replay of the 1999 game on ESPN Classic and forgot how amazing that game was. 90,000 people watching a soccer game in the US! I also remember the shock when John O'Brien (I think that's who it was) scored against Portugal. One WC launched a league for the women, another WC gave massive exposure to MLS.

    So I ask, which one was more amazing? I gotta say the 2002 game because of the US's history in World Cup play.
  2. FireFanInPackerLand

    Dec 8, 2004
    Chicago, IL
    Chicago Fire
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    In terms of which game does most of the non-soccer watching public remember? The 99 game above and beyond. How many times did we see "The Bra" spoofed on late night tv.

    In terms of development of the game in the United States and respect on the world stage, I would say the Portugal game because it showed that MLS was legit. Still minor league, but capable of producing top-notch players who could compete with the best from Europe.
  3. TrickHog

    TrickHog Moderator
    Staff Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Los Angeles, CA
    Los Angeles Galaxy
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    For me personally, the 2002 men's game was more exciting and a better game as far as the drama and suspense goes. Plus nobody expected that (even us diehard fans) so it had that great underdog upset drama to it.

    But I was one of the 90,000+ at the 99 women's game, and that crowd was electric. And I also witnessed the single greatest individual performance by a soccer player I've ever seen live in person. Michelle Akers shut down China virtually by herself and ran herself to the point of exhaustion. Once she had to leave the game, China started pounding the US defense and they were lucky to make it to the penalty shoot out.

    So, better game: 2002 men
    Better individual performance: 1999 women - Michelle Akers
  4. uclacarlos

    uclacarlos Member+

    Aug 10, 2003
    east coast
    FC Barcelona
    Nat'l Team:
    '99, w/o a doubt. '02 was the product of several years of build-up that proved to be a barometer of where MLS was.

    '99: I was there, and it was an amazing experience to be amongst 92K for a women's sporting event. It was so huge in terms of gender issues, both in the context of the future of women's sports and female athletes being respected b/c of their athletic prowess and not w/ the asterisk of their gender.

    For US soccer, it was h-uge b/c it showed that America will get behind a winner. It was tangible evidence that if the US cultivates its incredible resources and talent base, there will be legitimate backing in terms of commercial/consumer interest.

    In terms of overall world soccer, that sports bra incident took goal celebrations to a new plateau, which has since been crushed by FIFA. And it has happened b/c deep down, players respect what women have done.

    And they (women) are continuing to progress. There are now several federations that are maximizing their female programs potential b/c they have seen the viable economic possibilities. If the American public can get behind women's soccer, then hell yeah the Germans, Brazilians and Mexicans will support a winner, especially when the men are such primadonnas.
  5. superdave

    superdave Member+

    Jul 14, 1999
    VB, VA
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    China-US was boring boring boring. No comparison, the 2002 match was better.
  6. Sachin

    Sachin New Member

    Jan 14, 2000
    La Norte
    DC United
    Everyone remembers 2002 for the play on the field. Everyone remembers 1999 for what happened off it.

  7. billward

    billward Member

    Oct 22, 2002
    El Cerrito, CA
    San Jose Earthquakes
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I watched the 1999 WWC final last night too. It was a pretty exciting game, but I think that had more to do with the context than with the game itself. 90,000 people and prime time ABC coverage for a women's soccer event? I still pinch myself that it ever happened to begin with. I wish I was following soccer back then (I ignored it until the 2002 WC sucked me in), because I might have been there for the game if I had been.

    But all that having been said, the 2002 game was better, hands-down. For one thing, it had goals scored in it! And as great as the US women are, the rest of the world doesn't rank women's football very highly. To see the US men excel, however, made a much bigger difference in the eyes of the world.

    But to make men's soccer really matter, we need to do what the women did - win the gold at the Olympics and win the World Cup. Until that happens, the American public won't get behind our boys because Americans like to back a winner.
  8. striker

    striker Member+

    Aug 4, 1999
    What happened off the field in 1999?
  9. Sachin

    Sachin New Member

    Jan 14, 2000
    La Norte
    DC United
    Nothing negative. It was the context - Americans coming out to see a woman's team sport. Getting behind a winner, the girls of summer and all that jazz.

    As game, it was wholly unremarkable, IMHO.

  10. crestuden

    crestuden New Member

    Apr 5, 2001
    It boggles my mind they can show a 0-0 snorefest like the 99 championship game but never show an exciting 3-2 game like 2002. The US builds the early lead then has to fight for its life to keep the win. Just show the penalty kicks and the bra showing for the 99 match.
  11. blacktide

    blacktide Member

    Feb 25, 1999
    I popped in my US v Portugal tape and watched a bit of it. It was so totally unexpected what happened. On the pregame show, Rob, Paul and Dave are talking about not getting overwhelmed in the first 15 minutes, etc, etc. After the game they're sitting there with stunned looks on their faces. Dave says, "If you had told be the US would score 3 in the first half, I would not have believed it."

    I my mind Portugal was definitely the better game. Jack Edwards says "The US is drumming Portugal!" after McBride's goal with such an air of incredulousness that you just know this is historic.

    The Portugal game put the US Men and MLS on the world's radar.

    The women's game put the US Women on the US's public's radar.
  12. Cweedchop

    Cweedchop Member+

    Mar 6, 2000
    Ellicott City, Md

    That 99' game goes right up there along with the Revolution-Galaxy MLS Cup final in 02'.. The cure for insomnia...

    As for the game itself, the 99' game was tedious and boring.. Not much skilled shown, unless you consider aimless balls launched upfield a particular skill..

    There simply is no comparison between the 02' WC match and the 99' final from a soccer standpoint..

    Yes, the atmosphere in California was electric, just as it was in 94' when the US beat Colombia..

    A big step forward for sure for women's athletics, but then again, WUSA only lasted 3 years...
  13. lemons

    lemons Member

    United States
    Nov 20, 2004
    Atlanta United FC
    Well, I've gotta say the 2002 World Cup victory over Portugal was a much more satisfying game. However, in the 1999 game, Chastain did take off her shirt... :D
  14. MRschizoid21

    MRschizoid21 Member

    Nov 5, 2004
    Brooklyn, NY
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
  15. Northside Rovers

    Jan 28, 2000
    Austin TX
    FC Dallas
    Nat'l Team:
    United States

    The score that will live forver.
  16. Father Ted

    Father Ted BigSoccer Supporter

    Manchester United, Galway United, New York Red Bulls
    Nov 2, 2001
    Manchester United FC
    Nat'l Team:
    Ireland Republic
    To be honest I remember nothing about the 99 game except Chastain. The 02 game is another matter, I can describe each goal down to the finest detail.

    No comparision as to what was the better game.
  17. mcontento

    mcontento Member

    Jun 26, 2000
    Catalina Wine Mixer
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I'd honestly take the USA-Korea atmosphere over the '99 WC any day as well. In fact I'd put all the games including the Poland game as more watchable and exciting than the WWC final.

    I'd rank it like this:

    1) USA 3-2 Portugal -- Even though this was the WC opener let's face if before the WC started most fans would have considered this game OUR final because of what happened in 1998 as well as the fact that we were planning to have to dig out from an L to make it into round 2.

    2) USA 2-0 Mexico -- Maybe our most significant win ever but only possible after beating Portugal, also I was confident we would win, but still how we did it and being in the round of 16 made the anticipation and joy to watch so great.

    3) USA 0-1 Germany -- This game we dominated and should have won or at least been tied if it weren't for two things, that goddamned ref and Oliver Kahn. Freidel played well, but Kahn was a god that day. Still up to as late as Sanneh's near miss in the 89th minute I was on the edge of my seat thinking we'd pull it off. I'm not sure I'd ever gone to work so completely exhausted before due to my lack of being able to sleep and my emotions being drained from that loss.

    4) USA 1-1 Korea -- As I said I'll take 60,000 coordinated (both in voice and dress) chanting Red Devils as the atmosphere over 20,000 HAMMers (plus the other 70,000) screaming aimlessly at the top of their 13 yr old lungs for 90 minutes.

    5) USA 1-3 Poland -- In spite the loss mostly due to a 3 minute span where we had a goal called back and they scored while we argued, this was an entertaining game to watch. Also as I was scoreboard watching and clock watching at the same time my emotions were at nearly all time high levels. I remember yelling at the top of my lungs when they announced the Korea goal being scored, and falling to my knees saying "oh my f*ing god!" in disbelief when I knew we were through to the next round.

    6) The 1999 WWC final was a bore-fest as was stated earlier that if weren't for being the final I would have probably turned off instead of watching due to the tactics used by our team. China seemed to have showed up for the final more than us, we just were able to stifle them and win in the PKs. It was Bunker-Bob day in the Rose Bowl and doesn't compare favorably to any WC'02 game we played in.
  18. CUS

    CUS New Member

    Apr 20, 2000
    I was mainlining caffeine in '99 to stay awake. After JOB scored, I was so excited I couldn't even sit down. I had an all day buzz after that match.

    No comparison.

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