After scoring in the first minute and then leading the match for the next 81 minutes the United States Men’s National team conceded the equalizing goal to Ghana. Their hopes and dreams of three points in the opening group stage game appeared have disintegrated and it looked like hanging on to the draw was even be a tall task. Then, after Graham Zusi delivered a perfect corner kick, John Brooks scored an earth shaking goal. Here are four facts about the epic John Brooks game winner.
4.Youngest player to score in 2014 World Cup
At the age of 21 John Brooks’ goal against Ghana made him the youngest player to score in the 2014 World Cup. He has only participated in five matches with the senior national team and had only ever attempted one shot before his game winning header.
3. First USMNT Substitute To Score
The United States have participated in 10 World Cups over the past 84 years and have never had a substitute score a goal in a World Cup match. Brooks entered the match at halftime as a replacement for the injured Matt Besler. It was Jürgen Klinsmann’s second sub of the allowed three and each of the first two were forced due to hamstring injuries. The 21-year old Brooks was thrust into action, and his first touch was a miss-kick that nearly led to a Ghana goal.
2. Celebrations in the streets
Fans of the U.S. were gathered in bars, streets, and even on the Copacabana beach in Brazil to watch the American’s opening match. After the euphoria of the early goal wore off, American fans were simply hoping the team could hold on. Then, Ghana scored, and the collective air was let out of watch parties across the country. But when John Brooks scored, celebrations ensued. Check a few of them out here. Believe me, they are quite incredible. (It’s too bad there wasn’t a camera on me)
1. Brooks Had a Dream
After Brooks scored the goal, commentator Ian Darke said, “he couldn’t even have dreamt it.” As it turns out, John Brooks did dream it. Brooks told his teammates that he had a dream he scored on a header in the 80th minute that won the match against Ghana. In reality, it occurred in the 86th minute, but it was a header and it was a game winner. His teammates likely laughed at him knowing that not only was it unlikely the 6 foot 4 defender would score, but it was a long-shot he would even have a chance to play. Brooks says this is the first time he’s ever had a dream about a game, let’s hope his next one involves him standing on a podium holding up the World Cup.