Top Moment of 2012: The USWNT Match

A standing-room only crowd celebrated the Gold Medalist and honored coach Sundhage

Top Moment - Pia Sundhage farewell at DSG Park

Photo Credit: 
ColoradoRapids.com

As we close out 2012, I'm once again presenting my top soccer moments from the past year that were witness by the Rapids community at large. In 2011, I went with a top five. This year, I'm going with just Top Moments - you can decide their order. Check back between Dec. 21-30 for this year's highlights.

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August 6, 2012 was the date of one of the best soccer matches of the year. It was the unforgettable London Olympics Semifinal match between the U.S. Women's and the Canadian Women's teams.

You remember, right? When the U.S. ladies overcame three deficits during regulation and then Alex Morgan headed in the winner - in the 123rd minute - to send the U.S. to the Gold Medal match with a 4-3 victory for the ages.

Six weeks later, Morgan and her gold medal-winning teammates were playing Australia in a friendly at Dick's Sporting Goods Park in front of a standing-room only crowd of 18,589 screaming fans. That was a Top Moment that no one who was there will forget any time soon.

After that match, which the U.S. won, 6-2, I wrote about how special the crowd was. It was coach Pia Sundhage's last match at the helm before going home to Sweden to coach her country's national team. And she was sent off by a Colorado soccer community that represented the sentiment and appreciation of an entire nation of USWNT's fans.

WATCH: USWNT vs AUS POST-GAME

A national TV audience watched the game. ESPN's Sportcenter showed highlights and Pia's victory lap as she waived goodbye to the Colorado fans. USWNT fans all across the country had to be envious of everyone that was in attendance that night, and you know the 'feel good' vibe left an impression not only on the team, but also on the U.S. Soccer Federation.

Last week, U.S. Soccer President Sunil Gulati mentioned that Denver is a candidate to host one the U.S. Men's World Cup Qualifying matches next year.

"Denver has been good to us," he told Fox Soccer, this despite that the men haven't played here in four years.

I'm willing to bet that the crowd that supported the U.S. Women on September 18 made an impact on Gulati. It could be moment that sets up future high-profile soccer events coming to Colorado. Even if not, it was definitely a highlight from 2012.