13. Manchester United defeats Aston Villa to win the EPL in Fergie’s final bow
Robin van Persie notched a brilliant hat trick to send Sir Alex Ferguson into retirement with style, giving Manchester United the 3-0 victory over Aston Villa for the club’s 20th EPL title.
12. Nigeria wins the Cup of Nations final against Burkina Faso
Despite being losing finalists in 1984, 1988, 1990 and 2000, Nigeria was not a strong favorite to win.. But thanks in large part to the head coach Stephen Keshi’s tactics and a cohesive team, Nigeria won their first Cup of Nations title since 1994 on February 10, 2013.
A game that will live in infamy, “Snowclasico” gave the USA their first three points of the Hex in March 2013. A wicked storm put the Dick’s Sporting Goods park under A TON of snow. Clint Dempsey scored the game’s only goal in the 16th minute. The second the final whistle blew, all of Costa Rica complained, elevating the Yanks/Ticos rivalry to a whole new level.
8. Sporting KC captures the MLS Cup
In one of the more exciting play off series in MLS history, Sporting KC topped Real Salt Lake on December 7 (in an ugly, cold match) at home to claim the league title.
7. Mexico beats New Zealand to reach 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™
Mexico’s road to Brazil has been rough, to say the least. Former coach Jose Manuel de la Torre lost his job in September 2013 with three games left in qualifying. With Victor Manuel Vucetich at the helm and a young squad on the pitch, Mexico soundly beat New Zealand to book their ticket to the 2014 FIFA World Cup™.
6. USA wins the CONCACAF Gold Cup
2013 was a big year for the red, white and blue. Patient USA fans saw the product of a lot of hard fromthe team and Jurgen Klinsmann throughout the year, but a huge turning point came in this match, with Brek Shea’s game-winner in the 68th minute to lift the USA to a 1-0 victory over Panama.
5. Portugal, France triumph in 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™ qualifying playoffs
These play-offs reminded us just how much we love the beautiful game. From Cristiano Ronaldo’s goals that lifted Portugal ahead of Sweden to France’s explosive second leg performance against Ukraine, these playoff gave the world a brilliant glance of what’s to come in the summer.
4. Wigan wins the FA Cup
The 2013 FA Cup was the first major trophy for Wigan Athletic in the club’s 81 year history. Although Wigan was the underdog in the match and capitalized on an early red card to Manchester City, they played a hard-fought match worthy of a title.
2. Brazil wins the Confederations Cup™
A young squad of rising stars, host country Brazil defeated giants Spain to claim the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup. Is this an indication of how the 2014 FIFA World Cup™ might go?
1. USA beats Mexico to qualify for 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™
Sweet, sweet victory. In a banner year for the USMNT, the boys in red, white and blue defeated continental rival Mexico at Columbus Crew Stadium to qualify for the 2014 FIFA World Cup™ in September 2013.