Our regular spring weather pattern of cold, damp drizzle has returned to the Pacific Northwest, and combined with new restrictions on access to parks and natural areas there is much less incentive to get outdoors for the foreseeable future. With that in mind we’re going to shift back to indoor activities for this week’s Freeform Friday.
We all miss watching soccer a great deal, and it’s wonderful that TV stations, teams and leagues have been stepping up to replay some classic matches from years past so we can all (re)watch them together and share in the joy or heartbreak. But there are many hidden gems and forgotten games that won’t get such treatment — old games where perhaps the video quality is subpar for today’s HD culture, or where the teams or leagues involved no longer exist, or that just aren’t “top 10” matches but still hold some special memory for you.
We’ve already talked about some of these games for the Sounders, and tonight we’ll do a shared thread for a classic Reign match. Today we want you to share your other favorite full match videos that are available to stream online for free. They can be from any league or international play, from any time. Share a link and tell us what makes the match special to you.
All we ask is that the game be full length (or close to it); not a Reign or MLS-era Sounders game; and the site be free to access, not be infested with pop-ups or malware, and to the best of your knowledge has the legal right to share the game.
I’ll start with a game that means a lot to me, the USWNT vs Canada from the semifinals of the 2012 London Olympics.
The USWNT had lost the World Cup final the year before to Japan in heartbreaking fashion, and was barely holding onto their position at the top of the FIFA rankings. Canada bombed out of the 2011 World Cup by losing all three games in the group stage, and had similarly struggled through the group stage at the Olympics, going 1-1-1 in the group stage and squeaking through to the knockout round on tiebreakers. The US were heavy favorites in their semifinal meeting, but no one could have predicted that Christine Sinclair would carry an entire nation on her back. I won’t spoil the result for those who haven’t seen it, but suffice to say the match featured a hat trick, an olimpico (the first ever at an actual Olympic game!), three equalizers, a wildly controversial indirect free kick call, and a goal at the death in extra time. Plus you might recognize a very familiar voice on the call.
Some other interesting matches that I’ve seen people share in comments and on Twitter over the past few weeks include the 1977 NASL Soccer Bowl (Sounders vs. Cosmos), the inaugural 1996 MLS match, and the 1999 Women’s World Cup final between the United States and China.
What are some of your favorite matches to rewatch?