The Theatre of Dreams

August 6, 2012
Manchester, England
7:45 PM
Here’s the story of the goal behind the epic women’s soccer rivalry that exists between the United States and Canada today. It was the semifinal match of the London 2012 Summer Olympics and a spot in the final, the gold-medal match, was on the line. The game started relatively slowly with little action in the opening half, that was until Christine Sinclair opened the scoring for Canada with a goal in the 22nd minute after beating Hope Solo in a one versus one situation. The second half played out completely different, it was put simply, a goal fest. Five goals scored in the span of 26 minutes, leaving the game tied at three goals at the end of regulation.1 However, players and fans alike had to wait until almost the end of extra time to see the ball in the back of the net again. I don’t think anyone can say what comes next better than Arlo White, one of the commentators who called this game:
“Wambach, space on the right-hand side for Heather O’Reilly, Morgan in the Box, Wambach in the box, here comes the cross. OH ITS IN! ALEX MORGAN HAS DONE IT!”

Video of Alex Morgan’s goal in the 123rd minute in the 2012 London Olympics semifinal match against Canada 2

Alex Morgan’s 123rd minute goal proved to be the eventual game-winner leading the United States to a berth in the final against old foes, Japan. The heartbreak surrounding their defeat in the 2011 Women’s World Cup final in Germany was but a distant memory as the United States avenged their loss from the previous year with a 2-1 win in the gold-medal match. The United States-Japan game went on to earn NBC Sports Network its greatest number of viewers ever, 4.35 million people 3, setting the tone for the future of women’s soccer in the United States; all of this wouldn’t have been possible without Morgan’s last second heroics. I don’t think I could have scripted a more perfect game than the semifinal (with the exception of the 2015 Women’s World Cup final). However, for Canadians, their side of the story is quite different than the one I have been telling as Christine Sinclair and others took to criticizing the referees for their poor officiating, especially the delay of game call, as she lamented the fact that her team wasn’t able to compete for the gold.4 Despite the controversy which surrounded the game, in my opinion, the game was and always will be a classic as Alex Morgan’s goal is arguably the greatest in U.S Soccer history.

The Theatre of Dreams held up to its name that day as Alex Morgan and the entire United States team achieved a dream of their own, GLORY.



1 USSoccer, “U.S. Women’s National Team Defeats Canada 4-3 in Drama Filled Overtime Match to Qualify for Gold Medal Game at 2012 Olympics,” U.S. Soccer, January 21, 2016, , accessed January 31, 2018,

2 Peacedr99. “Alex Morgan Olympic Goal vs. Canada 2012.” YouTube. August 06, 2012. Accessed January 31, 2018.

3 “Olympics: USA/Japan Women’s Soccer Final Sets NBC Sports Network Record,” Sports Media Watch, March 27, 2013, , accessed January 31, 2018,

 4 Sean Fitz-Gerald, “Christine Sinclair still seething over referee in Olympic soccer semifinal loss to U.S.,”, October 08, 2012, 1, accessed January 31, 2018, Sinclair still seething over referee Olympic soccer semifinal loss/7071049/story.html.