5. Blaise Signs - Sounders FC fans knew early on that the club had signed Swiss forward Blaise Nkufo before the 2010 World Cup. Some intrepid fans sought out his matches with FC Twente in Holland, but for most their first impression would come when Switzerland met Spain in the first match of the Group Stage in South Africa.
Playing as a lone forward as Switzerland tried to outlast heavily favored Spain, Nkufo helped the Swiss hold the ball and keep Spain from dominating with its overbearing style of play. The resulting 1-0 victory for Switzerland would mark the last time Spain would lose a match at any level for the next 29 matches, running through the World Cup and the 2012 European Championships before ending on July 1, 2013, with a loss to Brazil in the Confederations Cup.
4. Freddie Leads The Way - After seeing sparse time in 2002 due to injury, Freddie Ljungberg took center stage for Sweden in 2006. Coming off of a disappointing scoreless draw with Trinidad and Tobago in the first match, Sweden looked headed for the same fate against Paraguay in the second. However, Ljungberg headed in the game-winning goal in the 89th minute to lift Sweden to a 1-0 victory and they eventually got through to the Knockout Stage, only to fall to Germany in the Round of 16.
3. Dempsey Sets The Tone - In 2006, Clint Dempsey was a fresh-faced 23-year-old with five international goals to his credit looking to make a name for himself on the world's stage. A goal against Ghana would do just that as Dempsey crashed into the box to hammer in a cross from DaMarcus Beasley for his first World Cup goal. While the U.S. would fall in the match 2-1 and end its World Cup in the Group Stage, it set the tone for the ever-confident Dempsey, who went on to score in the 2010 World Cup and now has his sights on becoming the first U.S. player to score in three World Cups.
2. Keller Wows On World Stage - The U.S. was greatly outmanned when it faced Italy in the 2006 World Cup in Germany. However, Kasey Keller wasn't one to be intimidated by big names or big moments. Even when staring down a man-advantage for the eventual World Cup champions, Keller limited the All-World squad of Italy to just one goal in the Group Stage match, giving the U.S. hope going into the final match of the group. Unfortunately it would be a false hope, as the Americans fell to Ghana and were eliminated.
1. England Wins It All - In the history of the World Cup, only one player has ever scored a hat trick in the World Cup final. That man was one-time Sounder Geoff Hurst. Playing for England in the 1966 World Cup, Hurst played alongside another future Sounder, Bobby Moore. And while Moore was among the big stars in England at the time, it was Hurst that would take the spotlight in the final against West Germany. With a crowd of 98,000 at Wembley Stadium, the two European squads battled to a 2-2 draw after 90 minutes. Hurst made sure the home fans went home happy, though, scoring twice more in extra time as England lifted the trophy as 4-2 winners.