Two years ago, Juan Agudelo and Mix Diskerud were given an opportunity, and they ran with it.
With a symphony of vuvuzelas providing the soundtrack in Cape Town, the two youngsters and relative unknowns were given a rare chance to compete with the senior U.S. national team, and they combined for a classy goal in enemy territory.
In the 85th minute, Agudelo played Diskerud forward into the box, and the Norwegian-American flicked the ball back to himself to create space from his defender before finding the return pass to the then-17-year-old Agudelo, who completed his run into the area.
Making his debut with the United States, Agudelo sent a rocket off the outside of his right foot to become the youngest American in the modern era to score a goal, burying host South Africa 1-0 and turning the hype machine into overdrive. The future of U.S. Soccer was in good hands, it certainly seemed.
Two years of mixed results on the club level later, Agudelo and Diskerud are back on the same stage, given yet another opportunity to prove they belong under the bright lights with the U.S. elite.