Roberto Baggio, David Beckham, John Terry, Dwayne De Rosario, Brian Ching?

Penalty shoot-outs in fútbol are the bane of many a fan of said sport, but I think it is the haters that have the biggest problem with them.

Personally, I like the drama, the suspense, the finality of the thing. This despite the fact that my childhood was scarred by México’s inability to win a World Cup shootout (whether 1-4 in ’86 against Germany or 1-3 in ’94 against Bulgaria).

I’m guessing El Tri‘s shoot out woes have to do with our succession of vertically-challenged keepers (yes I know the current squad had a couple of “giant” 6-footers).

Back to the title of this post: What do these 5 guys have in common? They all fell prey to the same phenomenon: stars who choked during penalty shoot-outs costing their team the game.

The last 2 add their names to the list after their performance in last night’s SuperLiga final between the Houston Dynamo and New England Revolution. (the hometown Dynamo lost in a shoot-out)

Yes, I know that the 1994 World Cup final (Baggio, Italy), Euro 2004 quarters (Beckham, England), 2008 Champions League final (Terry, Chelsea) are infinitely bigger stages than a contrived tournament like SuperLiga, but why do star players continue to peter out at crunch time?

One of life’s great enigmas…

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