On Sunday, the U.S. women’s national team gave defending champion Japan a good old-fashioned whooping in the FIFA World Cup final, in front of over 50,000 fans in Vancouver, Canada. It was redemption, too, as the Japanese team had beaten the U.S. team in a penalty shootout in the 2011 final. The U.S. dominated from the start, and rode the inspired play of Carli Lloyd, who scored a hat trick in the 5-2 victory, making the United States the first national squad to win the title three times. “I knew my time was going to come,” Lloyd said before the game.
And for each of the U.S.’s five goals, Telemundo announcer Andrés Cantor sang what Tablet contributor Alan Siegel called his “signature call—the tekiah gedolah of sports:”¡GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOL!
Cantor’s beloved trademark can be traced back to his childhood in Argentina, Siegel wrote, where “his Romanian and Polish grandparents immigrated before the Holocaust.”
As a kid, he religiously listened to games on the radio. The broadcasters, he remembers, were never afraid to let loose—especially when someone scored. “That’s the way I grew up listening to goals,” said Cantor, who moved with his parents to California as a teenager. “It was nothing new.”
Cantor may not have invented the emphatically protracted goal call, but during the last World Cup, in South Africa, he just about perfected it. On June 23, 2010, the United States took on Algeria for a spot in the knockout round. When American Landon Donovan scored the dramatic game winner in the 91st minute, Cantor unleashed a 30-second long blast of joy.
The call, which was actually broadcast on the radio, not on TV, soon found its way to YouTube. “I guess somebody was listening,” Cantor said. Since then, users have synched up the audio with the video, creating a sublime highlight reel. In soccer broadcasting, the line between exuberant and comically over the top can be thin. But in this case, Cantor’s goal call fit the situation perfectly. “If you can turn it up at the right moment, it’s good,” ESPN anchor Max Bretos, a longtime Cantor fan, said of his vocal style. “He does it well.”
Sports website Deadspin put together all five of Cantor’s elongated celebrations from yesterday’s historic victory. Enjoy it here.
And when you’re finished, here are the highlights of the U.S.’s victory:
Jonathan Zalman is a writer and teacher based in Brooklyn.