United States men's national soccer team

United States men's national soccer team

Infobox National football team
Name = United States
Badge = US Soccer logo.svg
FIFA Trigramme = USA
Nickname = The Red, White and Blue
Association = United States
Soccer Federation

Confederation = CONCACAF
Coach = flagicon|USA Bob Bradley
Asst Manager = flagicon|Poland Peter Nowak
Most caps = Cobi Jones (164)
Top scorer = Landon Donovan (37)
Captain = Carlos Bocanegra
FIFA Rank = 21
FIFA max = 4
FIFA max date = April 2006
FIFA min = 35
FIFA min date = October 1997
Elo Rank = 15
Elo max = 11
Elo max date = July and September 2005
Elo min = 85
Elo min date = October 1968
pattern_la1 = _borderonwhite | pattern_b1 = _Us_kit | pattern_ra1 = _borderonwhite
leftarm1 = 000060 | body1 = FFFFFF | rightarm1 = 000060
shorts1 = 002868 | socks1 = FFFFFF
pattern_la2 = _redborder | pattern_b2 = _redcollar | pattern_ra2 = _redborder
leftarm2 = 444444 | body2 = 444444 | rightarm2 = 444444
shorts2 = 444444 | socks2 = 444444
First game = "Unofficial": flagicon|United States|1877 USA 0 - 1 fb-rt|Canada|1868 (Newark, NJ, USA; November 28, 1885) "Official": fb|Sweden 2 - 3 USA flagicon|United States|1912 (Stockholm, Sweden; August 20, 1916)
Largest win = flagicon|United States USA 8 - 0 fb-rt|Barbados (Carson, CA, USA; June 15, 2008)
Largest loss = fb|Norway 11 - 0 USA flagicon|United States|1912 (Oslo, Norway; 11 August 1948)
World cup apps = 8
World cup first = 1930
World cup best = 3rd, 1930
Regional name = CONCACAF Gold Cup
Regional cup apps = 9
Regional cup first = 1991
Regional cup best = Winners, 1991, 2002, 2005, 2007 | Confederations cup apps = 3
Confederations cup first = 1992
Confederations cup best = 3rd, 1992, 1999
American = true

The United States men's national soccer team is the national soccer team of the United States for men and is controlled by the United States Soccer Federation. They are currently ranked 21st in the FIFA World Rankings [cite web | title=October 2008 World Rankings |url=http://www.fifa.com/worldfootball/ranking/lastranking/gender=m/fullranking.html] and have appeared in five consecutive FIFA World Cups.


First international outside Britain

In 1885, the U.S. and Canada played the first unofficial international match held outside of Great Britain. The Canadians defeated the Americans 1-0 in Newark, New Jersey. [As the US-Canada match was unofficial, the first official match outside Britain was held in 1901 between Argentina and Uruguay.] The American side had their revenge the following year, in 1886, when they beat the Canadians 1-0, also in Newark. These two matches were the only internationals played outside of the United Kingdom in the 19th century. Thirty years later, the Americans would play their first "official" international match by traveling to face Sweden in Stockholm, where the USA won 3-2.

Olympic medals

The U.S. has earned two Olympic medals in men's soccer, a silver and a bronze in the 1904 Summer Olympics held in Saint Louis, Missouri. The tournament only featured three teams: Galt F.C. from Canada, and Christian Brothers College and St. Rose Parish from the host nation. Galt defeated both U.S. teams for the gold medal, while Christian Brothers defeated St. Rose in their third match, after two scoreless draws.

1930: First World Cup

First win ever

In the 1930 FIFA World Cup, the U.S. won the first match in World Cup history, defeating Belgium 3-0 at Estadio Gran Parque Central in Montevideo, Uruguay. The match occurred simultaneously with another "first game" across town in Estadio Pocitos where France defeated Mexico. FIFA has commemorated the American victory as the first World Cup match on two occasions, in 1987 and 2005. [ [http://www.rsssf.com/tables/30full.html World Cup 1930 finals ] ]

First World Cup hat trick

In the next fixture, USA again won 3-0, this time against Paraguay. Some controversy had ensued for seven decades over the scoring, as American Bert Patenaude may or may not have scored the first hat-trick in World Cup history. FIFA had generally maintained that Patenaude scored only two goals, the second of the three goals being credited to teammate Tom Florie, [cite web | title=FIFA: USA - Paraguay match report| publisher=FIFA | url=http://fifaworldcup.yahoo.com/06/en/w/pwc/mr_1097.html| accessdate=2006-06-09] but his teammates and the U.S. Soccer Federation among other sources credited Patenaude with notching three.cite web | title= CNN/Sports Illustrated - Bert Patenaude | publisher=CNN | url=http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/soccer/world/2002/world_cup/hof/patenaude/ | accessdate=2006-06-09] cite web | title= Planet World Cup - World Cup Trivia | publisher="PlanetWorldCup.com" | url=http://www.planetworldcup.com/STATS/statrecs.html | accessdate=2006-06-09] Other sources claimed that it was an own goal by Paraguayan Ramon Gonzales. [cite web | title=The Football Association 20 World Cup Facts | publisher=The FA | url=http://www.thefa.com/Features/EuropeanLeagues/Postings/2002/05/12004.htm | accessdate=2006-06-09] cite web | title=RSSSF - THE FIRST WORLD CUP HAT TRICK| publisher=RSSSF |url=http://www.rsssf.com/tables/30f-hattrick.html | accessdate=2006-06-09]
However, FIFA announced on 10 November 2006 that it had accepted evidence from "various historians and football fans" and received confirmation from the United States Soccer Federation that Patenaude scored all three goals, and was indeed the first person to score a hat-trick in World Cup play, clearing up a 76-year-old error. [cite web | title = American Bert Patenaude credited with first hat trick in FIFA World Cup history | publisher = FIFA | url=http://www.fifa.com/en/media/index/0,1369,125346,00.html|accessdate=2006-11-10] [cite web | title = FIFA World Cup hat-tricks | publisher = FIFA | url=http://www.fifa.com/infoplus/IP-399_03A_hat-tricks.pdf | accessdate=2006-11-10]


In that first World Cup, the American side lost a one-sided match to Argentina, 6-1, after advancing to the semi-finals. This is still the all-time highest World Cup finish by the men's team. The 1930 tournament was unique in that no third place match was played and no third place trophy was awarded to either the United States or fellow semi-finalists Yugoslavia. However, FIFA documents have listed the U.S. finish as 3rd place, a designation that was apparently retroactive. It remains unclear whether FIFA simply chose to list the U.S. above Yugoslavia for alphabetical reasons or because the U.S. had a superior goal difference to Yugoslavia over the course of the tournament.

Some football historians have claimed that the U.S. team at that competition was loaded with non-native players from British professional leagues, but although six members of the 1930 team were British-born, only one player had a brief experience at the third level of the English league system, and all had lived in the United States for at least two years. [For more details on this issue, see [http://www.rsssf.com/usadave/usawc30.html Allaway, Roger, and Colin Jose, "The myth of British pros on the 1930 U.S. team"] .]

1950: Victory against England

The 1950 FIFA World Cup is memorable in the English-speaking world for the U.S. team pulling off one of the greatest upsets in football history, handing England a devastating result in its first ever World Cup loss, 1-0, after England had recently beaten the rest of Europe 6-1 in an exhibition match. A recent movie named "The Miracle Match" commemorates the upset. Like England, the U.S. failed to advance from group play after losing to Chile and Spain. It would be four decades before the USA would again make an equivalent impression at the highest international level.


After the growing enthusiasm caused by the rise of the North American Soccer League (NASL) in the 1970s, it seemed at times as if the U.S. national team would soon become powerful players in world football. Such hopes were not realized, and USA were not considered a strong side in this era. From 1981 to 1983, only two international matches were played.

Team America in the NASL

To provide a more stable national team program, and renew interest in the domestic league, the U.S. national team, playing as Team America, was added as a member of the NASL in the 1984 season. This side lacked the continuity and regularity of training of conventional club sides, and many players were unwilling to play for this team instead of their own clubs. Team America finished the season at the bottom of the league. Recognizing that it had not achieved their objectives, USSF cancelled this experiment and the national team was withdrawn from the NASL.

1984 Olympics

USSF targeted the 1984 Summer Olympics, held in Los Angeles, and the 1986 FIFA World Cup as means of building a national team fan base. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) provided what appeared to be a major boost to the U.S.'s chances of advancing beyond the group stage when it declared that Olympic teams from outside Europe and South America could field their full international teams, including professionals. USSF immediately rearranged its Olympic team roster, cutting many of the collegiate players, and replacing them with professionals. Despite this, the U.S. finished 1-1-1 and failed to make the second round.

Failure to qualify for 1986 World Cup

The USSF had applied to host the 1986 World Cup, but Mexico eventually won the right to hold the tournament.

In the last game of the qualifying tournament, U.S. needed only a tie against Costa Rica, whom they had beaten 3-0 in the Olympics the year before, to reach the final qualification group against Honduras and Canada. The USSF, controversially, scheduled the game at El Camino College in Torrance, California, in an area with many Costa Rican expatriates, and allowed the game to be marketed almost exclusively to the Costa Rican community, even providing Costa Rican folk dances as half time entertainment. [http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/inside_game/michael_lewis/news/2000/11/10/lewis_history/] A 35th minute goal by Evaristo Coronado won the match for Costa Rica, and eliminated the U.S. from the World Cup. [http://us-soccer.com/secured/articles/viewArticle.jsp_3063.html]

National team begins to revive

By the end of 1985, there was no domestic senior outdoor league, [ [http://select.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F00C1EFA355C0C718EDDAD0894DD484D81&n=Top%2fReference%2fTimes%20Topics%2fSubjects%2fS%2fSoccer U.S. Soccer Team Hindered] ] and many top U.S. players, such as John Kerr, Paul Caligiuri, Eric Eichmann and Bruce Murray moved overseas, primarily to Europe.

In 1988, USSF offered contracts to national team players, to build a team for international matches with something of a club ethos. The national team owned the players' contracts, then loaned these players out to their club teams. This brought several players back to the sport, and combined with an influx of talent from a burgeoning grass-roots level, the team qualified for the 1990 FIFA World Cup and won the 1991 CONCACAF Gold Cup.


1990 World Cup

In 1989, FIFA named the U.S. as host of the 1994 World Cup, but it was under significant international criticism for this decision because of the weakness of the national side and the lack of a top level professional leagueFact|date=July 2008. This criticism was relievedFact|date=July 2008 somewhat when, by winning their first game on the road in nearly two years in a 1-0 victory over Trinidad and Tobago through a 35th minute goal by Paul Caligiuri, U.S.A. reached the 1990 World Cup in Italy, its first World Cup finals berth in 40 years.

For the World Cup, coach Bob Gansler selected many inexperienced recent college graduates: two of the team's most seasoned professionals, Rick Davis and Hugo Perez, were recovering from serious injuries and unavailable. They were beaten 5-1 by Czechoslovakia in its opening game, Caligiuri scoring the consolation goal. The match against host team Italy resulted in a 1-0 defeat. In the U.S.’s last game, the team fell 2-1 to Austria. The U.S. were eliminated with a 0-3 record.

CONCACAF Cup success

In March 1991, the U.S. national team won the North America Cup, tying Mexico 2-2 and beating Canada 2-0. This was followed in May by a 1-0 victory over Uruguay in the World Series of Soccer. The national team then went undefeated in the 1991 Gold Cup, beating Mexico 2-0 in the semifinals and Honduras 0-0 (4-3 on penalty kicks) in the final. In 1992, the U.S. continued its run of success, taking the U.S. Cup title with victories over Ireland and Portugal, followed by a tie with Italy.

1994 World Cup hosts

The controversy over the United States having been awarded the 1994 FIFA World Cup, despite soccer being relatively unpopular in the country had continued until the tournament started. Despite soccer's lowly position in the U.S. sports' hierarchy, the 1994 tournament still holds the World Cup record for attendance at nearly 70,000 per match. [ [http://www.planetworldcup.com/CUPS/1994/wc94story.html Planet World Cup - 1994 - Story of USA '94 ] ] The U.S. opened its tournament schedule with a 1-1 tie against Switzerland in the Pontiac Silverdome in Detroit, Michigan, the first World Cup game played indoors. In its second game, the U.S. faced Colombia, ranked fourth in the world, at the Rose Bowl. Aided by an own goal from Andrés Escobar, who was later murdered in his home country for, it is believed, this mistake, the U.S. won 2-1. Despite a 1-0 loss to Romania in its final group game, the U.S. made it to the knockout round for the first time in modern history, avoiding becoming the first host nation not to advance from the group stage.

In the second round, the U.S. lost to eventual champion Brazil, 1-0. Brazil played much of the match with only 10 players after a red card was given to Leonardo for "shattering Tab Ramos's skull with a brutally-delivered elbow." [ [http://soccernet.espn.go.com/columns/story?id=370490&root=worldcup&&cc=5901 ESPNsoccernet - World Cup - 'Winning is the only option' ] ]

Disappointment in France

In the 1998 World Cup, the team lost all three group matches, including a loss to Iran, and finished in last place in its group. In fact, the team finished in last place overall-- placing 32nd in the field of 32. Head coach Steve Sampson received much of the blame for the performance as a result of abruptly cutting team captain John Harkes and several other players who were significant to the qualifying effort.cite web | title= Sampson destroyed US unity with late changes to lineup | work=SoccerTimes.com | url=http://www.soccertimes.com/oped/1998/jun27.htm| accessdate = 2006-06-08]


2002 World Cup in Korea and Japan

The team won the 2002 Gold Cup to set up the team's best performance since 1930 in the 2002 World Cup, when the US team reached the quarterfinals. The knockout stage was reached through a 3-2 win over Portugal and a 1-1 tie with co-host and eventual fourth place finisher, South Korea.

This set the stage for a Round 2 face-off with familiar continental rivals Mexico. The U.S. emerged victorious in the first World Cup showdown between the two old adversaries, 2-0. The team lost 1-0 to eventual runners-up Germany in the quarterfinals. Michael Ballack, who scored the winner in the match, said that the Germans were "lucky" to win the game, [Citation |last=Blum |first=Ronald |title=Angst for Germans over World Cup warmup |url=http://www.usatoday.com/sports/soccer/national/2006-03-21-us-germany-advance_x.htm |accessdate=2007-11-07] reflecting the view that the United States were the better team. [Citation |last= |first= |title=Germany beat valiant USA |url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport3/worldcup2002/low/matches_wallchart/germany_v_usa/newsid_2049000/2049234.stm |accessdate=2007-11-07] Goalkeeper Oliver Kahn is often given credit for the victory. [Citation |last= |first= |title=Kahn praised after keeping USA at bay |url=http://soccernet.espn.go.com/wc/story?id=218404&lang=us |accessdate=2007-11-07] [Citation |last= |first= |title=Ballack salutes Kahn |url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport3/worldcup2002/low/matches_wallchart/germany_v_usa/newsid_2055000/2055231.stm |accessdate=2007-11-07] Former Germany captain and national icon Franz Beckenbauer said, "America were clearly the better team for 90 minutes." [Citation |last= |first= |title=Beckenbauer:Germany were lucky |url=http://soccernet.espn.go.com/wc/story?id=218421&lang=en |accessdate=2007-11-07] The match was controversial in that an American goal was averted late in the match by the ball striking Torsten Frings' arm on the goal line.

USA won its second Gold Cup of the last three with the 2005 Gold Cup.

2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany

:"Additional information: 2006 FIFA World Cup - Group E":"Additional information: 2006 FIFA World Cup seeding"

Although it finished at the top of its qualifying group, the United States was unseeded (only top 8 teams received seeds). After changes were made to the seeding process from past processes, more weight was given to a team's/nation's previous World Cup success. The United States was drawn in Group E for the 2006 FIFA World Cup, along with Czech Republic, Italy and Ghana. With three of the top 10 sides in the FIFA rankings in the group, it was considered a Group of Death.

The USA opened with a 3-0 loss to Czech Republic. [ [http://fifaworldcup.yahoo.com/06/en/w/match/10/mr.html FIFA match report] , "accessed on June 16, 2006"] The team then drew 1-1 against Italy, helped by an Italian own goal: red cards were shown to Pablo Mastroeni and Eddie Pope just before and immediately following the halftime break for reckless tackles, forcing the US team to play nearly all of the second half with nine players to Italy's ten. The USA was knocked out in its final group match against Ghana, who defeated the Americans 2-1.cite web | title=Ghana 2-1 USA | publisher=BBC | url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/football/world_cup_2006/4853408.stm | accessdate=2006-06-23]

After going winless in Italy 1934, Italy 1990, France 1998, and Germany 2006, the U.S. is left still searching for its first victory in a World Cup held on European soil. The tie against Italy was USA's first point earned in a World Cup on European soil; the Cristian Zaccardo own goal was also the only goal conceded by Italy until France scored in the final on a penalty kick by Zinedine Zidane.

Rebuilding after the World Cup

After the 2006 World Cup, manager Bruce Arena's contract was not renewed. He was replaced, but initially only on an interim basis, by Chivas USA coach Bob Bradley. In addition to being the interim manager of the senior team, Bradley was named manager of the Under-23 team as well, a position he would surrender to his assistant Peter Nowak after the interim tag was removed from his title with the full national team. Their reign started with 4 wins and one draw in friendlies leading up to the 2007 CONCACAF Gold Cup, hosted by the USA.

They won all three of their group stage matches, against Guatemala, Trinidad & Tobago and El Salvador on June 12, 2007 at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts and and so reached the quarterfinals as winner of Group B.

With a 2-1 win over Panama in the quarterfinals, they advanced to face Canada in the semi-final, with goals Landon Donovan and Frankie Hejduk contributing to a 2-1 win. In the final, the USA came from behind to beat Mexico 2-1 in the tournament's final at Chicago's Soldier Field. [cite web | title= U.S. defeats Mexico again in Gold Cup final | publisher=MSNBC| url=http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/19392141/ | accessdate=2007-06-30] The match saw Landon Donovan equal Eric Wynalda's all time goal tally of 34 goals for the national side before Benny Feilhaber's 77th minute strike brought the Americans their fourth CONCACAF Gold Cup victory, equalling Mexico for most Gold Cup wins. [ [http://www.fifa.com/confederationcup/qualifiers/index.html FIFA.com ] ]

The team's Copa América 2007 campaign ended after three defeats in the group stage, against Argentina, Paraguay and Colombia. The decision by U.S. Soccer to field what many considered a second tier team was questioned. [cite web|url=http://soccernet.espn.go.com/news/story?id=443456&cc=3888 |title=South American soccer federation miffed at U.S. |publisher=ESPNsoccernet |date=2007-07-04 |accessdate=2007-07-04]

Four wins and two draws in ten friendlies lead into the Second Round, to which the U.S. and other top CONCACAF sides had received a bye. The U.S. beat Barbados 8–0 in the first leg, the largest margin in the team's history, and won the second leg 0-1, to advance to Group 1 of the Third Round along with Guatemala, Trinidad and Tobago, and Cuba. The U.S. successfully began group play with two closely fought 0-1 away wins against Guatemala and Cuba.

In the time since Bob Bradley has taken the reigns of the national team he has garnered praise for capping a large number of players, many of whom for the very first time. [cite web|last=Krishnaiyer|first=Kartik|url=http://www.majorleaguesoccertalk.com/bob-bradleys-us-squad-stale-and-predictable/341|title=Bob Bradley’s US Squad Stale and Predictable|date=2008-08-15|work=Major League Soccer Talk] This has coincided with many young American players like Jozy Altidore, Clint Dempsey, Freddy Adu, and Maurice Edu making their move to European clubs, which means that many more American players are gaining experience at both the club and international level.

chedule and recent results

Matches from the past six months, as well as any future scheduled matches.

Top scorers

The following players are the top scorers in national team history:

Head coaches

*flagicon|United States Thomas Cahill (1916–1924)
*flagicon|United States George Burford (1924–1925)
*flagicon|England flagicon|United States Nat Agar (1925–1926)
*flagicon|United StatesGeorge Burford (1928)
*flagicon|Scotland Robert Millar (1929–1933)
*flagicon|Scotland David Gould (1933–1934)
*flagicon|United States Bill Lloyd (1934–1937)
*No Coach from 1938–1946
*flagicon|Scotland Andrew Brown (1947–1948)
*flagicon|United States Walter Giesler (1948–1949)
*flagicon|United States Bill Jeffrey (1949–1952)
*flagicon|England John Wood (1952–1953)
*flagicon|Hungary Erno Schwarz (1953–1955)
*flagicon|United States George Meyer (1957)
*flagicon|United States Jim Reed (1959–1961)
*flagicon|United States John Herberger (1964)
*flagicon|United States George Meyer (1965)
*flagicon|Wales Phil Woosnam (1968)
*flagicon|England Gordon Jago (1969)
*flagicon|United States Bob Kehoe (1971–1972)
*flagicon|Poland Max Wosniak (1973)
*flagicon|United States Eugene Chyzowych (1973)
*flagicon|England Gordon Bradley (1973)
*flagicon|West Germany Dettmar Cramer (1974)
*flagicon|United States Al Miller (1975)
*flagicon|West Germany Manny Schellscheidt (1975)
*flagicon|United States Walter Chyzowych (1976–1980)
*flagicon|Hungary flagicon|United States Bob Gansler (1982)
*flagicon|Greece Alkis Panagoulias (1983–1985)
*flagicon|West Germany Lothar Osiander (1986–1988)
*flagicon|Hungary flagicon|United States Bob Gansler (1989–1991)
*flagicon|United States John Kowalski (1991)
*flagicon|Serbia flagicon|Mexico Bora Milutinović (1991–1995)
*flagicon|United States Steve Sampson (1995–1998)
*flagicon|United States Bruce Arena (1998–2006)
*flagicon|United States Bob Bradley (2006–present)



*FIFA World Cup:"Third Place (1):" 1930

*Summer Olympics*:"Silver Medal (1):" 1904:"Bronze Medal (1):" 1904

*FIFA Confederations Cup:"Third Place (2):" 1992, 1999


*CONCACAF Championship and CONCACAF Gold Cup:"Champions (4):" 1991, 2002, 2005, 2007:"Runners-Up (3):" 1989, 1993, 1998:"Third Place (2):" 1996, 2003

* - Before the FIFA World Cup began in 1930 the Football Tournament at the Summer Olympics was considered both a full international tournament and the World Championship of Football. Since then it has become a mostly youth international tournament (Currently U-23 plus 3 "overage" players), at least for men. This is why Uruguay, for example, considers its two gold medals from 1924 and 1928 summer Olympic games as tantamount to its two World Cup victories in 1930 and 1950.

ee also

*Soccer in the United States
*United States women's national soccer team
*United States Soccer Federation
*U.S. Soccer Athlete of the Year
*US National Soccer Team Players Association
*England v United States (1950)
*Major League Soccer
*U.S. Men's National Soccer Team (Record)
*USMNT 2008 Results
*United States U-23 men's national soccer team
*United States U-20 men's national soccer team
*USA and Mexico football rivalry


External links

* [http://www.ussoccer.com/ Official Website]
* [http://usa.worldcupblog.org/ USA National Team Blog]
* [http://www.sover.net/~spectrum/usamen1.html Archive of U.S. national team results 1885–1979]
* [http://www.sover.net/~spectrum/usamen2.html Archive of U.S. national team results 1980-]
* [http://www.worldfootballregister.com/hat-trick/male/international/uruguay/international/fifa-world-cup/united-states/open/bert-patenaude/217394328109977/ Bert Patenaude's hat-trick] , the first ever hat-trick scored in the FIFA World Cup
* [http://www.slate.com/id/2168476/fr/flyout Photo essay on the history of U.S. Soccer, from the perspective of a fashionista.]


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