United States men's national soccer team

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United States United States
Nickname(s) The Stars and Stripes
Association United States Soccer Federation (USSF)
Confederation NACFC
FIFA ranking 46 Decrease 5 (31 December 1963)
Highest FIFA ranking 7 (1948-1950)
Lowest FIFA ranking 46 (1963)
First international  Sweden 3-1  United States
(Stockholm, Sweden; July 11, 1916)
World Cup appearances 4 (First in 1926)
Best result Third Place, 1938

Olympic medal record
Men's Football
Silver medal – second place 1932 Los Angeles Team

The United States national football team is the association football team that represents the country of the United States in international competition and is controlled by U.S. Soccer.

The team has appeared at four FIFA World Cups with their first appearance being at the 1926 FIFA World Cup. Their best would come twelve years later at the 1938 FIFA World Cup where they finished in third place as they defeated Portugal in the third-place playoff.

History[edit | edit source]

Early history[edit | edit source]

The formation of the United States team was way back in 1885 where they took on their rivals in Canada in an unofficial match. Matches between the two nations followed up until 1916 where they played their first official match against Sweden at Stockholm in 1916 with the national team losing 3-1. It wouldn't though be until 1925 where the United States would compete in their first international competition, the qualifiers for the 1926 FIFA World Cup which was held in Spain. Competing in Group 7 with Canada and Mexico, the Americans scored seven goals in the two games at Toronto with Thomas Florie being the leading goal-scorer of the campaign with three goals.

Though in the World Cup, the national team came in last place in a group which featured Netherlands, Yugoslavia and Hungary. This was mainly due to Dutch player Charles van Baat hat-trick as his team smashed the United States 7-0 in what at the time was the biggest defeat. They though would win their final game against Hungary by a single goal from Archie Stark. After again withdrawing from the 1928 Summer Olympics, the United States competed in qualifying for the 1930 FIFA World Cup which was held in Uruguay. After dispatching Mexico and Haiti with ease, they qualified through to the finals where they drawn to meet the Netherlands, Argentina and France. Once again, the Americans couldn't break through into the knockout stage, losing all three matches in the progress without scoring a single goal at all for the tournament.

Reaching the Semis[edit | edit source]

In 1932, the Americans were the host for the 1932 Summer Olympics which was held in Los Angeles. After they dispatched Japan in the opening round, they followed up with two massive upsets over Yugoslavia and Great Britain to qualify through to their first Olympic final where they took on Argentina. Unfortunately their dream run would end at that stage as they went on to lose to Argentina 4-1 in the gold medal match. The following year, the United States were only a step away from qualifying through to the 1934 FIFA World Cup which was held in Italy before a goal from Mexican player, Felipe Rosas sent the United States into the play-off where they would be eliminated by Romania.

After skipping the 1936 Olympics, they competed in the first NAFC Championship where they would finish behind Mexico in the 1937 edition. For the Americans, they wouldn't need to worry about Mexico in qualifying for the 1938 FIFA World Cup held in Argentina with the national team only needing to defeat Cuba in the qualifiers. With a completely different format compared to previous years, the Americans took on the Dutch East Indies in the opening round with George Nemchick scoring a hat-trick in the 5-0 demolition.

After an 85th minute goal from Ray Volz secured a spot in the semi-finals over Romania, they met the Netherlands once again for the third consecutive World Cup. Despite struggling early and conceding the opening two goals in the game, the Americans fought back into the match via Volz and Nemchick to level the match at two all. But a goal from Leen Vente would end the United States run in the World Cup. They would go on to win the third place playoff against Portugal to secure their highest place at a World Cup (to date).

The 50s of pain[edit | edit source]

After the national team struggled at the 1947 edition of the NAFC Championship, the team entered the 1948 Summer Olympics in the first round where Emilio Caprile would score four pass the American keeper as they would be bundeled out in the first round 8-0 to Italy. The Americans than entered the qualifying stage of the 1950 FIFA World Cup in the second round of North American qualifying. In a draw which featured Canada, Costa Rica and Cuba, Pete Matevich and Frank Wallace each scored three goals as the Americans finish top of the group and qualified with Costa Rica.

In the World Cup, they were drawn in Group D which featured Great Britain and Korea (who were both debutants), Romania and Yugoslavia. After losing the opening game 3-1 to Romania, the Americans recorded a 5-4 win over Korea with John Souza scoring a hat-trick in the victory. The following game against the British saw the Americans stay in the match until the 80th minute where Stan Mortensen broke the Americans hearts as Great Britain recorded a 1-0 win. The final match would be a two all with Yugoslavia. This was despite them leading the match on two separate occasions but they couldn't get the job done as Yugoslavia stole a point as the Americans finished third in the group.

After another disappointing first round exit at the 1952 Summer Olympics, the Americans would go on miss on qualifying all together for the 1954 FIFA World Cup after a shock nil all draw against Panama was then followed up by a 2-1 defeat to Mexico in the final match of the group to book the Mexicans a spot and the Americans to be bundled out. For the Americans, the game of football was drying up in which saw them lose 10-0 to Yugoslavia at the 1956 Summer Olympics before not even making the final round of qualifying for the 1958 FIFA World Cup after losing out to Canada in their group.

The non qualification run continued into the late 50s and then early 60s with the United States finishing second at the 1959 Pan American Games with their two losses against Mexico and Argentina. In 1960, the United States competed in the first round of qualifying for the 1962 FIFA World Cup which was being held in Mexico. For the Americans, they finished top of the group ahead of Nicaragua to qualify to the final round where they would take on Costa Rica and Guatemala. The Americans did get two wins from two against Guatemala but a draw in San Jose and then a shock 2-0 loss to Costa Rica in Los Angeles meant that the United States finished second behind Costa Rica.

Tournament history[edit | edit source]

FIFA World Cup[edit | edit source]

     Gold       Silver       Bronze  

FIFA World Cup record
Year Round Position Pld W D * L GF GA
France 1906 Did Not Compete
England 1914
Netherlands 1922
Spain 1926 Group Stage 14th 3 1 0 2 1 8
Uruguay 1930 Group Stage 15th 3 0 0 3 0 9
Italy 1934 Did Not Qualify
Argentina 1938 Semi Finalist 3rd 4 3 0 1 11 5
Sweden 1950 Group Stage 14th 4 1 1 2 8 10
Chile 1954 Did Not Qualify
Switzerland 1958
Mexico 1962
Total Semi Finalist 4/11 14 5 1 8 20 32

External links[edit | edit source]

Template:United States men's national soccer team Template:NACFC teams Template:National sports teams of the United States Template:Soccer in the United States