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The United States men's national soccer team represents the United Statesmarker in international football competition and is controlled by the United States Soccer Federation. Though soccer has not traditionally had a high profile in American sporting life, the sport has steadily grown in popularity since the 1970s. The team is, according to the FIFA World Rankings, ranked 11th in the world and first in CONCACAF, has appeared in the last five FIFA World Cups, and will appear in the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa.

History

Early years

In 1885, the United States and Canada played the first international match held outside the United Kingdom. Canada defeated the U.S. 1–0 in Newarkmarker, New Jerseymarker, The United States had its revenge the following year when it beat Canada 1–0, also in Newark. Thirty years later, the United States played its first official international match under the auspices of U.S. Soccer against Sweden in Stockholmmarker, where the U.S. won 2–3.

The U.S. earned both silver and bronze medals in men's soccer at the 1904 Summer Olympics held in St. Louismarker, Missourimarker. The tournament only featured three teams: Galt F.C. from Canada and Christian Brothers College and St. Rose Parish from the United States. Galt defeated both American teams to win the gold. Christian Brothers defeated St. Rose in a third match after two scoreless draws.

In the 1930 World Cup, the U.S. won its first match in World Cup history, beating Belgium 3–0 at the Estadio Gran Parque Centralmarker in Montevideomarker, Uruguaymarker. The match occurred simultaneously with another across town at the Estadio Pocitos where France defeated Mexico.

In the next match, the United States again won 3–0, this time against Paraguay. For many years, FIFA credited Bert Patenaude with the first and third goals and his teammate Tom Florie with the second. Other sources described the second goal as having been scored by Patenaude or by Paraguayan Ramon Gonzales. In November 2006, FIFA announced that it had accepted evidence from "various historians and football fans" that Patenaude scored all three goals, and was thus the first person to score a hat trick in a World Cup finals tournament.

Having reached the semifinals with two wins, the American side lost 6–1 to Argentina. Using the overall tournament records, FIFA lists the U.S. as finishing in third place, above fellow semifinalist Yugoslavia. This is still the team's highest World Cup finish, and it's also the highest finish of any team from outside of CONMEBOL and UEFA, the South American and European confederations, respectively.

Due to FIFA not wanting interference with the newly founded FIFA World Cup no official tournament was fielded in the 1932 Olympic Games. FIFA claimed the tournament would not be popular in the United States, so it would not be cost efficient to assist in the running of the tournament during struggling economic times. As a result, an informal tournament was organized including local rivals with the United States finishing first, followed by Mexico and Canada. The Olympic Tournament was reinstated in the 1936 Olympic Games.

Post WWII

In the 1950 World Cup, the United States lost its first match 3–1 against Spain, but then won 1–0 against England in what is widely considered one of the greatest upsets in football history, England having recently beaten the rest of Europe 6–1 in an exhibition match. Sports Illustrated and Soccer Digest have called the game the "Miracle on Grass." A defeat to Chile by a 5–2 margin in the third group match saw the U.S. eliminated from the tournament. It would be four decades before the United States would make another appearance at the World Cup.

Despite the United States' relative success in early international tournaments, soccer remained a niche sport in the U.S. for many years. In the three decades after the 1950 World Cup, the only victories for the United States came against Haiti, Bermuda, Honduras, Canada, Poland, and China.

1980s

After the enthusiasm caused by the creation and rise of the North American Soccer League in the 1970s, it seemed as though the U.S. men's national team would soon become a powerful force in world football. Such hopes were not realized, however, and the United States was not considered a strong side in this era. From 1981 to 1983, only two international matches were played.

To provide a more stable national team program and renew interest in the NASL, U.S. Soccer entered the national team into the league for the 1983 season as Team America. This team lacked the continuity and regularity of training that conventional clubs enjoy, and many players were unwilling to play for the team instead of their own clubs. Embarrassingly, Team America finished the season at the bottom of the league. Recognizing that it had not achieved its objectives, U.S Soccer cancelled this experiment, and the national team was withdrawn from the NASL.

U.S. Soccer made the decision to target the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angelesmarker, Californiamarker and the 1986 World Cup as means of rebuilding the national team and its fan base. The International Olympic Committeemarker provided what appeared to be a major boost to the United States' chances of advancing beyond the group stage when it declared that Olympic teams from outside Europe and South America could field full senior teams as long as those senior players had never played in a World Cup, including professionals. U.S. Soccer immediately rearranged its Olympic roster, cutting many collegiate players and replacing them with professionals. Despite this, the U.S. finished 1–1–1 and failed to make the second round.

The United States did bid to host the 1986 World Cup after Colombiamarker withdrew due to economic concerns. However, Mexico beat out the U.S. and Canada to host the tournament, despite concerns that the tournament would have to be moved again because of a major earthquake that hit Mexico shortly before the tournament.

In the last game of the qualifying tournament, the U.S. needed only a draw against Costa Rica, whom the U.S. had beaten 3–0 in the Olympics the year before, in order to reach the final qualification group against Honduras and Canada. U.S. Soccer scheduled the game to be played at El Camino Collegemarker in Torrancemarker, California, an area with many Costa Rican expatriates, and marketed the game almost exclusively to the Costa Rican community, even providing Costa Rican folk dances as halftime entertainment.[62677] A 35th minute goal by Evaristo Coronado won the match for Costa Rica and kept the United States from reaching its fourth World Cup finals.[62678]

By the end of 1984, the NASL had folded and there was no senior outdoor soccer league operating in the United States. As a result, many top American players, such as John Kerr, Paul Caligiuri, Eric Eichmann, and Bruce Murray, moved overseas, primarily to Europe.

In 1988, U.S. Soccer attempted to reimplement its national-team-as-club concept, offering contracts to national team players in order to build an international team with something of a club ethos, while loaning them out to their club teams, saving U.S. Soccer the expense of their salaries. This brought many key veterans back to the team, while the success of the NASL a decade earlier had created an influx of talent from burgeoning grass-roots level clubs and youth programs. Thus U.S. Soccer sought to establish a more stable foundation for participation in the 1990 World Cup than had existed for previous tournaments.

1990s: rebirth for American soccer

In 1989, FIFA named the United States hosts of the 1994 World Cup, but it did so under significant international criticism because of the perceived weakness of the national team and the lack of a professional outdoor league. This criticism diminished somewhat when a 1–0 win against Trinidad and Tobago, the U.S.'s first away win in nearly two years, in the last match of the 1989 CONCACAF Championship, earned the United States its first World Cup appearance in 40 years.

For the 1990 World Cup in Italy, two of the team's more experienced players, Rick Davis and Hugo Perez, were recovering from serious injuries and unavailable for selection, and manager Bob Gansler selected many inexperienced players and recent college graduates. The U.S. went on to lose all three games to Czechoslovakia, Italy and Austria.

In March 1991, the United States 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 4–3 on penalty kicks after a 0–0 draw in the final. In 1992, the U.S. continued its run of success, taking the U.S. Cup with victories over Ireland and Portugal, followed by a draw with Italy.

Having qualified automatically as the host, the U.S. opened its tournament schedule with a 1–1 draw against Switzerland in the Pontiac Silverdomemarker in the suburbs of Detroitmarker, the first World Cup game played indoors. In its second game, the U.S. faced Colombia, then ranked fourth in the world, at the Rose Bowlmarker. Aided by an own goal from Andrés Escobar, the United States won 2–1. (Escobar was later murdered in his home country, a killing some believe was in retaliation for this mistake.) 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 since 1930.

In the second round, the U.S. lost 1–0 to the eventual champion Brazil.

In the 1998 World Cup in Francemarker, the team lost all three group matches, 2–0 to , 1–2 to Iran, and 0–1 to , and so finished in last place in its group and 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, whom Sampson had ironically named "Captain for Life" shortly before, as well as several other players who were instrumental to the qualifying effort, from the squad.

21st century

The United States won the 2002 Gold Cup to set up the team's best performance since 1930 in the 2002 World Cup, when the U.S. 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.

The United States followed up this success by winning its third Gold Cup, and second out of three, in 2005.

After finishing top of the CONCACAF qualification tournament, the U.S. was drawn into Group E along with the Czech Republic, Italy, and Ghana. Since three of the teams were ranked in the top 10 of the FIFA World Rankings at the time, it was considered a Group of Death.

The United States opened its tournament with a 0–3 loss to the Czech Republic. The team then drew 1–1 against Italy, The United States was then knocked out of the tournament when beaten 2–1 by Ghana in its final group match.

After failing to maintain his 2002 success at the 2006 World Cup, Bruce Arena was eventually replaced by his assistant with the national team and Chivas USA manager Bob Bradley, whose reign began with four wins and one draw in friendlies leading up to the 2007 Gold Cup, hosted by the United States.

The U.S. won all three of its group stage matches, against Guatemala, Trinidad and Tobago, and El Salvador. With a 2–1 win over Panama in the quarterfinals, the U.S. advanced to face Canada in the semifinals, winning 2–1. In the final, the United States came from behind to beat Mexico 2–1.

The team's disappointing 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 by fans and media alike.

One of the hallmarks of Bradley's tenure as national team manager has been his willingness to cap a large number of players, many for their first time. This practice has been praised by those wanting to see a more diverse player pool for the national team, as well as criticized by those hoping for more consistency and leadership from core players. This has coincided with many young American players like Freddy Adu, Jozy Altidore, Clint Dempsey, Maurice Edu, Brad Guzan, Eddie Johnson, and Michael Parkhurst making their first moves from MLS to European clubs, meaning that more American players are gaining experience at the highest levels of club and international soccer than at any other time in the team's history.

In Summer 2009, the United States had one of the busiest stretches in its history. For the 2009 Confederations Cup the U.S. was drawn into Group B with Brazil, Egypt, and Italy. After losing 1–3 to Italy and 0–3 to Brazil, the United States made an unlikely comeback to finish second in the group and reach the semi-final on the second tie-breaker, goals scored, having scored four goals to Italy's three. This was achieved on the final day of group play when the United States beat Egypt 0–3 while Brazil beat Italy 0–3.

In the semifinals, the U.S. defeated Spain 0–2. At the time, Spain was atop the FIFA World Rankings, and they were on a record run of 15 straight wins, and 35 games undefeated (a record shared with Brazil). With the win, the United States advanced to its first-ever final in a men's FIFA tournament; however, they lost 2–3 to Brazil after leading 2–0 at half-time.

Only a few days after the Confederations Cup Final, the United States hosted the 2009 Gold Cup, and was drawn into Group B with Grenada, Haiti, and Honduras. The U.S. began group play with a pair of victories over Grenada and Honduras, and won the group with a draw against Haiti.

In the quarterfinals, the United States defeated Panama 2–1 after extra time. In the semifinals the U.S. faced Honduras for the second time in the tournament, and the third time in less than two months. The United States beat Honduras 0–2 and advanced to their third consecutive Gold Cup final where they faced Mexico in a rematch of the 2007 Gold Cup final. The United States was beaten by Mexico in 0–5, surrendering their 58-match unbeaten streak against CONCACAF opponents in the U.S., and losing to Mexico in the United States for the first time since 1999.

2010 World Cup qualification



The U.S. won seven of eight matches against Barbados, Cuba, Guatemala, and Trinidad and Tobago in the Second and Third Rounds of qualification for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. This qualified the United States for the Fourth Round, or Hexagonal, against Costa Rica, El Salvador, Honduras, Mexico, and Trinidad and Tobago.

The U.S. began the Fourth Round by defeating Mexico 2–0, a win that extended the United States' unbeaten streak against Mexico on U.S. soil to 11 matches. Six weeks later, in the second match of the Fourth Round, the United States made a late rally to earn a 2–2 draw away to El Salvador. Four days later, Jozy Altidore became the youngest U.S. player to score a hat-trick, and lead the United States to a 3–0 victory over Trinidad and Tobago. Following another six week break from qualifying, the U.S. travelled to Costa Rica, where they were soundly defeated 3–1. The United States rebounded three days later when they defeated Honduras 2–1. When qualifying resumed near the end of the summer of 2009, the United States suffered a 2–1 loss to Mexico at Estadio Azteca. A few weeks later, the United States came from behind to defeat El Salvador 2–1 at home after being down 0–1. The next week, the U.S. beat Trinidad and Tobago 0–1. On October 10,2009, the United States secured qualification to the World Cup with a 2–3 win over Honduras. Four days later, the U.S. secured first place in the Fourth Round with a dramatic 2–2 draw against Costa Rica.

Schedule and recent results

The following is a list of matches from the past six months, as well as any future matches that have been scheduled.
Date Venue Opponent Competition Result U.S. Goals (Goal #)
June 3, 2009 Estadio Ricardo Saprissa Aymámarker WCQ 3–1 L Donovan (38)
June 6, 2009 Soldier Fieldmarker WCQ 2–1 W Donovan (39)

Bocanegra (11)
June 15, 2009 Loftus Versfeld Stadiummarker CC 3–1 L Donovan (40)
June 18, 2009 Loftus Versfeld Stadiummarker CC 0–3 L
June 21, 2009 Royal Bafokeng Stadiummarker CC 0–3 W Davies (2)

Bradley (6)

Dempsey (14)
June 24, 2009 Free State Stadiummarker CC 0–2 W Altidore (7)

Dempsey (15)
June 28, 2009 Coca-Cola Parkmarker CC 2–3 L Dempsey (16)

Donovan (41)
July 4, 2009 Qwest Fieldmarker GC 0–4 W Adu (2)

Holden (1)

Rogers (1)

Davies (3)
July 8, 2009 Robert F.marker Kennedy Memorial Stadiummarker GC 2–0 W Quaranta (1)

Ching (10)
July 11, 2009 Gillette Stadiummarker GC 2–2 D Arnaud (1)

Holden (2)
July 18, 2009 Lincoln Financial Fieldmarker GC 2–1 W

(a.e.t.)
Beckerman (2)

Cooper (3)
July 23, 2009 Soldier Fieldmarker GC 0–2 W Goodson (1)

Cooper (4)
July 26, 2009 Giants Stadiummarker GC 0–5 L
August 12, 2009 Estadio Aztecamarker WCQ 2–1 L Davies (4)
September 5, 2009 Rio Tinto Stadiummarker WCQ 2–1 W Dempsey (17)

Altidore (8)
September 9, 2009 Hasely Crawford Stadiummarker WCQ 0–1 W Clark (2)
October 10, 2009 Estadio Olimpico Metropolitanomarker WCQ 2–3 W Casey (1, 2),

Donovan (42)
October 14, 2009 Robert F.marker Kennedy Memorial Stadiummarker WCQ 2–2 D Bradley (7),

Bornstein (2)
November 14, 2009 Tehelné polemarker F 0–1 L
November 18, 2009 NRGi Park F 1-3 L Cunningham (1)
March 3, 2010 F


Key
  • F = Friendly
  • CC = 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup
  • GC = 2009 CONCACAF Gold Cup
  • WCQ = 2010 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers


Current squad

The following 23-man squad was named for the friendly match against Denmark in Aarhusmarker on November 18, 2009.

Caps and goals are correct as of the completion of the friendly match against Denmark on November 18, 2009.







Recent call-ups

The following players were named to a matchday squad in the last six months, but were not named to the 23-man preliminary squad for the friendly match against Denmarkon November 18, 2009.

Caps and goals are correct as of the completion of the International Friendly match against Denmark on November 18, 2009.



Competitive record

The United States has competed at the Summer Olympics(when that tournament was considered a full international tournament), the FIFA World Cup, the FIFA Confederations Cup, as well as NAFCand CONCACAFregional tournaments. The U.S. has also played in the Copa Américaby invitation, as well as several minor tournaments.

During the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cupthe United States showed its major improvements by making it all the way to the finals. They made a historic win against Spain with a 2–0 win, which was what they needed to move onto the finals. During their match against Brazil their skill was highlighted as they scored the first two goals in the first half. However, Brazil had a quick come back in the second half scoring 3 goals and winning the confederations cup. This was a milestone for the United states.

The best result for the United States in a World Cupcame in 1930 when they finished in third place. The U.S. took the silver and bronze medals at the 1904 Olympics. In the Confederations Cup, the United States has finished in third place in both 1992 and 1999, and were runner-up in the 2009 Confederations Cup.

In regional competitions, the United States had never finished higher than runner-up until the 1991 CONCACAF Gold Cup, the first competition in the Gold Cupformat. Since then, they have finished as winners four times. In 1995, the U.S. finished in fourth place at the Copa América.

Centurions and top scorers

Centurions

The United States has had more players win 100 capsthan any other nation.
The following players have won 100 or more caps with the national team:

Top scorers

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

Head coaches





Honors

International

Silver Medal (1): 1904
Bronze Medal (1): 1904
Third Place (1): 1930
Runners-Up (1): 2009
Third Place (2): 1992, 1999


Regional

Winners (4): 1991, 2002, 2005, 2007
Runners-Up (4): 1989, 1993, 1998, 2009
Third Place (2): 1996, 2003
Fourth Place (1): 1995
Gold Medal (1): 1991
Bronze Medal (2): 1959, 1999


* – Before the FIFA World Cup began in 1930, the football tournament at the Summer Olympics was, between 1908 and 1928, 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 gold medals from the 1924 and 1928 Summer Olympics as equal to its World Cup wins in 1930 and 1950.

Media Coverage

As with other national soccer federations in the world, U.S.Soccerowns the broadcast rights to all U.S. matches played in the United States, and all United States international friendlies. It negotiates deals with media outlets to maximize revenue and exposure from the matches.

Different media outlets hold different portions of the broadcast rights to games. ESPNowns the the U.S. English language broadcast rights for every match in the World Cupand Confederations Cup, as well as for select matches in Major League Socceruntil the completion of the 2014 World Cup. ESPN and Fox Soccer Channelsplit the rights to friendlies as part of contracts which also give FSC the U.S.Open Cuptelevision rights. Univisionholds exclusive Spanish-language rights to home qualifiers and all friendlies. Broadcast rights (including U.S. broadcast rights) to away qualifiers are owned by the federation governing the United States' opponent, and can be sold to any company, although ESPN and Univision usually obtain direct rights or sublicenses for the majority of these games.

Supporters' Groups

The main supporters' group backing the United States men's national soccer team is Sam's Army. Started shortly after the 1994 World Cupin the United States, it now claims to have over 15,000 members.

The American Outlaws was started in Lincolnmarker, Nebraskamarker as a local supporters' group.The group's membership attempted to address a lack of consistency from game to game in supporter organization and social events on matchdays. To achieve this goal the American Outlaws became a nationwide, non-profit, supporters' group.

Sam's Army members wear red to matches, sing or chant throughout the match, and often bring huge American flags and other banners to the game. The American Outlaws can be further distinguished by the fact that they wear American flag bandanas over their faces. The two groups are usually put together in a "supporters' section" at US home games.

See also



Notes

External links



Player
DoB (Age)
Caps
Goals
Club
Most Recent Call-Up
Goalkeepers
Luis Robles
1
0
Kaiserslautern
v. ; July 23, 2009
Tim Howard
48
0
Everton
v. ; October 14, 2009
Defenders
Danny Califf
23
1
Midtjylland
v. ; June 28, 2009
Marvell Wynne
3
0
Toronto FC
v. ; June 28, 2009
Jay Heaps
4
0
New England Revolution
v. ; July 26, 2009
Michael Parkhurst
8
0
Nordsjælland
v. ; July 26, 2009
Jay DeMerit
16
0
Watford
v. ; August 12, 2009
Chad Marshall
10
1
Columbus Crew
v. ; September 9, 2009
Oguchi Onyewu
51
5
Milan
v. ; October 14, 2009
Steve Cherundolo
57
2
Hannover 96
v. ; November 14, 2009
Midfielders
Pablo Mastroeni
65
0
Colorado Rapids
v. ; June 6, 2009
DaMarcus Beasley
89
17
Rangers
v. ; June 28, 2009
Freddy Adu
15
2
Belenenses
v. ; July 8, 2009
Colin Clark
1
0
Colorado Rapids
v. ; July 26, 2009
Sam Cronin
2
0
Toronto FC
v. ; July 26, 2009
Brad Evans
3
0
Seattle Sounders FC
v. ; July 26, 2009
Logan Pause
5
0
Chicago Fire
v. ; July 26, 2009
Kyle Beckerman
10
1
Real Salt Lake
v. ; September 5, 2009
Clint Dempsey
60
17
Fulham
v. ; November 14, 2009
Forwards
Davy Arnaud
7
1
Kansas City Wizards
v. ; July 26, 2009
Santino Quaranta
15
1
D.C. United
v. ; July 26, 2009
Brian Ching
43
10
Houston Dynamo
v. ; September 9, 2009
Charlie Davies
17
4
Sochaux
v. ; October 10, 2009
Kenny Cooper
10
4
1860 Munich
v. ; October 14, 2009
Landon Donovan
120
42
Los Angeles Galaxy
v. ; October 14, 2009
Rank
Player
Caps
Goals
Years
1
Cobi Jones
164
15
1992–2004
2
Jeff Agoos
134
4
1988–2003
3
Marcelo Balboa
128
13
1988–2000
4
Landon Donovan
120
42
2000–
5
Claudio Reyna
112
8
1994–2006
6
Paul Caligiuri
110
5
1984–1997
7
Eric Wynalda
106
34
1990–2000
8
Kasey Keller
102
0
1990–2007
9
Earnie Stewart
101
17
1990–2004
10
Tony Meola
100
0
1988–2002
Joe-Max Moore
100
24
1992–2002
Rank
Player
Caps
Goals
Years
1
Landon Donovan
120
42
2000–
2
Eric Wynalda
106
34
1990–2000
3
Brian McBride
95
30
1993–2006
4
Joe-Max Moore
100
24
1992–2002
5
Bruce Murray
86
21
1985–1993
6
Clint Dempsey
60
17
2004–
DaMarcus Beasley
89
17
2001–
Earnie Stewart
101
17
1990–2004
9
Cobi Jones
164
15
1992–2004
10
Hugo Pérez
73
13
1984–1994
Marcelo Balboa
128
13
1988–2000

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