|Sub-confederation NAFU (North America)|
Top scorer Landon Donovan (57)
FIFA code USA
Captain Michael Bradley
|Most caps Cobi Jones (164)|
Home stadium Various
Manager Bruce Arena
Head coach Bruce Arena
The Stars and Stripes
Association United States Soccer Federation
The United States men's national soccer team, often referred to as the USMNT, represents the United States in international soccer. It is controlled by the United States Soccer Federation and competes in CONCACAF (the Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football). The team has appeared in ten FIFA World Cups and hosted the 1994 edition. They achieved their best result when they reached the semi-final at the 1930 World Cup, finishing third; this remains the highest finish of any team outside of the UEFA (European) and CONMEBOL (South American) confederations. After qualifying for the 1934 World Cup, and withdrawing in 1938, the next World Cup participation came at the 1950 tournament, causing an upset by defeating England 1–0 in its second group match. After 1950, the U.S. did not qualify for the World Cup again until 1990.
- Early years
- Drought (1960s–1980s)
- Rise in the U.S. (1990s)
- Success in the 2000s
- Media coverage
- Home stadium
- Current squad
- Recent call ups
- Results and schedule
- Player records
- Competitive record
- CONCACAF Gold Cup
- Copa América
Following the 1990 World Cup, the U.S. qualified automatically as hosts of the 1994 World Cup, eventually losing to Brazil in the round of sixteen. The team has qualified for all five World Cups since, reaching the quarter-finals of the 2002 tournament, where it lost to Germany 1–0. In 2009 it finished runner-up at the Confederations Cup, eliminating top-ranked Spain 2–0 in the semi-finals before losing to Brazil 3–2 in the final.
The team's current head coach is Bruce Arena, who took over in November 2016 and previously managed the team from 1998 to 2006.
The first United States national team was constituted in 1885, when it played Canada in the first international match held outside the United Kingdom. Canada defeated the U.S. 1–0 in Newark, New Jersey. The United States had its revenge the following year when it beat Canada 1–0, also in Newark, although neither match was officially recognized. The U.S. earned both silver and bronze medals in men's soccer at the 1904 St. Louis Summer Olympics through Christian Brothers College and St. Rose Parish, though the tournament has since been unofficiated by FIFA. The United States played its first official international match under the auspices of U.S. Soccer August 20, 1916, against Sweden in Stockholm, where the U.S. won 3–2.
The U.S fielded a team in the 1930 World Cup in Uruguay, the first ever World Cup to ever be played. The U.S. began group play by beating Belgium 3–0. The U.S. then earned a 3–0 victory over Paraguay, with FIFA crediting Bert Patenaude with two of the goals. In November 2006, FIFA announced that it had accepted evidence that Patenaude scored all three goals against Paraguay, and was thus the first person to score a hat trick in a World Cup. In the semifinals, the U.S. lost to Argentina 6–1. Using the overall tournament records, FIFA credited the U.S. with a third-place finish ahead of fellow semi-finalist Yugoslavia. The finish remains the U.S. team's best World Cup result, and is the highest finish of any team from outside of South America and Europe.
There was no official soccer tournament in the 1932 Olympic Games. In an informal tournament, the United States finished first, followed by Mexico and Canada. The U.S. qualified for the 1934 World Cup by defeating Mexico 4–2. The team played Italy and lost 7–1, eliminating them from the tournament. The Olympic soccer tournament was reinstated in the 1936 Olympic Games.
The 1950 World Cup in Brazil was the United States's next World Cup appearance (it withdrew from the tournament in 1938). The U.S. lost its first match 3–1 against Spain, but then won 1–0 against England at Independência Stadium in Belo Horizonte. Striker Joe Gaetjens was the goal scorer. The result is considered one of the greatest upsets in the history of the World Cups. Months before the famous World Cup loss to the U.S., England had beaten an all-star "rest of Europe" side 6–1 in an exhibition match. Sports Illustrated and Soccer Digest have called World Cup upset by the Americans in 1950 the "Miracle on Grass,". In the U.S. third game of the 1950 tournament, a defeat by Chile by a 5–2 margin 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.
The national team spent the mid-to-late 20th century near complete irrelevance in both the international game and the domestic sporting scene. The emergence of the North American Soccer League in the 1960s and 1970s raised hopes that the U.S. national team would soon improve and become a global force. However such hopes were not realized and by the 1980s the U.S. Soccer Federation found itself in serious financial struggles, with the national team playing only two matches from 1981 to 1983. U.S. Soccer targeted the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles and the 1986 World Cup as means of rebuilding the national team and its fan base. The International Olympic Committee declared that teams from outside Europe and South America could field full senior teams, including professionals, that had never played in a World Cup. U.S. Soccer rearranged its Olympic roster, cutting many collegiate players and replacing them with professionals, but the U.S. finished 1–1–1 and failed to make the second round.
To provide a more stable national team program and renew interest in the NASL, U.S. Soccer entered the national team into the NASL league schedule 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 national team instead of their own clubs when conflicts arose. Team America finished the season at the bottom of the league, with US Soccer cancelling the experiment and withdrawing the national team from the NASL after one season. By the end of 1984, the NASL had folded, leaving the United States without a single professional-level outdoor soccer league.
The United States bid to host the 1986 World Cup after Colombia withdrew from contention due to economic concerns, but FIFA selected Mexico to host the tournament. In the last game of CONCACAF qualifying for the 1986 World Cup, the U.S. needed only a tie against Costa Rica to reach the final qualification group against Honduras and Canada. U.S. Soccer scheduled the game to be played in Torrance, California, an area with many Costa Rican expatriates, and marketed the game almost exclusively to the Costa Rican community. Costa Rica won the match 1–0, and kept the United States from reaching its fourth World Cup finals.
In 1988, U.S. Soccer attempted to re-implement its national-team-as-club concept, offering contracts to players to train with the national program full-time while occasionally loaning them to club teams as a revenue source for the federation. This brought many key veterans back into the program and allowed the team to begin playing more matches which, combined with an influx of talent from new youth clubs and leagues established across the nation in the wake of the NASL's popularity, allowed the national team to end the 1980s with optimism and higher hopes of qualifying for the 1990 World Cup than had existed for previous tournaments.
Rise in the U.S. (1990s)
In 1989, FIFA named the United States as the host 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 road 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.
The team was managed by Bob Gansler in preparation for the 1990 World Cup in Italy, with two of the team's more experienced players, Rick Davis and Hugo Perez, recovering from serious injuries and unavailable for selection. Rather than fill out his team with veteran professionals from American indoor soccer leagues as suggested by some, Gansler chose to select many younger players with better conditioning for the outdoor game, including some amateurs playing for college teams. The U.S. entered the tournament as massive underdogs and suffered defeats in all three of its group games to Czechoslovakia, Italy, and Austria.
In a historic match, in 1993 U.S. Cup, U.S. beat England by 2–0.
After qualifying automatically as the host of the 1994 World Cup under Bora Milutinović, the U.S. opened its tournament schedule with a 1–1 tie against Switzerland in the Pontiac Silverdome in the suburbs of Detroit, 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 Bowl. Aided by an own goal from Andrés Escobar, the United States won 2–1. Escobar was later murdered in his home country, possibly 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 round of 16, the U.S. lost 1–0 to the eventual champion Brazil. Despite this success, the team fired Bora in 1995, reportedly because he was not interested in administrative duties.
In the 1998 World Cup in France, the team lost all three group matches, 2–0 to Germany, 2–1 to Iran, and 1–0 to Yugoslavia, finishing dead last 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. Thomas Dooley became the Captain at that point. It emerged in February 2010 that Sampson removed Harkes from the team due to Harkes allegedly having an affair with teammate Eric Wynalda's wife.
Success in the 2000s
In the 2002 World Cup under Bruce Arena, the U.S. reached the quarterfinals, its best finish in a World Cup since 1930. The team reached the knockout stage after a 1–1–1 record in the group stage. It started with a 3–2 upset win over Portugal, followed by a 1–1 tie with co-host and eventual semi-finalist, South Korea. It then lost its third and final match 1–3 to Poland but still qualified for the second round when South Korea defeated Portugal. This set the stage for a Second round face-off with continental rivals Mexico, the first time they met in a World Cup. The U.S. won the game 2–0. Brian McBride opened the scoring, and Landon Donovan scored the second goal. That victory advanced the team to the quarterfinals, where it met Germany. The team lost 1–0; after being denied a penalty when Torsten Frings handled the ball to prevent a Gregg Berhalter goal.
In the 2006 World Cup, after finishing top of the CONCACAF qualification tournament, the U.S. was drawn into Group E along with the Czech Republic, Italy, and Ghana. The United States opened its tournament with a 3–0 loss to the Czech Republic. The team then tied 1–1 against Italy, who went on to win the World Cup. The United States was then knocked out of the tournament when beaten 2–1 by Ghana in its final group match, with Clint Dempsey scoring the U.S.'s only goal in the tournament – the goal against Italy had been an own goal by Italian defender Cristian Zaccardo. Following the tournament, Arena's contract was not renewed. After the national team remained dormant for the remainder of 2006, the federation hired former Chicago Fire, MetroStars and Chivas USA manager Bob Bradley in early 2007.
Bradley began his competitive career with the national team with the 2007 Gold Cup. In the final, the United States beat Mexico 2–1, which qualified it for the 2009 Confederations Cup.
The U.S. had a notable performance at the 2009 Confederations Cup. In the semifinals, the U.S. defeated Spain 2–0. At the time, Spain was atop the FIFA World Rankings and was on a run of 35 games undefeated. With the win, the United States advanced to its first-ever final in a men's FIFA tournament; however, the team lost 3–2 to Brazil after leading 2–0 at half time. The United States then hosted the 2009 Gold Cup. In the final, the United States was beaten by Mexico 5–0. This defeat broke the U.S. team's 58-match home unbeaten streak against CONCACAF opponents, and was the first home loss to Mexico since 1999.
The U.S. qualified for the Fourth round, or Hexagonal, of the 2010 World Cup qualification. The U.S. began the Fourth round by beating Mexico 2–0 in February 2009, a loss that extended Mexico's losing streak against America on U.S. soil to 11 matches. Jozy Altidore became the youngest U.S. player to score a hat-trick, in a 3–0 victory over Trinidad and Tobago. Near the end of the summer of 2009, the United States lost 2–1 to Mexico at Estadio Azteca. On October 10, 2009, the United States secured qualification to the 2010 World Cup with a 3–2 win over Honduras. Four days later, the U.S. secured first place in the Fourth round with a 2–2 tie against Costa Rica.
In the 2010 FIFA World Cup, the U.S. team were drawn in Group C against England, Slovenia and Algeria. After drawing against England (1–1) and Slovenia (2–2), the U.S. defeated Algeria through a Landon Donovan stoppage time goal, the first time the U.S. had won its group since 1930. In the round of 16, the U.S. was eliminated by Ghana, 2–1. On FIFA's ranking of World Cup teams the U.S. finished in 12th place out of the 32-team field.
The United States again hosted the 2011 Gold Cup. The U.S. advanced past the group stage, and defeated Jamaica 2–0 in the quarerfinals and Panama 1–0 in the semifinals, to advance to its fourth consecutive Gold Cup final. In the final, the U.S. was beaten by Mexico 4–2. Later in the summer, Coach Bradley was relieved of his duties and former German national team manager Jürgen Klinsmann was hired as head coach.
The U.S. had some success in friendlies in 2012 and 2013. The U.S. team won 1–0 in Italy on February 29, 2012, the team's first ever win over Italy. On June 2, 2013, the U.S. played a friendly against Germany at a sold out RFK Stadium in Washington D.C., with the U.S. winning 4–3. In July 2013, the U.S. hosted and played in the 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup where it went undefeated in the group stage and won with a 1–0 victory over Panama in the final, with Landon Donovan winning the tournament's golden ball award.
A 4–3 victory over Bosnia in an international friendly match in Sarajevo represented the 12th straight win for the USMNT, the longest winning streak for any team in the world at that time. The 12 game winning streak ended September 6, 2013, when the U.S. lost to Costa Rica 3–1 in San Jose. In 2013 the national team played the final round of qualification, and by defeating Mexico in September, the U.S. clinched a spot in the 2014 World Cup.
For the 2014 World Cup, the U.S. was drawn into Group G, along with Ghana, Germany, and Portugal. The U.S. took revenge on the Ghanaians, winning 2–1. They tied their second group game against Portugal 2–2. In the final game of the group stage, the U.S. fell to Germany 1–0, but moved on to the knockout stage on goal difference. This was the first time that the team made two consecutive trips to the knockout stage of the FIFA World Cup. In the round of 16, the U.S. lost 2–1 to Belgium in extra time, despite goalkeeper Tim Howard making a World Cup record 15 saves during the match.
The national team's next tournament under Klinsmann was the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup. However, the U.S. were eliminated by Jamaica 2–1 in the semifinals, before losing to Panama on penalties in the third place match. The fourth-place finish was the worst Gold Cup performance by the national team since 2000, and the first time the team failed to make the tournament final since 2003. In the 2015 CONCACAF Cup playoff to determine the region's entry to the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup, the US were defeated 3–2 by Mexico at the Rose Bowl. In the summer of 2016, the United States played as hosts of Copa América Centenario. The U.S. topped Group A on goal difference against Colombia. The U.S. beat Ecuador 2–1 in the quarter-finals, but then fell to Argentina 4–0 and lost to Colombia again 1–0 in the third place match. They finished fourth at the Copa América, tying their best finish ever in 1995.
Following consecutive losses to Mexico and Costa Rica in the opening games of the final round of qualification for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, Klinsmann was removed as national team coach and technical director and replaced by previous U.S. manager Bruce Arena. His first two games coaching for the national team in 2017 were friendlies against Serbia and Jamaica. World Cup qualification resumed on March 24, where Bruce Arena and his team had a record 6–0 win over Honduras. Four days later, the team traveled to Panama City, drawing Panama 1–1.
ESPN and Fox Sports 1 evenly split the English language rights for U.S. Soccer broadcasts from 2015 to 2022. Univision Deportes has the Spanish language rights to all U.S. Soccer broadcasts from 2015 to 2022. These agreements do not apply to FIFA World Cup away qualifiers, whose rights are distributed by the host country. Therefore, these matches can often be found on other neworks such as beIN Sports and Telemundo.
Since their first unofficial game against Canada, the most common U.S. uniform has been white tops with blue shorts. In 1950, the U.S. adopted a Peru-styled diagonal stripe or "sash" across the shirt. The stripe has been on third uniforms for 2003, 2004, and 2006, as well as the 2010 home, road and third uniforms. An additional color scheme based on the U.S. flag has been occasionally used (most prominently in the 1994 World Cup and 2012–13 qualifiers as well the 1983 Team America franchise of the North American Soccer League) comprising a shirt with red and white stripes with blue shorts.
Adidas provided the uniforms for the United States from 1985 until 1994. Since 1995, Nike has been the uniform supplier.
The teams of Mexico and the United States are widely considered as the two major powers of CONCACAF. Matches between the two nations often attract much media attention, public interest and comment in both countries.
Although the first match was played in 1934, their rivalry was not considered major until the 1980s, when the teams began to frequently compete in CONCACAF cups. On August 15, 2012, the United States defeated Mexico at Estadio Azteca in the first victory for the U.S. against Mexico on Mexican soil in 75 years.
Ever since their first meeting in 1934, the two teams have met 65 times, with Mexico leading the overall series 33–18–14 (W–L–T), outscoring the U.S. 131–75. However, since the 1990s, the tide began to change due to a rapid growth of soccer in the United States. During this decade, Mexico continued to hold an edge over their arch-rivals but since the 2000s the series has favored the U.S. 13–6–5 (W–L–T).
In recent years, the United States has begun to develop a rivalry with Costa Rica, the third strongest team in CONCACAF.
The main supporter groups backing the United States men's national soccer team are Sam's Army and The American Outlaws. The two groups are usually put together in a "supporters' section" at U.S. home games. Sam's Army started shortly after the 1994 World Cup in the United States. Sam's Army members wear red to matches, sing or chant throughout the match. They are so dedicated that they often bring huge American flags and other banners to the game. Both The American Outlaws and Sam's Army both commonly wear soccer supporter scarves. Some branches of the American Outlaws have their own scarves specific to their branch.
The American Outlaws was started in Lincoln, Nebraska 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 match days. To achieve this goal the American Outlaws became a nationwide, non-profit, supporters' group. Some American Outlaws members wear American flag bandanas over their faces.
The United States does not have a national stadium; they instead play their home matches at numerous venues. Overall, the team has played in 101 venues in 26 states and the District of Columbia. RFK Stadium in the capital city of Washington, D.C. has hosted more national team matches than any other stadium, hosting 21 times. The Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California near Los Angeles, is also a notable stadium, hosting the national team 17 times, as well as hosting the 1994 FIFA World Cup Final, the 1999 FIFA Women's World Cup Final, and the 1984 Olympic Gold Medal Match.
For all past and present players who have appeared for the national team, see United States men's national team players.
The following 23 players were called up for the World Cup Qualifier on March 28 against Panama.
Caps and goals are updated as of March 28, 2017 after the match against Panama.
The following players have also been called up to the United States squad within the last twelve months.
Results and schedule
The following is a list of match results from the previous 12 months, as well as any future matches that have been scheduled.
For all past match results of the national team, see single-season articles and the team's results page.
Player recordsAs of March 28, 2017 v Panama. Active players are shown in Bold.
Competitive recordFor the all-time record of the national team against opposing nations, see the team's all-time record page.
The United States regularly competes at the FIFA World Cup and the CONCACAF Gold Cup. The U.S. has also played in the FIFA Confederations Cup, Copa América by invitation, as well as several minor tournaments.
The U.S. men's team have played in the Summer Olympics since 1924. 1924 to 1976 when the U.S. national team played, only amateur players were allowed on olympic teams per olympic rules. From when that tournament became a full international tournament after the IOC allowed full national teams from outside FIFA CONMEBOL & UEFA confederations in 1984, the U.S. national team results dramatically improved. Ever since 1992 the men's Olympic event has been age-restricted (under 23 plus three overage players), and participation has been by the United States men's national under-23 soccer team.
The best result for the United States in a World Cup came in 1930 when they reached the semifinals. The best results in the modern era include the 2002 World Cup, when the U.S. reached the quarterfinals, and the 2010 World Cup, when the U.S. won its group. The worst result in the modern era was a first round elimination in 1990, 1998, and 2006.
In the Confederations Cup, the United States finished in third place in both 1992 and 1999, and were runner-up in the 2009 Confederations Cup. During the 2009 Confederations Cup, the United States appeared in their first ever intercontinental tournament final. In the semifinals, the United States upset top ranked Spain, 2–0, to advance to the final. In the final, the United States lost 3–2 to Brazil.
In regional competitions, the United States has won the CONCACAF Gold Cup five times, with their most recent title in 2013. Their best ever finish at the Copa América was fourth-place at the 1995 and 2016 editions.
CONCACAF Gold Cup
CONCACAF Championship 1963–1989, CONCACAF Gold Cup 1991–present
South American Championship 1916–1967, Copa América 1975–present