The USMNT is a member of CONCACAF and FIFA. It has played in 10 editions of the World Cup. Its best result was third place in the 1930 World Cup in Uruguay, making it the only team outside South America and Europe to have achieved such a place in a World Cup. In the 1950 World Cup in Brazil, they won a historic victory over the inventors of soccer, England, 1-0.
After that, the Americans failed in the World Cup qualifiers for many years, until they qualified for the 1990 World Cup in Italy after a 40-year absence. The U.S. hosted the 1994 World Cup and the team finished in the round of 16. In the 2002 World Cup, they reached the quarterfinals, their second best performance in the World Cups. It has played 7 consecutive editions in the World Cups, from 1990 to 2014.
It has won the CONCACAF Gold Cup 6 times in 1991, 2002, 2005, 2007, 2013 and 2017. The national team was champion of the CONCACAF Nations League in the first edition in 2019-20. In the Copa America, it finished fourth twice in 1995 and 2016.
Players such as Bert Patenaude, Walter Bahr, Eric Wynalda, John Harkes, Cobi Jones, Marcelo Balboa, Tab Ramos, Brian McBride, Claudio Reyna, DaMarcus Beasley, Carlos Bocanegra, Tim Howard, Clint Dempsey, Landon Donovan, Michael Bradley, Jozy Altidore and Christian Pulisic, are some of the most important players of the United States team. Its main rival is Mexico, with whom it plays in the CONCACAF classic.
In the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup, they managed to beat Spain in the semifinals by 2-0, and played the final against Brazil where they lost by 3-2, finishing as runner-up.
World Cup absences and failures (1954 - 1986)
The United States did not qualify for the World Cup from 1954 to 1986, failing in the qualifiers and other official competitions, due to the lack of soccer tradition in that country.
In 1983 a club called Team America was created, which played in the NASL, and also served as preparation for the upcoming competitions for the senior national team. The players were regular members of the national team, including nationalized players. But the team disappeared that same year due to its poor performance in the 1983 NASL
Around the same time, during the 1984 Olympics, the United States fielded its Olympic team and professional players for this tournament, as countries outside Europe and South America could be represented by their senior national teams. However, the Americans were eliminated on goal difference after a 1-1 draw with Egypt, after both countries finished with 3 points each (Egypt scored one more goal than the U.S., 5 to 4). In the qualifiers for the World Cup, the U.S. was eliminated on goal difference.
In the qualifiers for the 1990 World Cup, they faced Trinidad and Tobago in November 1989, a match played in Port of Spain. The match ended in a 1-0 victory, with Paul Caligiuri scoring the only U.S. goal to qualify for the World Cup after a 40-year absence. The team finished in second place in the final phase of the qualifiers.