Ten Greatest Wins in United States Soccer History
Throughout the years, the United States National team have had many great games.
From the World Cup to cup finals, the United States have been able to become a strong international team within the last 20 years, and the sport continues to grow in America.
Now that they have been able to qualify for their sixth straight World Cup, I decided to recap the 10 greatest wins by the United States National team during its history.
10. USA vs. Argentina (1995)
In only their second-ever invitation to the Copa América championship, the United States needed to get a 3-0 win over Argentina to advance onto the quarterfinals and not be paired with Brazil.
Even though Argentina had already qualified for the quarterfinals, they still started many of their regulars in this match, but the United States surprised many by beating Argentina 3-0 on the power of goals by Frank Klopas, Alexi Lalas and Eric Wynalda.
This game was also Paul Caligiuri's 100th career Cap, which made this win even more special for the United States national team.
9. USA vs. Mexico (2007)
In the 2007 Gold Cup final, the United States went up against Mexico in Solder Field in Chicago trying to protect their eight-year winning streak on American soil against Mexico, and trying win here to get into the 2009 Confederations Cup.
In the ending of the first half, Mexico's Jose Andres Guardado converted on a cross to give Mexico a 1-0 lead going into the half. But Landon Donovan was able to score a penalty, and Benny Feilhaber nailed a 20-plus yard strike to give the United States a 2-1 win, and earn a spot in the 2009 Confederations Cup.
8. USA vs. Mexico (2005)
After qualifying for the last four World Cups, the United States had a chance to clinch a spot in the 2006 World Cup in Germany with a win against their arch rival in Mexico in the United States.
And on a cold night in Columbus, the United States were able to defeat their rival by a 2-0 score on the power of goals by Steve Ralston and DaMarcus Beasley.
The win kept the American's six-year streak of not losing to Mexico on home soil intact, and it was key, as the US ended up finishing first in CONCACAF in qualifying.
7. USA vs. Columbia (1994)
After winning the bid to host the 1994 World Cup, the United States were put into Group A with Switzerland, Romania and Columbia.
In this group, many people had Columbia winning, and were chosen by many to be a dark horse candidate to win the World Cup.
After the US drew with Switzerland 1-1, and Romania stunningly beat Columbia 3-1, the tables were set for a matchup between the US and Columbia.
On June 22, the two sides took to the field at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif., and the United States took a stunning 1-0 lead after Columbian defender Andrés Escobar accidentally kicked the ball into the back of his own net, giving the US a 1-0 lead.
The US then scored another goal off the boot of Earnie Stewart in the 52nd minute, which was enough for the US to win 2-1, which was their first World Cup win in 44 years, and the win was key as the US advanced onto the second round.
Sadly for Columbia, they were eliminated from the World Cup, and Andrés Escobar was shot and killed in Columbia just 10 days after the fateful match.
6. USA vs. Portugal (2002)
In the 2002 World Cup, the United States were paired in Group D with host South Korea, Poland, and Portugal, who were picked by some to surprise many and have a great World Cup run.
But in their first game in the World Cup, Portugal had to face the United States in the Suwon World Cup Stadium, and the United States immediately shown that they were a force to be reckoned with.
In just the fourth minute of their first match, the United States struck on a goal by John O'Brien off a corner, which was only the start of the American offensive.
In the 30th minute, a pass by Landon Donovan deflected off of Jorge Costa and into the back of the net, giving the Americans a 2-0 lead.
Five minutes after that, Tony Sanneh nailed a perfect cross to Brian McBride, who headed it home, giving the Americans a 3-0 lead.
Even though Portugal got two goals, it wasn't enough, as the Americans won 3-2, which was key as they advanced onto the round of 16.
5. USA vs. England (1950)
In the 1950 World Cup, the United States national team traveled to Brazil to participate in the fourth ever World Cup.
Meanwhile, England was going to their first ever World Cup, mainly to prove to the world that their football is better than any other countries.
However, the American squad was determined, and on the strength of a goal by Joey Gaetjens in the 37th minute, and great goalkeeping by Frank Borghi, was able to stun England 1-0 in one of the biggest upsets in international football history.
This was the final United States win in a World Cup for 44 years, and the game has been called the Miracle on Grass.
4. USA vs. Brazil (1998)
In the 1998 Gold Cup semifinal, the United States were paired with the then No. 1 team in the world in Brazil. Brazil were invited into the tournament by CONCACAF, and because of this, they were heavy favorites to win the Gold Cup.
However, the United States came out and took the lead on a goal by Preki to lead Brazil 1-0.
After the goal, Brazil continued to attack the goal, but United States keeper Kasey Keller was fantastic in the goal, making 10 saves against the Brazilians, many of which were in point-blank range, which was the difference as the United States achieved their first-ever win against a team ranked No. 1 in the world.
After the game, Brazilian great Romário said about Keller "That is the best performance by a goalkeeper I have ever seen!"
3. USA vs Trinidad and Tobago (1989)
After 40 years of suffering and not being able to qualify for the World Cup, the United States national team had a chance to qualify for the World Cup, but they had to travel to Trinidad and Tobago and needed to win the match in order to qualify for the World Cup.
However, this would be a tough task because the United States had not scored a goal in over two matches, and all that Trinidad and Tobago needed was a draw to get into their first World Cup.
This United States squad was mainly made up of semi-pros and college kids, which were given a great opportunity due to Mexico being disqualified for the World Cup.
But the United States had one true professional in Paul Caligiuri, who was playing in his first game after breaking his foot. And it was Caligiuri who scored the only goal of the match, as he got the ball in the 34th minute and flung it at the T&T goal.
While it was in the air, T&T keeper Michael Mauric lost it in the sun, as the ball landed in the net, giving the US an unlikely 1-0 lead, and stunned the crowd.
After the goal, T&T continued to attack the US goal, but US keeper Tony Meola was equal to the challenge, as he conceded no goals, and the United States were able to qualify for their first World Cup in 40 years.
Caligiuri's goal has become known as "the shot heard round the world", and this win was key, as the US were now able to host the 1994 World Cup, and lead to the development of MLS, and is the main reason why soccer continues to grow in the United States.
2. USA vs. Mexico (2002)
After finishing second in Group D, the United States gained entry into the second round of the World Cup for the first time since 1994, but they had to play their arch rival Mexico in that round of 16.
Early on in the match, the United States took a 1-0 lead on a goal by Brian McBride in the eighth minute off of a pass by Josh Wolff.
After the goal, Mexico had several great chances to tie up the game, but American keeper Brad Friedel was equal to the challenge, as he shut down Mexico.
In the 65th minute, the United States were able to make it 2-0 as Landon Donovan headed in a pass by Eddie Lewis, which was enough as the Americans achieved their first clean sheet in the World Cup since 1950, and beat their arch-rival 2-0.
In the game, both teams each got five cautions, and Mexico's Rafael Márquez headbutted Cobi Jones at the ending of the match, causing Márquez to be red carded.
With the win, the United States were then able to go to the World Cup quarterfinals for the first time since 1930, as they would face Germany.
1. USA vs. Spain (2009)
As a result of winning the 2007 Gold Cup, the United States were invited into the 2009 Confederations Cup in South Africa.
In the Confederations Cup, the United States were put into Group B with Brazil, Italy and Egypt, while Group A consisted of Spain, South Africa, Iraq, and New Zealand.
Early on in the tournament, the United States lost 3-1 to Italy and 3-0 to Brazil, and were all but eliminated, as they needed to beat Egypt by three goals, and have Italy lose to Brazil by three goals to advance onto the quarterfinal.
But the amazing happened, as the US were able to defeat Egypt 3-0, and Italy lost 3-0 to Brazil, which got the United States into the semifinal, where they would have to face the No. 1 team in the world in Spain, who were looking to break the FIFA record for most games without a loss with 35.
But, the United States came into the match with lots of confidence against the Spanish side, and were able to take a surprising 1-0 lead in the 27th minute, when Jozy Altidore was able to beat outmuscled Joan Capdevila and was able to shoot the ball off Spanish keeper Iker Casillas and into the back of the net to give the Americans the lead.
After the goal, Spain started a ferocious attack led by Fernando Torres and David Villa, but American keeper Tim Howard was equal to the challenge, as he continued to stop every shot that came his way, and kept the score a 1-0 in favor of the US.
In the 73rd minute, Clint Dempsey doubled the American lead as he was able to beat Casillas again, giving the United States an unlikely 2-0 lead with less than 20 minutes to go.
And the Americans were able to keep it that way, winning 2-0 over the top country in the world, and were able to qualify for their first-ever FIFA Cup final, where they would face Brazil.