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.