The men’s national soccer team of the United States (USMNT) has taken part in eleven versions of the USA FIFA World Cup. A global soccer tournament contested by men’s national teams representing members of FIFA. This event occurs every four years, featuring the top qualifying teams from the continental confederations under FIFA.

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USA FIFA World Cup: History, results, records, stats and top players | USA FIFA World Cup Tickets

The United States belongs to CONCACAF, the governing body for soccer in North America, Central America, and the Caribbean. Among the members of this confederation, the United States holds the second-highest number of World Cup appearances, following Mexico closely. The US team made its debut in the inaugural World Cup in 1930, reaching the semifinals. A feat later recognized as a third-place finish, which remains their best performance to date.

This historic tournament witnessed the inaugural hat-trick scored at a World Cup. Credited to American forward Bert Patenaude, a recognition bestowed by FIFA in 2006. Following their memorable upset of England with a 1–0 victory during the 1950 World Cup group stage. The United States withdrew from the tournament until 1990. From 1990 to 2014, the United States consistently participated in every World Cup edition. Though their streak was disrupted in 2018 when they failed to qualify, marking the team’s first absence from the global stage since 1986.

Team USA Football World Cup: Soccer World Cup history

The USA men’s football team, among the original 13 contenders, debuted in the inaugural World Cup in 1930. Since then, they have graced the World Cup stage in 1930, 1934, 1950, 1990, 1994, 1998, 2002, 2006, 2010, 2014, and most recently in 2022. After a streak of seven consecutive appearances, they shockingly missed out on the 2018 finals. But made a comeback for the 2022 tournament in Qatar.

Their participation in the 2022 World Cup marked their 11th presence in the tournament. Notably, their best performances include reaching the Semi-finals in 1930. Where they clinched the 3rd position and the Quarter-finals in 2002. Looking ahead to the 2026 FIFA World Cup. The USA will automatically qualify as co-hosts, adding another chapter to their storied history.

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Soccer World Cup history| USA FIFA World Cup Tickets

Under the guidance of Gregg Berhalter. The youthful American squad heads to Qatar 2022 with a rich tapestry of past achievements to inspire them. Despite missing out on the previous World Cup in Russia in 2018, the team finds solace in their illustrious history. From the legendary ‘shot-putters’ who made it to the semifinals in 1930 to the 2002 squad. That came agonizingly close to matching that feat in Korea/Japan, the Stars and Stripes carry the weight of history as they embark on their journey.

Qatar 2022 marks the United States’ 12th appearance at a FIFA World Cup. Tracing back to their maiden voyage in Uruguay in 1930. That inaugural outing remains the pinnacle of their achievements to date. Over the years, they have celebrated memorable moments, including a stunning victory over England in 1950. Moreover, hosting the tournament in 1994 added another layer to their World Cup legacy. As they pushed eventual champions Brazil to their limits in a fiercely contested Round-of-16 clash.

Team USA: Soccer World Cup results

The USA’s journey in the World Cup has been marked by both triumphs and near misses. In 2002, at the first World Cup hosted in Asia. They were just a controversial no-call away from reaching the semis. However, their absence in the 2018 World Cup in Russia marked. The first time since 1986 that the American team didn’t make an appearance. Nevertheless, they approach the Qatar tournament with a youthful squad boasting experience gained from Europe’s elite leagues.

Back in 1930, the American team, nicknamed ‘the shot-putters’ due to their robust style. Made waves by advancing to the semifinals, spearheaded by legendary players like Adelino ‘Billy’ Gonsalves. Despite a spirited run, they bowed out to Argentina with a 6-1 defeat. Amidst the looming clouds of World War II, the USA withdrew from the 1938 World Cup. But returned with a bang in the post-war era, causing a stir in the footballing world.

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Soccer World Cup results | USA FIFA World Cup Tickets

One of their most iconic moments came in 1950 when Joe Gaetjens. Born in Haiti, stunned England with a solitary goal, shaking the footballing establishment to its core. However, this triumph was followed by a period of obscurity as the team failed to qualify for the next nine World Cups. Making a lackluster return in 1990 with a group-stage exit in Italy.

From 1990 to 2018, the USA remained a constant presence at the World Cup, except for their disappointing performance in France in 1998. Their pinnacle moment during this period came in 2002 when they defeated the likes of Portugal and Poland in the group stage before making history with a 2-0 victory over Mexico in the Round of 16. However, their dreams of advancing further were dashed in the quarterfinals.

As they gear up for Qatar 2022, the US men’s national team looks towards a new era, featuring emerging talents like Christian Pulisic, Tyler Adams, and Gio Reyna, all making their mark in Europe’s top leagues, carrying the hopes of a nation eager for redemption on the global stage. The resurgence in 1990 saw the likes of Eric Wynalda, Tab Ramos, and John Harkes leading the charge, laying the groundwork for a stellar showing in 1994 and beyond.

Team USA: Soccer World Cup records

In 1930, American Bert Patenaude etched his name in football history by notching the first-ever hat-trick in World Cup annals. Hailing from Fall River, Massachusetts, Patenaude, celebrated for his prowess in the air, showcased his talent with all three goals in a resounding 3-0 victory over Paraguay. Despite debates lingering for decades, FIFA conclusively confirmed this milestone in November 2006.

Meanwhile, Landon Donovan, a standout figure, holds the distinction of being the top scorer among Americans in World Cup competitions, tallying five goals (two in 2002 and three in 2010).

Despite his commendable 11 appearances on the field, he remains one behind Donovan, with slim chances of bridging the gap. Reflecting on the rich history of American football, the 1950 team’s triumph over England showcased a roster brimming with semi-professional luminaries such as Walter Bahr, Harry Keough, and goalkeeper Frank Borghi, whose contributions served as inspiration for future generations.

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Soccer World Cup records | USA FIFA World Cup Tickets

Donovan’s influence extends beyond scoring prowess; he boasts the most World Cup appearances among American male players, featuring in 12 matches across three tournaments (2002, 2006, and 2010). Another notable figure, DaMarcus Beasley, has graced four World Cups, showcasing remarkable longevity and commitment to the sport since his debut as a 20-year-old in 2002, followed by appearances in 2006, 2010, and 2014.

The dawn of the 2000s witnessed the emergence of luminaries like Donovan and stellar goalkeepers Kasey Keller and Brad Friedel, whose stellar performances paved the way for the era of Clint Dempsey and Tim Howard. Now, as we look to the present, a new generation of young stars, fueled by high hopes and ambitious dreams, prepares to embark on the journey to Qatar, epitomizing the enduring spirit and evolution of American soccer.

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