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USMNT World Cup qualification & tournament record: How have U.S. performed?

14:32 GMT 24/03/2022
Eric Wynalda USA World Cup 1994
The United States have enjoyed some memorable successes on a global stage, but they have also been forced to watch several tournaments from afar

The United States famously beat England at the 1950 World Cup in Brazil, but then went 40 years without gracing the grandest of sporting stages and are still searching for qualification consistency.

With soccer finding itself stuck behind more established pastimes in America, it came as no real surprise when the nation slipped off a global radar for four decades – with MLS not launched in its current guise until 1996.

Interest has built steadily over the years, though, to the point that an exciting young squad are generating plenty of excitement in the present. How does the USMNT’s overall record read? GOAL takes a look…

USMNT World Cup qualification & tournament record

World Cup

Stage reached

1930

Semi-final

1934

Round of 16

1938

Withdrew

1950

Group stage

1954

Did not qualify

1958

Did not qualify

1962

Did not qualify

1966

Did not qualify

1970

Did not qualify

1974

Did not qualify

1978

Did not qualify

1982

Did not qualify

1986

Did not qualify

1990

Group stage

1994

Round of 16

1998

Group stage

2002

Quarter-finals

2006

Group stage

2010

Round of 16

2014

Round of 16

2018

Did not qualify

The United States formed part of the first World Cup finals held in Uruguay back in 1930.

A team that included six naturalised internationals – five from Scotland and one from England – reached the semi-finals, overcoming Belgium and Paraguay in the group stage without conceding a goal, before going down 6-1 to Argentina.

They were unable to replicate that success in 1934 and bowed out early in 1950 despite seeing Joe Gaetjens net a famous winning goal against a star-studded England side.

The USMNT team would have to wait until 1990 before reaching the World Cup again, with qualification proving tricky during a serious slump.

Over the course of a 40-year period, the U.S. won only 11 of their 39 qualification fixtures, with three campaigns seeing them go winless – conceding 21 goals across just four games in 1958.

A return to the grandest of sporting platforms did not go to plan on Italian soil, as a group stage exit delivered three defeats, but a role as hosts in 1994 breathed new life into American soccer.

Tony Meola, Alexi Lalas, Cobi Jones, Eric Wynalda and Co captured the imagination of a nation when reaching the last 16, where they lost 1-0 to eventual winners Brazil.

It was a case of three and out again in 1998 and 2006, but sandwiched between those struggles was a run to the quarter-finals in South Korea and Japan.

Having squeezed through their group, seeing off Portugal on the way, neighbours Mexico were overcome in the last 16 before coming up short in a 1-0 reversal against Germany.

The 2010 and 2014 events saw the USMNT suffer setbacks in the last 16, to Ghana and Belgium respectively, with both of those games going to extra time.

Another step in the wrong direction was taken in 2018, with five defeats in qualifying proving costly as the U.S. failed to book tickets for Russia.

Overall USMNT record at World Cup finals

Games played

Wins

Draws

Losses

33

8

6

19

Will the USMNT qualify for World Cup 2022?

On the back of a disappointing campaign in 2018, it was clear that something needed to change inside the USMNT camp.

Gregg Berhalter and his coaching team have had one eye fixed firmly on the future when building towards Qatar 2022, with an exciting crop of young talent given ample opportunity in which to flourish.

Chelsea star Christian Pulisic remains a talismanic presence as captain, but he now boasts the kind of support that will ease some of the pressure on his shoulders.

The likes of Weston McKennie, Sergino Dest, Tyler Adams, Gio Reyna, Tim Weah, Yunus Musah, Brenden Aaronson and Ricardo Pepi are all gracing prominent stages in Europe, while first-choice goalkeeper Matt Turner is Arsenal-bound this summer.

Team

P

W

D

L

GD

Pts

Canada

11

7

4

0

+14

25

United States

11

6

3

2

+9

21

Mexico

11

6

3

2

+6

21

Panama

11

5

2

4

+1

17

Costa Rica

11

4

4

3

+1

16

El Salvador

11

2

3

6

-7

9

Jamaica

11

1

4

6

-7

7

Honduras

11

0

3

8

-17

3

They have the USA on course to book a place at a global event that is due to get underway in November, with a second-place standing held in the final CONCACAF qualification table with three games left to take in.

Check out the USMNT's World Cup 2022 qualification fixtures and results here.