National Team: USA
United States national football team is the top ranked team in CONCACAF rankings. The number one team in North American football team is governed by United States Soccer Federation. According to FIFA ranking, the team ranked 11th and 4th is the highest ranking ever achieved by the US team.
National flag of USA gave its football team quite a few nicknames such as “The Stars and Stripes” and “The Red, White and Blue”. “The Yanks” is another nickname of the team. The first football match played by the Yanks was against Canada in 1885 however, that was an unofficial match. The national football team of US played its first official match against Sweden on 20August. The red, white and blue conquer over Sweden by 2-3 and registered their first win in first match. Recently, the team filed their biggest victory in June 2008 against Barbados in Carson. Without conceding even a single goal, the USA national football team netted 8 goals.
In 1904 summer Olympics that were held in St. Louis, Missouri, United States earned both silver and bronze in football. The team won its first world cup match in 1930 FIFA world cup by beating Belgium with the final score of 3-0 in Montevideo, Uruguay. Bart McGhee was the first player to score for USA in world cup history; he netted the ball twice. In the next match against Paraguay, United States breached the opponent’s defense thrice and won the match by 3-0. All three goals were scored by Bert Patenaude which the first hat-trick in world cup history. The performance of US football team bagged them third place in world cup; till date this the best performance by USA national football team in World Cup history.
In 1950 FIFA World Cup which was hosted by Brazil, USA beat England by 1-0 was the most surprising thing in football history as English team won by 6-1 against rest of the Europe in an exhibition match. Despite great performances, football in United States took a back seat and for next two decades, the team registered wins again small teams like Bermuda, Canada, Poland, China and Honduras.
In late 1970s, North American Super League came into existence however; the step was not enough to promote the sport in USA. And The Yanks played only two matches from 1981 to 1983.
Success in CONCACAF champions league boost new life in US football. In 1991, the team won North America Cup. Then, in World Series of Soccer, The Yanks registered victory over Uruguay to won the title. The winning journey of the team continued with the 1991 Gold Cup, when come out as undefeated winner.
In 1994 USA hosted the FIFA World cup and this was the first world cup appearance after 1950. Match between United States and Switzerland held under a roof at Pontiac Silverdome; first time in the history of football. US football qualified for the second round after beating Columbia by 2-1.
In 2002 world cup, the US national football team reached the knock out stage after conquering over Portugal and 1-1 tie with Korea. It was best performance of the team after in world cups after 1930. In 2006 world cup, US players could not make it to the second round. Thereafter, Bob Bradley was appointed as the interim coach of the National football team of United States.
Under his supervision, US team nailed down teams like Mexico and Denmark in friendly matches, which in turn, made him 33rd coach of United States National football team. In 2007 CONCACAF Gold Cup team won the title without conceding a single goal. Bradley’s team remains defeated in his first 11 matches. As of now, team is competing in 2010 World Cup qualifiers under his guidance. According to current standings of fourth round, US football team is at number one with 16 points. These statistics made national football team of USA eligible for at least CONCACAF play-off spot.
Cobi Jones played maximum number of matches for United States. The midfielder played 164 matches and netted 15 goals. He also played for Major League soccer team Los Angeles Galaxy since 1996. For the same team, he served as an interim coach. Jones started his Professional career with English premier league while playing for Coventry city. He was a part of US open cup winning team in 2001 and 2005. He was also a US squad member that won CONCACAF Cup in 2000. In Latin America, he is known as “El escobillon.”
Top scorer for US national football team is Landon Donovan with 41 goals in 118 international games. The forward player also plays for Los Angeles Galaxy. Donovan can also play role of attacking midfielder from either wings. From current US squad Donovan is the most capped player. He also won Honda player of the year, for five times; highest by any player.
Home kit of the USA national football team comprises white jersey with blue trim and horizontal red stripes and blue shorts. The kit signifies the national flag of US. If the team is playing outside USA, the players will appear on the ground in grey shorts and grey jersey with red trim.
Current national football team is led by Carlos Bocanegra. US captain has an experience of 72 international games. He usually plays at center-back and left-back position. He was the captain of National team who won 2007 Gold Cup. Apart from playing for his nation Bocanegra played for Chicago fire and Fulham football club. As of now, he plays for Stade Rennais football club of France Ligue 1.
Other members of the current team are goalkeeper Tim Howard. 30 years old has played 46 matches or US. Midfielder Clint Dempsey and defender Oguchi Onyewu are the key players and has played 59 and 49 matches respectively.
The supervision of Coach Bob Bradley, leadership of Carlos Bocanegra, and support of experienced players such as Landon Donovan helping USA national football to conquer the world of football.