In terms of US National Team history very few days have matched yesterday in terms of pure drama. Just three days after Team USA equaled its worst ever loss to Brazil and six days after the national teams worst loss to Italy since 1934, the US found itself in a position to clinch passage to the semifinals of the Confederations Cup. Here are the previous best US performances in a FIFA or COMNEBOL competition, ranked in chronological order.
1992 vs Ivory Coast (FIFA Confederations Cup Third Place Game)
At the time this competition was known as a the King Fahd Cup. The US won 5-2 over the Ivory Coast behind a Bruce Murray brace. Also Cobi Jones scored his first ever goal for the US in this game.
1994 vs Colombia (FIFA World Cup)
The 2-1 win over one of the pre tournament favorites put the US through to the second round of the USA 94.
1995 vs Argentina (Copa America)
Still arguably the greatest win in US history, the 3-0 thrashing of Argentina gave the US a ticket to the knock out stages of the Copa America. Alexi Lalas, Frank Klopas and Eric Wynalda scored for the US.
1995 vs Mexico (Copa America)
The US won in a shootout versus rival Mexico to make the semifinals of the Copa. Brad Friedel saved 2 pks in the shootout.
1999 vs Germany (FIFA Confederations Cup)
Ben Olsen and Joe Max Moore score in the 2-0 US win that clinched passage to the semifinals. Moore’s free kick goal is among the best in US history.
2002 vs Portugal (FIFA World Cup)
Portugal received it’s fair share of pre tournament hype but the US came out flying and when John O’Brien scored off a corner in minute four, the US never looked back and won 3-2. The third US goal was a thing of beauty as Tony Sanneh found Brian McBride with a cross in a play reminiscent of their days together with the Milwaukee Rampage.
2002 vs Mexico (FIFA World Cup)
Unforgettable game that came on the heels of an embarrassing thrashing suffered to Poland in the final group game. The US were lucky to escape a handball on John O’Brien in the area, a sure PK on most days but dominated much of the game. Brian McBride scored on a nice Josh Wolff setup and Eddie Lewis put a beautiful cross in Landon Donovan’s path for the second goal.