I know we played this game the other day after the Egypt match, but let’s revisit it again. Where does the Spain game compare to the matches described below in the Post 1990 history of the US Men’s National Team? The 1950 World Cup win versus England obviously was the best pre 1989 result for the US, but actually was the last US World Cup win for 54 years, so it didn’t actually usher in any sort of era of good play from the USMNT. That’s why we will focus on post World Cup 1990 matches.
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.
1998 vs Brazil (CONCACAF Gold Cup)
Preki’s amazing shot from outside the area was the only goal of the game in a match that Brazil otherwise dominated. The great Romario described the effort of Kasey Keller that night by saying “it was an honor to be on the field with him.”
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.
Share your thoughts on which of these wins was the biggest in the comments section. Was it the Spain game today? Or was it one of the above described games or perhaps a game I did not list?
Also listen to our postmatch podcast from today where Yahoo! Sports Martin Rogers, DuNord’s Bruce McGuire and myself discuss this very issue.