The 2022 FIFA World Cup got underway on November 20 in Qatar as 32 teams will battle it out to see who is crowed the World Cup champions. The United States Men’s National Team will start their group stage journey on November 21, as they were drawn into Group B with England, Wales, and Iran. Ahead of this year’s tournament, we’re taking a look back at the last time the USMNT made an appearance in the World Cup.
The USA failed to qualify for the 2018 World Cup in Russia, marking the first time since 1986 that they weren’t part of the final tournament. To look at their last World Cup appearance, we’ll have to go back to 2014.
The 2014 World Cup was hosted in Brazil, and it was the seventh consecutive appearance for the United States, dating all the way back to 1990. They were drawn into what was dubbed the Group of Death, consisting of Germany, Portugal, and Ghana in Group G. Although they weren’t projected to get out of the group, they pulled off a big 2-1 win over Ghana to open the campaign, followed by a 2-2 draw with Portugal. Their final match was a 1-0 loss to Germany, but it didn’t matter as they still secured second place in the group and advanced to the knockouts, sending both Portugal and Ghana home.
Unfortunately for the Americans, they met up against one of the world powerhouses Belgium in the Round of 16. Deadlocked at 0-0 after regulation time, extra time saw Belgium get off to a big start with goals from Kevin De Bruyne and Romelu Lukaku to go up 2-0. Julian Green came on the field and pulled one back for the USA, but they were unable to find an equalizer as Belgium held on for the win, sending the Americans home after just one knockout game.
Former Germany player and coach Jurgen Klinsmann was at the helm of the 2014 World Cup team and led some of the most iconic American players such as Clint Dempsey, Michael Bradley, Tim Howard, Alejandro Bedoya, Tim Chandler, Kyle Beckerman, Mix Diskerud, and Nick Rimando on that squad. Landon Donovan, the USMNT’s all-time leading scorer tied with Dempsey, was a surprise snub by Klinsmann when the final roster was announced ahead of the trip to Brazil.
Now eight years since that last World Cup appearance, coach Gregg Berhalter and his squad will look to make a deeper run in this year’s tournament in Qatar. They kick off their group stage campaign on November 21 with a match against Wales, set to get underway at 2:00 p.m. ET.