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The U.S. National Team: The First Time in a Major Competition

The U.S. National Team: The First Time in a Major Competition

How to Watch the U.S. at the World Cup: Schedule, Roster and Expectations

By Mark Riddoch | February 21, 2019 | Updated: February 21, 2019 9:14am

When the U.S. national team was a baby team, we were the darling of the world in American soccer. We were always seen as a team that could compete on the world stage against any top club team in the world and we had a few members of the national team that were household names. We always expected to play in the CONCACAF and FIFA World Cup qualifying tournaments, but when the U.S. went to Brazil for the World Cup in 1994 we were just beginning our march into that game.

The U.S. were never going to be able to win the World Cup in Brazil, but the team played a great tournament and showed tremendous improvement from 1994 to 1995. By the time we were eliminated in the semis by Portugal, we were already playing against quality opponents on a regular basis and we had the quality to win the competition. That said, playing for the first time in an international competition against such strong opposition was a new experience for us and our team.

We had a good group of players that I had seen for a couple of years, but in my mind I was really excited to watch a young, growing team take on the best teams in the world when we were playing for the first time in a major competition. We made it to the second round with a win over Italy (0-1) and that wasn’t the end of the story. In the quarterfinals we played the best team in the world again, beating Spain in a great World Cup qualifying performance. But once again the U.S. fell at the first hurdle. The team we faced was the most dominant team in the history of world football, the one that eliminated every team in their path along the way: England.

The game was one of the best and highest scoring World

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