The United States Men's National Team is focused on building toward the 2026 World Cup, where it will host the event with Mexico and Canada.
Since 1990, they have been regulars at the World Cup and have missed just one of the last nine tournaments.
On Aug. 30, head coach Gregg Berhalter named the roster for the September friendlies against Uzbekistan and Oman, which are some of the first games of the international soccer cycle leading toward 2026.
With teams from Europe, South America, and Africa all involved in tournament qualifying during this international break, the USMNT scheduled games against Oman and Uzbekistan as they prepare for January’s Asian Cup.
The USMNT won both of its September friendlies with a 3-0 win over Uzbekistan and a 4-0 victory against Oman.
The Americans, playing their first games since the US Soccer federation announced Gregg Berhalter would return as head coach, held at least 60% possession in both games.
Encouragingly, the Stars and Stripes scored in the first 15 minutes of each game.
The direct attack seen earlier this year during BJ Callaghan's tenure as interim coach was something fans and pundits felt the team lacked during Berhalter's tenure, so they will be glad to see seven goals between the first two games of Berhalter's second time in charge.
The US were without attacking midfielder Gio Reyna and defensive midfielder Tyler Adams for these games.
They didn't miss a beat, as Yunus Musah stepped back into defensive midfield and Malik Tillman took the vacant position in attacking midfield, while the attacking front three of Christian Pulisic, Folarin Balogun, and Timothy Weah created opportunities going forward.
Two USMNT regulars were left out of the squad: Tyler Adams and Giovanni Reyna.
Both are dealing with injuries, but Berhalter recently said in an interview that he has not spoken with Reyna in person since the two fell out during the 2022 World Cup.
Other Americans dealing with injuries include defender Cameron Carter-Vickers of Scottish club Celtic, striker Josh Sargent from English club Norwich City, and Walker Zimmerman of MLS club Nashville SC.
Zimmerman, like Reyna and Adams, is often seen in Berhalter’s starting lineups.
Sargent has posted three goals and one assist through four games in the English Championship, but he was subbed out due to injury 14 minutes into Norwich’s game against Huddersfield.
That was enough time for him to score, as he pressed Huddersfield’s defenders into making a poor pass to the goalkeeper and took advantage three minutes before his injury.
The USA came through the group stage unbeaten in Qatar 2022 with draws against Wales and England, before victory over Iran in their final fixture secured second place in Group B and a place in the last 16.
They fell short against the Netherlands in the first knockout round, however, and slipped to a 3-1 defeat as Haji Wright’s effort proved to be just a consolation.
Timothy Weah and Christian Pulisic were the other goalscorers for the USMNT in Qatar.
The Stars and Stripes competed in the first edition of the World Cup way back in 1930 and reached the semi-finals, finishing third in what is their best result to date.
The Americans were also present in 1934 and 1950, but it would be forty years before they next qualified for the World Cup as they secured a spot in 1990 only to lose all three of their group stage games.
The USA qualified as hosts in 1994 and reached the first knockout round and they have been regulars ever since, only missing the 2018 edition.
Their best result of the modern era came with a run through to the last eight in Japan and South Korea in 2002, where they claimed a last 16 win over rivals Mexico before losing out to runners-up Germany.
The USA missed the first eight editions of the Gold Cup, opting not to enter four and failing to qualify for four. They made their first appearance in 1985, where they were eliminated in the group stage.
They have qualified for all 17 of the tournaments since, however, and have claimed seven titles. They last won it in 2021, but could not defend the trophy in 2023 as they lost to eventual runners-up Panama in a semifinal penalty shootout.
The Americans have only fallen before the semi-finals once since 1989, as they were eliminated in the quarter-finals in 2000.
The USA have been the dominant force in the CONCACAF Nations League and they are the only team to have won the title.
They won the inaugural edition of the tournament in 2021, beating Mexico in the final, and downed Canada 2-0 in this year’s final to defend their crown.
The USA have competed in four editions of the Copa America as an invited nation, making their debut in 1993.
The Stars and Stripes finished fourth in 1995 and matched that result in their most recent appearance in 2016 in the commemorative edition of the competition - the Copa America Centenario.
The USA have a silver and a bronze medal in the Olympics and both of these honours came in 1904, when no international teams were involved and two clubs from the country claimed those medals.
The USA Under-23 soccer team claimed a fourth-place finish in Sydney in 2000 and their last appearance at the Olympics came in Beijing in 2008.
They failed to qualify for London, Rio de Janeiro and Tokyo but will return to the Summer Games in Paris 2024 and have qualified as hosts for LA28.
Berhalter spent three years in charge of the team between 2019 and 2022, guiding them to their first Nations League crown and the Gold Cup in 2021, but left after the last World Cup.
After interim spells for Anthony Hudson and Callaghan, the team have decided to re-hire Berhalter on a deal until after the 2026 World Cup.
Matt Crocker is the technical director for the United States Soccer Federation, having previously worked in a similar capacity at Southampton FC in England.
He was named to the role in April 2023, and will officially begin working for U.S. Soccer full-time in August 2023, although he has already been involved in overseeing the team and played a role in the re-hiring of Berhalter.
|DeAndre Yedlin||81 caps|
|Christian Pulisic||60 caps|
|Kellyn Acosta||58 caps|
|Jordan Morris||55 caps|
|Tim Ream||51 caps|
June 15 Nations League SF: United States 3–0 Mexico
June 18 Nations League F: Canada 0–2 United States
June 24 Gold Cup GS: United States 1–1 Jamaica
June 28 Gold Cup GS: Saint Kitts and Nevis 0–6 United States
July 2 Gold Cup GS: United States 6-0 Trinidad and Tobago
September 9 Friendly: United States v Uzbekistan
September 11 Friendly: United States v Oman
October 14 Friendly: United States v Germany
The USA are currently 11th in the FIFA World Rankings. Their highest position was fourth, which they achieved in April 2006.