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Earnie Stewart

World Cup by the Numbers: USA Holds Winning Mark Against CONMEBOL in Group Stage


With the 2014 FIFA World Cup taking place in South America, it is noteworthy that the U.S. Men’s National Team has had its share of success against CONMEBOL competition in the group stage.

The USA is 2-1-0 all-time against the South American Football Confederation, representing the only winning record among the five confederations the U.S. has faced in World Cup history. The U.S. is 6-13-5 all-time in the group stage.

The U.S. will find out its group competition in Brazil this Friday when FIFA conducts the 2014 FIFA World Cup Final Draw (ESPN2, ESPN3, Univision, Univision Deportes). The draw process is expected to start at approximately 11:45 a.m. ET, with outlets starting their coverage at either 11 or 11:30 a.m.

During the inaugural FIFA World Cup in 1930, the U.S. blanked Paraguay 3-0 on July 17 as Bert Patenaude garnered a hat trick by the 50th minute. That gave the USA a 2-0-0 record to win Group 4 and advance to the semifinals against eventual tournament runner-up Argentina.

The USA’s next World Cup group match against an opponent from the CONMEBOL region was at the 1950 FIFA World Cup in Brazil. Following the infamous 1-0 victory against England several days earlier, the U.S. suffered a 5-2 loss to Chile on July 2 to wrap up Group 2 play. The USA’s Frank Wallace and Joe Maca scored back-to-back goals in the 47th and 48th minutes, respectively, to tie the score at 2-2, but Chile notched three unanswered goals to run away with the win.

The U.S. MNT’s most recent group match against the South American Football Confederation was at the 1994 FIFA World Cup, highlighted by Earnie Stewart’s tally at the near right post off of a Tab Ramos assist for a 2-1 victory against Colombia on June 22 in front of nearly 94,000 fans at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif. That clutch goal gave the USA a 2-0 lead in the 52nd minute and helped the team advance out of Group A.

Quotable:

  • On Earnie Stewart’s goal (as told to ussoccer.com): “I was 12 at the time. My family and I were at home in Redlands. I didn’t watch soccer a lot at that age, but I watched all of the U.S. games. I vividly remember Earnie’s goal, and the ball just slipping in the near post. It was definitely an inspirational experience.” – USA forward Landon Donovan

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