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A Look Back: U.S. vs. Argentina (1930)

In a continuation of U.S. Soccer’s series of 90-Year Anniversary articles, attached is “A Look Back,” an article recapping a U.S. National Team game from the past, which also serves to preview an upcoming match between the same two teams.  In this edition, we revisit the oft talked about semifinal appearance of the 1930 World Cup, in which the team squared off against Argentina.  This Saturday afternoon at the Orange Bowl in Miami, Fla., the U.S. and Argentina will meet for the seventh time.  Saturday's game can be seen live on ESPN2 and Telemundo at 11:55 a.m. ET, and can be followed via’s MatchTracker, presented by Philips Electronics. 



MONTEVIDEO, Uruguay (July 26, 1930) - After posting back-to-back shutout victories over Belgium (3-0) and Paraguay (3-0) in first round group play, the dream of an appearance in the 1930 FIFA World Cup championship game ended for the U.S. Men’s National Team in the semifinals as they dropped a 6-1 decision to Argentina on July 26, in Montevideo, Uruguay.

The crowd of 80,000 at the Centenario Stadium witnessed a strong first-half effort by the USA against Argentina, which had recently earned the silver medal at the 1928 Olympic Games.

With no substitutions at the time, the Americans were hit with injuries during the first half encounter as goalkeeper James Douglas twisted his knee and midfielder Andrew Auld played most of the game with a rag stuffed in his mouth due to a head injury. The U.S. were reduced to 10 men after defender Ralph Tracey suffered a serious leg injury forcing him out of the game at halftime.

Despite the injuries the USA were only down 1-0 at the intermission after midfielder Luis Monti scored in the 20th minute for Argentina.

Argentina pulled away from the weakened U.S. squad in the second half scoring five consecutive times in the final 29 minutes of the match for a 6-0 route.  Forward Guillermo Stabile and midfielder Carlos Peucelle each scored twice, while midfielder Alejandro Scopelli added another for Argentina.

The lone American goal came with 60 seconds remaining in the game as midfielder James Brown avoided a shutout and got the U.S. on the scoreboard for the 6-1 final.

Argentina went on to lose to Uruguay in a thrilling 1930 final, 4-2, while the Americans were schedule to meet semifinal loser Yugoslavia in the third-place match.  However, the Europeans decided not to play the game and the U.S. was thus awarded a third-place finish in the inaugural World Cup.

- USA vs. ARGENTINA GAME REPORT (July 26, 1930) -

Participants: U.S. Men’s National Team vs. Argentina
Competition: Semifinals – 1930 FIFA World Cup
Venue: Centenario Stadium (Montevideo, Uruguay)
Date: July 26, 1930
Attendance: 80,000

Scoring Summary: 1 - 2 - F
USA      0    1    1
ARG      1    5    6

ARG – Luis Monti              20th minute
ARG – Alejandro Scopelli   61.
ARG – Guillermo Stabile    69.
ARG – Carlos Peucelle       80.
ARG – Carlos Peucelle       85.
ARG – Guillermo Stabile    87.
USA – James Brown         89.

USA – James Douglas, Alexander Wood, George Moorhouse, James Gallagher, Ralph Tracey, Andrew Auld, Billy Gonsalves, Thomas Florie, Bert Patenaude, Bart McGhee.
Coach – Robert Millar

ARG – Juan Botasso, Jose Della Torre, Fernando Pasternoster, Juan Evaristo, Luis Monti, Rodolfo Orlandini, Carlos Peucelle, Alejandro Scopelli, Guillermo Stabile, Manuel Ferreira, Mario Evaristo.
Coach – Francisco Olazar

Referee: Jean Langenus (BEL)