Looking Back at USA’s 2014 FIFA World Cup Qualifying
The U.S. Men’s National Team had a record-setting campaign in 2013 that serves as an important springboard toward the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil.
The USA won its third straight Hexagonal, officially qualifying for Brazil on the strength of another 2-0 victory against Mexico at sold-out Columbus Crew Stadium on Sept. 10. The team did not ease off the gas pedal, shutting out Jamaica 2-0 on Oct. 11 and posting an impressive 3-2 come-from-behind victory against Panama on Oct. 15 that featured stoppage-time goals from Graham Zusi and Aron Johannsson.
When all was said and done, the U.S. MNT won its third straight Hexagonal with a 7-2-1 record (22 points), ahead of Costa Rica (5-2-3, 18 points) and Honduras (4-3-3, 15 points).
This journey toward qualifying for a seventh consecutive FIFA World Cup started back on June 8, 2012, with a 3-1 victory against Antigua and Barbuda in the third round of qualifying in the CONCACAF region.
Here is a quick look back at some of the numbers the USA has posted during this World Cup Qualifying process:
- The USA posted an 11-3-2 record: 4-1-1 in the third round and 7-2-1 in the Hexagonal.
- Goalkeeper Tim Howard posted a 9-3-1 record and Brad Guzan was 2-0-1.
- Clint Dempsey led all U.S. players in qualifying with 14 starts and games played, 1,259 minutes, eight goals and 17 points.
- Jozy Altidore, Geoff Cameron and Howard each played in 13 games.
- Altidore and Eddie Johnson had four goals apiece in qualifying. All four Altidore goals occurred in the Hexagonal, leading the USA in scoring during that final stage.
- Fabian Johnson led the team with three assists. Michael Bradley, Brad Davis and Graham Zusi had two assists each.
- The U.S. outscored its opponents by a 26-14 margin.
- The USA had six shutouts during the Hexagaonal, posting a 5-0-1 record. The lone scoreless draw was on March 26 against Mexico in front of more than 85,000 spectators at Estadio Azteca.
- The U.S. had three stoppage-time goals during the Hexagonal. Graham Zusi and Aron Johannsson tallied the back-to-back stoppage-time goals to beat Panama on Oct. 15 and Brad Evans notched a stoppage-time winner to edge Jamaica 2-1 on June 7 in Kingston.
- Head coach Jurgen Klinsmann utilized 38 different players during 2014 FIFA World Cup Qualifying.