With the 1-0 victory against Portugal on Thursday, Nov. 8, the USA Women’s National Team not only remains undefeated in 2018, but earned the historic 500th victory in program history. With an overall record of 500 wins, 65 ties and 74 losses since the team’s inception in 1985, the U.S. WNT is one of the most successful teams in American sports history. It would follow that the statistics which have been accumulated in the last 33 years would be as impressive, and that is precisely the case.
Here’s is a numerical breakdown of the USA’s Journey to 500 wins:
July 7, 1986, a 2-0 win vs. Canada. The first win came in the USA’s fifth game after a tie and three losses.
Overall record: 500 wins, 65 losses and 74 ties.
At home: 282-20-28
On the road: 50-17-13
On neutral ground: 168-28-33
Throughout its history, the USA has a winning percentage of 90% in games played on U.S. soil and 70% while playing abroad.
World Cups: 33-4-6
World Cup qualifying: 32-1-0
Olympic qualifying: 18-0-1
Most wins in a U.S. state: 41 (California 41-0-3)
Record for wins in a calendar year: 33 (2008: 33-1-2)
YEARS IN WHICH THE USA IS UNDEFEATED IN A CALENDAR YEAR WHEN PLAYING 10 GAMES OR MORE
- 2006: 18-0-4
- 2013: 13-0-3
- 2016: 22-0-3
- 2018: 18-0-2
That have been on the field for the most wins in U.S. history:
- Kristine Lilly: 280-35-39 (85% win percentage)
- Christine Rampone: 253-20-38 (87%)
- Julie Foudy: 218-28-28 (85%)
- Carli Lloyd: 217-15-32 (88%)
- Mia Hamm: 216-34-26 (83%)
- Abby Wambach: 211-13-31 (89%)
Players on the current roster with more than 100 wins that have 10 or less losses in their U.S. WNT careers:
- Alex Morgan: 122-10-20 (87% winning percentage)
- Becky Sauerbrunn: 120-8-20 (88%)
- Megan Rapinoe: 115-9-21 (87%)
Wins by head coach
- Jill Ellis: 87-6-16 (87% winning percentage)
- Tom Sermanni: 18-2-4 (83%)
- Pia Sundhage: 91-6-10 (90%)
- Greg Ryan: 45-1-9 (90%)
- April Heinrichs: 87-17-20 (78%)
- Lauren Gregg: 2-0-1 (83%)
- Tony DiCicco: 105-8-8 (90%)
- Anson Dorrance: 65-22-5 (73%)
- Mike Ryan: 0-3-1 (12%)
USA opponents throughout its history: 53
- Out of 53 teams the USA has faced it its history, it has 100% winning percentage vs. 30 of them
- Against opponents in the current Top 10 of the FIFA Rankings the WNT has an 82% winning percentage
USA vs. PORTUGAL
Date: Nov. 8, 2018
Venue: Estadio António Coimbra da Mota; Estoril, Portugal
Kickoff: 1 p.m. ET
Starting XI vs. Portugal: 1-Alyssa Naeher; 25-Emily Fox, 7-Abby Dahlkemper, 4-Becky Sauerbrunn, 19-Crystal Dunn; 6-Andi Sullivan, 16-Rose Lavelle, 9-Lindsey Horan; 11-Mallory Pugh, 21-Jessica McDonald, 15-Megan Rapinoe (capt.)
Substitutes Available: 2-Emily Sonnett, 2-Samantha Mewis, 8-Julie Ertz, 10-Carli Lloyd, 13-Alex Morgan 22-Danielle Colaprico, 24-Ashlyn Harris
- The USA is 16-0-2 in 2018, with wins vs. Denmark, Germany, England, Mexico (thrice), China PR (twice), Japan, Brazil, Chile (twice), Panama, Trinidad & Tobago, Jamaica and Canada; and ties against Australia and France.
- The USA is unbeaten in its last 26 matches (23-0-3), and has outscored its opponents 91-17 through that stretch, scoring in all 26 games. Since the 2017 SheBelieves Cup, the USA has failed to score in just one game (vs. Australia at the 2017 ToN). That's a 31-game span.
- The WNT hasn’t conceded a goal in 704 minutes in 2018, with the last one coming against Brazil during the Tournament of Nations on Aug. 2.
- Alyssa Naeher has 20 career shutouts and will earn cap No. 38 today and her 15th in 2018.
- Emily Fox will earn her first cap for the U.S. WNT today. She is the 26th player to earn a first cap under head coach Jill Ellis. Fox is a veteran of the USA's last two FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup Teams and one of the top outside backs in the college game. She is a sophomore at the University of North Carolina.
- Abby Dahlkemper will earn her 29th cap tonight. It will be her 16th appearance and 15th start of 2018.
- Becky Sauerbrunn will earn her 148th cap tonight. Sauerbrunn is in 20th place on the all-time caps list.
- Crystal Dunn came off the bench to play outside back against France on March 4 and has been playing in that position ever since. Dunn will earn cap No. 74 and make her 14th start of 2018 today.
- Andi Sullivan makes her first appearance for the USA since April 5 against Mexico. It will be her fourth start and appearance of the year, and her 11th WNT cap.
- Lindsey Horan, the 2018 NWSL MVP, has played in every game for the USA this year. She will make her 16th start tonight and has scored three goals with eight assists in 2018. Her eight assists are second most on the team behind Megan Rapinoe.
- Rose Lavelle will earn her 19th career cap tonight and makes her eighth start this year. She has scored six international goals, most recently the game-winner against Canada on Oct. 17 in the title game of the 2018 Concacaf Women’s Championship.
- Mallory Pugh will earn her 42nd career cap today. She has scored six goals in 2018 and has two assists. In her career she has scored 12 goals – most recently vs. Chile on Sept. 4 – and has earned 13 assists. Today marks her 13 appearance of 2018.
- Jessica McDonald earns her second WNT cap tonight, almost two years to the date of her first. She made her WNT debut vs. Romania on Nov. 10, 2016 in San Jose, Calif. She had a stellar 10-goal season with NWSL champions North Carolina Courage and then scored once in the semifinal and twice in the championship game to help her club claim the title. The Courage are the sixth NWSL club for McDonald who has 41 career goals in the league, good for second all-time behind only Sam Kerr.
- Captaining the USA today is Megan Rapinoe, who has scored 41 international goals and is 15th on the all-time goals list. Rapinoe leads the USA with 12 assists on the year and now has 56 for her career, good for sixth place in the U.S. all-time assists list. Seven of Rapinoe's 12 assists this year have come on Alex Morgan goals. She will earn cap No. 145 today and make her 16th start of 2018. She has scored seven goals in 2018.
Over the years, as women’s soccer has grown throughout the United States and the world, the U.S. Women’s National Team has become synonymous with winning.
There have been many epic victories, and of course a few crushing losses, but through the past 33 years, the U.S. WNT has done something that is among the most difficult in sports: win consistently.
It’s a tradition built by several generations of players. A legacy that has driven the U.S. WNT players for more than three decades to sustain its powerhouse status globally. It’s a responsibility that has continued to motivate every player on the team.
The U.S. Women’s National Team will take on Portugal on Thursday, Nov. 8 (1 p.m. ET; ESPN2) at Estadio António Coimbra da Mota in Estoril, a suburb of Lisbon. The USA is unbeaten this year at 16-0-2, but a win against Portugal will mark a significant milestone in the program’s history.
Since its inception in 1985, the U.S. WNT has an overall record of 499 wins, 65 losses and 74 ties, going 282-28-20 (85% winning percentage) at home, 49-13-17 away (62%) and 168-33-28 (73%) on neutral ground.
Of course, the credit for all this success goes to the 229 players who, to date, have earned at least one cap for the USA, as well as all the coaches and staff who have supported them over the last 33 years that the program has proudly represented U.S. Soccer around the world.
One player who has been a major part of the USA’s winning ways is U.S. forward Carli Lloyd. With 263 caps, she has been on the field for 216 of the USA’s 499 wins, tied for fourth most in U.S. history with Mia Hamm, and only behind Kristine Lilly (280 wins), Christie Rampone (252 wins) and Julie Foudy (218 wins).
“Five-hundred wins is a huge milestone,” Lloyd said. “It’s always an honor to wear the red, white and blue and play for my country. It’s been an incredible journey and I have been able to play with so many generation of players. I got to play with some of the 99ers and they paved the way for all of us, and hopefully me and my generation have helped paved the way for some of these younger players playing now. To win so many games is a credit to this amazing team over the years of being successful and growing and wanting to continue being the best in the world.”
For several players winning has become so ingrained in their careers that while they’ve been on the field for more than 100 wins, they also have experienced 10 or less losses. On the current roster, three players currently own that unique double: Alex Morgan (121-10-20, 87% winning percentage), Becky Sauerbrunn (119-8-20, 88%) and Megan Rapinoe: (114-9-21, 86%).
That history of success is part of the soul of the team, passed down from generation to generation and the current group of younger players certainly understands that.
“Being on the verge of 500 wins shows the character of this team and what this team is all about,” 24-year-old U.S. WNT midfielder Lindsey Horan said. “I have never been involved in a game with this team didn’t believe we could win. It gives me goosebumps thinking of the legacy that every player before us has left and how it continues on through every cycle, and that now it’s our turn to uphold that tradition. It’s truly incredible to be part of this and a 500th win would be amazing.”
From the team that won the first game back in 1986, a group that had no idea what they were building, to the 2018 squad which is ranked #1 in the world, every player, no matter when or how many games they played, has an understanding of what being part of the U.S. WNT means. It’s a team that holds itself to extremely high standards, that always believes it can win no matter what adversity arises, and one that strives in an unrelenting process to have success while paying respect to those who have come before and continuing to lay a foundation for those who will come after.
And against Portugal, the current group of players is hoping to add one more historical milestone in the remarkable history of the U.S. Women’s National Team.Read more