With nearly 700 official matches in the books against 97 different opponents since the U.S. Men’s National Team first started playing in 1916, the MNT has accumulated a rich history of dramatic results, intriguing story lines and interesting anecdotes.
Ahead of Tuesday’s match against Chile (7:55 p.m. ET; ESPN2, UniMas and UDN), here are three tidbits of the MNT’s history against La Roja:
Wynalda Joins Rare Company With Copa ’95 Brace
While the 3-0 win against Argentina is the signature victory of the USA’s fourth-place finish at Copa América 1995 in Uruguay, the team’s success in that tournament started with the opening 2-1 win against Chile.
Newly equipped with a shaved head, lead MNT striker Eric Wynalda registered both goals – making a near post-run to re-direct now-MNT General Manager Earnie Stewart’s cross from the right in the 14th minute before swerving home one of his patented free kicks six minutes later.
Wynalda’s brace was historic for two reasons:
- He is one of two MNT players to score two goals in a match on South American soil. The other was Bert Patenaude, who registered a hat trick in a 3-0 win against Paraguay during the inaugural 1930 FIFA World Cup, also in Uruguay.
- More impressive, the two goals, plus the one he scored days later in a 3-0 win against Argentina, played a part in the striker becoming the only player to tally for the MNT on five different continents – North and South America, Europe, Asia and Africa. Quite a feat!
Balboa’s (Second) 100 Cap Milestone
The match was historic for another reason that wasn’t recognized as such at the time. Prior to the USA heading to South America for the tournament, long-time defender Marcelo Balboa became the first MNT player to earn 100 caps when he appeared in a 3-2 win against Nigeria on June 11, 1995 in Foxborough, Mass.
Or so he thought…
A few years later, U.S. Soccer was prompted by FIFA to revise the cap numbers of players who had represented the USA in games that were not deemed official senior team matches. This caused Balboa to lose three MNT caps, meaning his actual 100th game came in the 2-1 win against Chile on July 8, 1995.
Balboa, who finished his international career with 127 caps in 2000, remained the first MNT player to hit the century mark.
Three Debuts Against Chile
In more recent times, current MNT players Sean Johnson, Wil Trapp and Gyasi Zardes received their international debuts against Chile.
On Jan. 22, 2011, Johnson entered for Nick Rimando at halftime of a 1-1 draw with Chile at the recently renamed Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, Calif. [HIGHLIGHTS]
The USA’s most recent match on South American soil saw the now-Columbus Crew duo come off the bench in the 3-2 defeat, with Trapp replacing Mix Diskerud in the 60th minute and Zardes entering for Clint Dempsey in the 68th. [HIGHLIGHTS]
U.S. Women’s National Team head coach Jill Ellis has named the 24-player training camp roster for the USA’s two April friendlies, against Australia on April 4 at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, Colo. (7 p.m. MT on FS1) and against Belgium on April 7 at Banc of California Stadium in Los Angeles (6 p.m. PT on ESPN2).
Following these two matches, the USA will have only its three-game “Send-Off Series” in May remaining before departing for France.
WNT April Roster (Club; Caps/Goals)
GOALKEEPERS (3): Adrianna Franch (Portland Thorns FC; 1/0), Ashlyn Harris (Orlando Pride; 20/0), Alyssa Naeher (Chicago Red Stars; 41/0)
DEFENDERS (7): Abby Dahlkemper (NC Courage; 35/0), Tierna Davidson (Chicago Red Stars; 17/1), Crystal Dunn (NC Courage; 80/24), Ali Krieger (Orlando Pride; 98/1), Becky Sauerbrunn (Utah Royals FC; 153/0), Casey Short (Chicago Red Stars; 27/0), Emily Sonnett (Portland Thorns FC; 30/0)
MIDFIELDERS (7): Julie Ertz (Chicago Red Stars; 77/18), Lindsey Horan (Portland Thorns FC; 64/7), Rose Lavelle (Washington Spirit; 23/6), Allie Long (Reign FC; 40/6), Samantha Mewis (NC Courage; 45/8), Andi Sullivan (Washington Spirit; 11/0), McCall Zerboni (NC Courage; 8/0)
FORWARDS (7): Tobin Heath (Portland Thorns FC; 146/27), Carli Lloyd (Sky Blue FC; 269/105), Jessica McDonald (NC Courage; 6/1), Alex Morgan (Orlando Pride; 158/99), Christen Press (Utah Royals FC; 111/47), Mallory Pugh (Washington Spirit; 48/13), Megan Rapinoe (Reign FC; 149/43)
Only a small quantity of tickets remains for the USA vs. Australia match, including Summit Club and limited view bleacher seats. All tickets are available at ussoccer.com. Tickets for the USA vs. Belgium match are on sale through ussoccer.com. Groups of 20 or more can submit an online order form at ussoccer.com. Coaches Circle and Presidents Circle members supporting the U.S. Soccer Development Fund can receive individual customer support and concierge services for their ticketing needs. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
- Forward Alex Morgan comes into the match with 99 career goals, just one shy from becoming the seventh player in U.S. history to score 100 or more.
- Defender Ali Krieger, a member of the USA’s 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup Team and the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup championship squad, returns to the roster for the first time since the 2017 Tournament of Nations. She last played for the USA against Russia in April of 2017.
- Veteran defender Kelley O’Hara was not available for selection for this roster due to an ankle issue.
- Megan Rapinoe’s next cap will be her 150th, making her the 21st American female player to hit that mark.
- Horan returns to the roster after missing the 2019 SheBelieves Cup due to a quadriceps injury, but she started the first two matches of the year in Europe against France and Spain.
- The U.S. will conduct a six-day training camp in Santa Barbara, Calif., prior to traveling to Denver to face Australia. It will be the first training camp for the U.S. Women in Santa Barbara since 1991, when the team trained there several weeks before departing for the 1991 FIFA Women’s World Cup in China.
Australia and Belgium:
- After the USA went unbeaten in its first 26 matches against Australia, the last three games between the teams have produced a 3-1 win for the USA in the opening game of the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup, a 1-0 loss at the 2017 Tournament of Nations and a 1-1 draw on a late goal by Lindsey Horan at the 2018 Tournament of Nations.
- Australia qualified for the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup by defeating Thailand in penalty kicks in the semifinal of the AFC Women’s Asian Cup, before falling to Japan, 1-0, in the championship game.
- Australia was drawn into Group C in France and will face Italy, Brazil and Jamaica, in that order, at the World Cup.
- The meeting with Belgium, another fast-improving European nation, will be the first between the teams and will mark the 54th opponent for the USA in its history. Belgium finished second in UEFA Women’s World Cup Qualifying Group 6, two points behind Italy, and earned a playoff berth but fell to Switzerland in the two-leg semifinal playoff. The series was tied 3-3 on aggregate, but Switzerland went through on away goals.
- Australia is ranked sixth in the world. Belgium is ranked 21st.