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15 Biggest Wins In U.S. Soccer History

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By Daniel Friedman
» More Columns

The United States’ big win over Ghana — and its upcoming match against Portugal — has the country buzzing about the World Cup.

Indeed, America has had its share of memorable soccer moments. Let’s count down the top 15 in USMNT history:

15. 2012 Friendly Match vs. Italy

Clint Dempsey celebrates the opening goal during an international friendly match between Italy and USA at Luigi Ferraris Stadium on February 29, 2012 in Genoa, Italy.  (Photo by Valerio Pennicino/Getty Images)

Clint Dempsey celebrates the opening goal during an international friendly match between Italy and USA at Luigi Ferraris Stadium on February 29, 2012 in Genoa, Italy. (Photo by Valerio Pennicino/Getty Images)

The U.S. finally beats Italy, 1-0, after 10 previous attempts, on a goal by Clint Dempsey in the 55th minute.

14. 1991 Gold Cup vs. Mexico, Honduras

Coming off their first World Cup appearance in 40 years, the Americans defeat Mexico 2-1 and advance to the Gold Cup Final against Honduras. The U.S. would go on to win the title match in a shootout for their first-ever tournament championship.

13. 1994 World Cup vs. Colombia

Colombian defender Andres Escobar lies on the ground after scoring an own goal past goalkeeper Oscar Cordoba while trying to stop a shot from U.S. forward John Harkes during the World Cup in 1994. (Photo by Romeo Gacad/AFP/Getty Images)

Colombian defender Andres Escobar lies on the ground after scoring an own goal past goalkeeper Oscar Cordoba while trying to stop a shot from U.S. forward John Harkes during the World Cup in 1994. (Photo by Romeo Gacad/AFP/Getty Images)

An own goal by Colombia’s Anders Escobar gives the U.S. a 2-1 win, their first of the World Cup variety in 44 years, and the Americans achieve the feat on their own soil at the Rose Bowl. Tragically, Escobar is shot to death just 10 days later.

12. 1995 Copa America vs. Argentina

Cobi Jones in action during the 1993 Copa America tournament in Ecuador. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/ALLSPORT/Getty Images)

Cobi Jones in action during the 1993 Copa America tournament in Ecuador. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/ALLSPORT/Getty Images)

Led by Alexi Lalas, the Americans score a major upset, shocking everyone with a 3-0 romp, beating Argentina for the first time.

11. 2005 World Cup Qualification vs. Mexico

Gerardo Galindo of Mexico tackles Landon Donovan of the USA  during the their 2006 World Cup qualifying match at Crew Stadium on September 3, 2005 in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Gerardo Galindo of Mexico tackles Landon Donovan of the USA during the their 2006 World Cup qualifying match at Crew Stadium on September 3, 2005 in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

The U.S. defeats Mexico 2-0, clinching a World Cup berth for the 2006 tournament in Germany.

10. 2007 Gold Cup Final vs. Mexico

The U.S. team celebrates their 2007 CONCACAF Gold Cup victory over Mexico at Soldier Field in Chicago.   (Photo by Tasos Katopodis/AFP/Getty Images)

The U.S. team celebrates their 2007 CONCACAF Gold Cup victory over Mexico at Soldier Field in Chicago. (Photo by Tasos Katopodis/AFP/Getty Images)

Just when Mexico appeared to have a Gold Cup title in the bag, two late goals — including a penalty kick marker by Landon Donovan in the 62nd minute — sparked a 2-1 U.S. victory.

9. 2010 World Cup vs. Algeria

Landon Donovan of the United States celebrates with teammate Edson Buddle after scoring the winning goal that sends the U.S. through to the second round during the 2010 FIFA World Cup. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

Landon Donovan of the United States celebrates with teammate Edson Buddle after scoring the winning goal that sends the U.S. through to the second round during the 2010 FIFA World Cup. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

Landon Donovan scores, off the rebound of Clint Dempsey’s shot, and the Americans take a 1-0 lead past the 90-minute mark. They hold on and win by that same margin, advancing to the next round.

8. 2014 World Cup vs. Ghana

John Brooks of the United States scores his team's second goal on a header past Adam Kwarasey of Ghana during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group G match between Ghana and the United States at Estadio das Dunas on June 16, 2014 in Natal, Brazil.  (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

John Brooks of the United States scores his team’s second goal on a header past Adam Kwarasey of Ghana during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group G match between Ghana and the United States at Estadio das Dunas on June 16, 2014 in Natal, Brazil. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

Ghana, who’d eliminated the U.S. in the past two World Cup tournaments, ties the match in the 82nd minute, but John Brooks restores the lead just four minutes later. His team holds on for the 2-1 win, sending midtown Manhattan into a frenzy that saw fans spilling into the streets.

7. 2002 World Cup vs. Portugal

John O'Brien of the USA celebrates scoring the opening goal during the first half against Portugal in the 2002 World Cup. (Photo by Gary M Prior/Getty Images)

John O’Brien of the USA celebrates scoring the opening goal during the first half against Portugal in the 2002 World Cup. (Photo by Gary M Prior/Getty Images)

Portugal had been tabbed as an early favorite going into the tournament, but the U.S. exploded for three goals within the first 36 minutes and ended up winning the match, 3-2.

6. 1930 World Cup vs. Belgium, Paraguay

Playing in their first ever World Cup match (in the first ever World Cup), the U.S. demolishes Belgium by a 3-0 score. In their next game, the Americans beat Paraguay by that same score, as Bert Patenaude records the first hat trick in World Cup history.

5. 1989 World Cup Qualification vs. Trinidad and Tobago

Tony Meola and John Harkes celebrate the United States' victory over Trinidad and Tobago to qualify for the 1990 World Cup. (Photo by Russell Cheyne/ALLSPORT/Getty Images)

Tony Meola and John Harkes celebrate the United States’ victory over Trinidad and Tobago to qualify for the 1990 World Cup. (Photo by Russell Cheyne/ALLSPORT/Getty Images)

Paul Caligiuri scores what many consider to be the biggest goal in the history of American soccer to beat Trinidad and Tobago 1-0 and send the U.S. to its first World Cup in 40 years.

4. 2002 World Cup vs. Mexico

Brian McBride of the U.S. (L) celebrates with team captain Claudio Reyna (C) after scoring the opening goal against Mexico during their World Cup match on June 17, 2002 in Jeonju, South Korea. The U.S. upset Mexico 2-0. (Photo by Chung Sun-Jun/Getty Images)

Brian McBride of the U.S. (L) celebrates with team captain Claudio Reyna (C) after scoring the opening goal against Mexico during their World Cup match on June 17, 2002 in Jeonju, South Korea. The U.S. upset Mexico 2-0. (Photo by Chung Sun-Jun/Getty Images)

Brian McBride and Landon Donovan give the U.S. a 2-0 victory over rival Mexico to advance to the quarterfinals.

3. 1998 Gold Cup Semifinal vs. Brazil

Kasey Keller of the U.S. grabs an attempted goal during the CONCACAF Gold Cup match against Brazil at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in February. (Photo by Hector Mata/AFP/Getty Images)

Kasey Keller of the U.S. grabs an attempted goal during the CONCACAF Gold Cup match against Brazil at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in February. (Photo by Hector Mata/AFP/Getty Images)

Kasey Keller morphs into a brick wall and the US stuns soccer superpower Brazil, 1-0.

2. 2009 Confederations Cup Semifinal vs. Spain

US forward Jozy Altidore (L) celebrates with Charlie Davies after scoring the first goal during the FIFA Confederations Cup semifinal match against Spain on June 24, 2009.  (Photo by Roberto Schmidt/AFP/Getty Images)

US forward Jozy Altidore (L) celebrates with Charlie Davies after scoring the first goal during the FIFA Confederations Cup semifinal match against Spain on June 24, 2009. (Photo by Roberto Schmidt/AFP/Getty Images)

The U.S. ends Spain’s 35-game unbeaten streak, winning 2-0 via goals by Jozy Altidore and Clint Dempsey.

1. 1950 World Cup vs. England

The captains of England and the U.S., Billy Wright and Ed McIlvenny, exchange souvenirs at the start of their match on June 29, 1950 in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, in which the American team won 1-0 much to the amazement of the football world.  (Photo by Keystone/Getty Images)

The captains of England and the U.S., Billy Wright and Ed McIlvenny, exchange souvenirs at the start of their match on June 29, 1950 in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, in which the American team won 1-0 much to the amazement of the football world. (Photo by Keystone/Getty Images)

It has been called the “Miracle on Grass.” The Americans were huge underdogs at the time and had no business beating England, but they did so by a score of 1-0. The win is one of the biggest upsets in World Cup history and likely the greatest one the USMNT has ever racked up.

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