Few teams were enthused about the prospect of making the long and difficult journey to Uruguay in 1930 but one of those that did make it was the US.

The result was that they ensured their own place in the history of the tournament as they, along with France, became the first side to win a game in the World Cup and the American goalkeeper, Jimmy Douglas keeping the competition's first ever clean sheet.  

The US won their group and made the semi-finals that year, but were hammered 6-1 by Argentina in front of a crowd of 72,866 in Montevideo's Estadio Centenario.

They have failed to reach those dizzy heights ever since – they did not even qualify for the World Cup for 32 years between 1954 and 1986 – but they did come close in 2002 when, after an impressive 2-0 win over their neighbours and rivals Mexico in the round of 16, a solitary goal from Michael Ballack was all that separated them from a place in the semi-finals. 

Of course, they also hosted the tournament in 1994, a move, which alongside the recent rejuvenation of the MLS, helped boost the popularity of the sport across the country.

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