United States men's soccer national team
The United States has qualified to 12 World Cups (including 2026), the second-most by a CONCACAF country only behind Mexico's 18 David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images

ALABAMA - More than three decades after Brazil was crowned as world champions in Pasadena, California, the United States will host a World Cup for the second time in the country's history.

The United States did not play the opening match of the 1994 World Cup despite being host, as the defending champion between 1974-2002 was the one selected to open the following tournament. In 1994, Germany beat Bolivia 1-0 at Soldier Field, in Chicago. The following day, the USMNT played Switzerland in Michigan, a game that ended in a 1-1 draw.

The United States men's national team will have a little over two years to prepare for their opening game at SoFi Stadium on June 12, 2026. In fact, the Americans will play all of their group stage matches on the West coast, with two games in Los Angeles and one in Seattle.

USMNT's Group Stage Schedule

  • June 12, 2026: USA's opening group stage match at SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles
  • June 19, 2026: USA's second group stage match at Lumen Field in Seattle
  • June 25, 2026: USA's final group stage match at SoFi Stadium Los Angeles

Just like Mexico, the U.S. will play two of its group stage matches in the same city. Los Angeles's SoFi Stadium, which was opened in 2020, has hosted all sorts of major events, the Super Bowl LVI, the 2023 Collefe Football Playoff Championship, the 2023 CONCACAF Gold Cup final among them. This Summer it will also be the venue of two Copa América 2024 matches.

With the inclusion of SoFi Stadium as Los Angeles staple venue, the legendary Rose Bowl was left as an afterthought. The Rose Bowl was home to eight World Cup matches in 1994, including two for the USMNT (1-1-0 W-L-D).

The remaining group stage match for the U.S. will take place in Seattle, home to some of the most passionate soccer fans in the country. Seattle Sounders fans are known to be one of the most loyal fans in MLS, averaging at least 30,000 fans for every home game played at Lumen Field. In 2019, almost 70,000 people watched the Sounders take on Toronto FC in the MLS Cup Final. To this date, only Atlanta United's 2018 final (73,019) had a bigger crowd than Seattle's in MLS Cup Final history (69,274).

Coming out of a positive showing in Qatar 2022, the United States will look to go even further as hosts in 2026. When they organized the 1994 World Cup, the home team reached the Round of 16 for the very first time since the group stage was introduced in 1954, doing so as one of the best third-placed teams. They didn't have much luck in their draw, as they faced eventual champions Brazil in San Francisco. A tough game ended in a 1-0 Brazilian win to eliminate the United States.

The 2026 World Cup will be the 12th time the U.S. qualifies to the biggest tournament on Earth, including the 1930 inaugural edition where they finished in third place. Although a semifinal appearance in 1930 remains as the USMNT biggest accomplishment in the competition, the 2002 edition is certainly the most memorable one. Led by manager Bruce Arena and U.S. Soccer legend Landon Donovan, the Americans were able to reach the Quarterfinals thanks to a dramatic and famous 2-0 win over their archrivals Mexico.

If you ever heard an American Outlaw sign 'Dos a Cero', this was the game where it all started. On June 17, 2002, goals from John O'Brien and Landon Donovan gave the United States the win over Mexico in the only game both sides have played at a World Cup.

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