sport news Team USA's do-or-die match with Netherlands is a painful reminder of World Cup ... trends now

sport news Team USA's do-or-die match with Netherlands is a painful reminder of World Cup ... trends now
sport news Team USA's do-or-die match with Netherlands is a painful reminder of World Cup ... trends now

sport news Team USA's do-or-die match with Netherlands is a painful reminder of World Cup ... trends now

The quadrennial goal of the United States men's national soccer is to advance beyond the World Cup's group stage.

Notwithstanding the country's disappointing failure to qualify for Russia in 2018, Americans are accustomed to reaching the World Cup, having done so seven times in eight chances since 1990.

But whereas qualifying against the likes of Cuba and Belize has been relatively easy, actually winning World Cup matches has been far more difficult. All-time, the American men are just 9-8-19 in World Cup play.

And even when Team USA does advance beyond the group stage, the knockout rounds have been unforgiving. Outside of a fluke semifinal appearance at the 13-team tournament in 1930, the Americans have only reached the quarterfinals once, in 2002. Along the way, the US has been humbled by everyone from traditional soccer powers Italy, Brazil, and Germany, to less-heralded teams, like Ghana and Belgium in single-elimination World Cup games.

In Qatar, the US has a chance to break from its disappointing history, starting with Saturday's round-of-16 match with the Netherlands.

Fortunately, there are reasons for optimism: Team USA stunned favorited England with last week's draw, keeping the Three Lions on their heels for most of the match, before earning a hard-fought, 1-0, win over Iran in Tuesday's pressure-packed Group B finale.

Of course, there are reasons for pessimism as well, including injury to star Christian Pulisic, not to mention 92 years of disappointment on the pitch. DailyMail.com looks back on Team USA's often-disastrous history in the knockout stages...

United States players celebrate qualifying for the knockout stages after beating Iran, 1-0, on Tuesday in Doha

United States players celebrate qualifying for the knockout stages after beating Iran, 1-0, on Tuesday in Doha 

Iran's defender #23 Ramin Rezaeian fights for the ball with USA's forward #10 Christian Pulisic during the Qatar 2022 World Cup Group B football match between Iran and USA at the Al-Thumama Stadium in Doha on Tuesday

Iran's defender #23 Ramin Rezaeian fights for the ball with USA's forward #10 Christian Pulisic during the Qatar 2022 World Cup Group B football match between Iran and USA at the Al-Thumama Stadium in Doha on Tuesday

1930: A 6-1 semifinals loss to Argentina

The country's World Cup debut in Uruguay in 1930 remains its deepest tournament run, although that comes with a Jupiter-sized asterisk attached. That year's inaugural tournament was only supposed to include 16 teams, but was further diminished by the late withdrawals by Egypt, Japan and Siam, leaving the US with relatively easy group-stage matches against Belgium and Paraguay, both of which the Americans won 3-0.

That sent Team USA into a semifinal matchup with Argentina, which handed the Americans a 6-1 defeat en route to the championship game. USA's only goal came in he 89th minute, and it was actually scored by Scottish-born Jim Brown, who would go on to play for Guildford City F.C.

1934: A 7-1 round-of-16 loss to Italy

It would be easy to congratulate the Americans on a second straight knockout stage berth, but the 1934 tournament in Italy included only 16 teams, so the round-of-16 was actually the first stage of the tournament.

It did not go well for the US, which faced the host and eventual-champion Italy, losing 7-1.

Team USA's lone goal was scored by Aldo Donelli. The country would not score another goal in the World Cup until 1950, and wouldn't reach the round-of-16 again for another 60 years.

The US gave Brazil one of its toughest matches of the 1994 World Cup, highlighted by a brutal elbow by defender Leonardo against US midfielder Tab Ramos, who suffered a fractured skull. Leonardo was subsequently given a red card, suspended four games, and fined $80,000

Leonardo raises his hand while getting a red card for his takedown of Tab Ramos

The US gave Brazil one of its toughest matches of the 1994 World Cup, highlighted by a brutal elbow by defender Leonardo against US midfielder Tab Ramos, who suffered a fractured skull. Leonardo was subsequently given a red card, suspended four games, and fined $80,000

Marcello Balboa is taken down by Brazil's Mazinho during their 1994 World Cup clash in Palo Alto, California

Marcello Balboa is taken down by Brazil's Mazinho during their 1994 World Cup clash in Palo Alto, California 

Brazil's Jorginho battles Team USA's Cobi Jones for the ball

Brazil's Aldair and Team USA's Earnie Stewart (right)

(Left) Brazil's Jorginho battles Team USA's Cobi Jones for the ball and (right) Brazil's Aldair and Team USA's Earnie Stewart

1994: A 1-0 round-of-16 loss to Brazil

The US benefitted from its homefield advantage in 1994, famously upsetting tournament favorites Colombia on an own goal before advancing to a round-of-16 meeting with Brazil, the eventual champions.

Remarkably, the US gave Brazil one of its toughest matches of the tournament, highlighted by a brutal elbow from defender Leonardo against US midfielder Tab Ramos, who suffered a fractured skull. Leonardo was subsequently given a red card, suspended four games, and fined $80,000.

The US played with a man advantage for the second half, but the Brazilians pulled ahead in the 73rd minute, when Romario fed Bebeto for the game's lone goal.

Afterwards, Leonardo apologized to Ramos, who was knocked unconscious and briefly hospitalized.

Germany's Michael Ballack (second from the left) turns to celebrate after scoring in the 39th minute on June 21, 2002

Germany's Michael Ballack (second from the left) turns to celebrate after scoring in the 39th minute on June 21, 2002

2002: A 1-0 quarterfinal loss to Germany

If the US has a proud moment on the World Cup stage, it's the team's quarterfinals run in 2002, when the Americans upset Portugal in the group stage and rival Mexico in the round of 16 to set up a match with heavily favored Germany.

The US created several chances in the early minutes. A shot by Frankie Hejduk was saved by legendary German goalie Oliver Kahn before a Landon Donovan opportunity was thwarted by defender Christoph Metzelder.

Miroslav Klose of Germany controls the ball as Tony Sanneh of the USA looks on during the FIFA World Cup quarterfinals

Miroslav Klose of Germany controls the ball as Tony Sanneh of the USA looks on during the FIFA World Cup quarterfinals

Kahn would make a brilliant save on another Donovan shot minutes later, but just as the US seemed to be seizing the momentum, Michael Ballack scored off a free kick from teammate Christian Ziege to give

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