The United States has a long history in the World Cup. Since 1930, it has now made it to the final nine times. In 25 games, it's 6-3-16.
How the United States has fared:
1930: The U.S. team reached the semifinals in Uruguay by defeating Paraguay and Belgium by 3-0 scores. Argentina put the U.S. team in its place with a 6-1 victory.
1934: The U.S. team played one game, and it wasn't pretty: a 7-1 loss to Italy, the host country.
1950: Books have been written and a movie made about the United States' 1-0 defeat of England in Brazil on a goal by Joe Gaetjens. Many papers in Great Britain assumed the score was wrong and reported that England won 10-0. Until 1950, England had declined to participate in the World Cup, some say because it felt like it was obviously the world's best team so there wasn't any point in playing. The U.S. team was composed of mostly semi-pro players, while England featured some of the world's best.
That was the highlight for the United States, which was beaten by Chile 5-2 and Spain 3-1.
It would be 40 years before the team got another chance to show the world what it could do.
1990: The United States ended a 40-year absence by appearing in the finals in Italy. It wasn't pretty. The United States gave up eight goals and scored two in a 5-1 loss to Czechoslovakia, a 1-0 loss to Italy and a 2-1 loss to Austria. It was truly a tough draw for the Americans.
1994: One of the best Cups in U.S. history saw the host Americans tie Switzerland 1-1, shock Cup-favorite Colombia 2-1, and lose to Romania 1-0. That loss didn't matter because the United States had already qualified for the round of 16. Unfortunately, it was paired against Brazil. It turned out that the United States gave the Brazilians everything they could handle in a 1-0 loss. Bebeto's goal in the 72nd minute sealed the win.
1998: If 1994 was a high point, 1998 in France was the nadir. The U.S. team finished dead last after a 2-0 loss to Germany, a 2-1 loss to Iran and a 1-0 loss to Yugoslavia.
2002: The U.S. team bounced back in Korea to make it to the quarterfinals, where it was dumped by Germany 1-0. The highlight was a 2-0 hammering of rival Mexico in the round of 16.
2006: Continuing its yo-yo results, the U.S. team crashed in Germany. It failed to make it out of a very tough group. They were beaten 3-0 by the Czech Republic, tied Italy 1-1 and lost to Ghana 2-1.