After the 4-2 loss to Belgium on May 30 in Cleveland, the idea that the USA would then run off 12 straight wins would have been fantasy.
Just like idea that the moribund U.S. attack would be transformed into the swashbuckling crew that scored four second-half goals Wednesday for the most improbable win of the streak, a 4-3 comeback win
at Bosnia-Herzegovina that puts the USA only three wins away from tying the world record held by Spain.
The Belgium defeat left the USA with a 1-2-2 record for 2013 and exposed the
frailties of the inexperienced U.S. backline that has been completely rebuilt. The two goals scored against Belgium came on just two shots on goal, giving the USA just four goals and a paltry nine
shots on goals in those five games. Since then, the USA has scored 39 goals on 85 shots on goal to run off 12 wins.
Here's a breakdown of the streak: The Streak: OPPONENT (GOALSCORERS)
(Altidore, own goal, Dempsey 2) @Jamaica 2-1
(Altidore, Evans) Panama 2-0
(Altidore, E. Johnson) Honduras 1-0
(Altidore) Guatemala 6-0
(Gomez, Donovan 2, Wondolowski, Goodson, Bedoya) Belize 6-1
(Wondolowski 3, Holden, Orozco Fiscal, Donovan) Cuba 4-1
(Donovan, Corona, Wondolowski 2) Costa Rica 1-0
(Goodson, Corona, E.Johnson, Donovan, Diskerud) Honduras 3-1
(E. Johnson, Donovan 2) Panama 1-0
(E.Johnson, Altidore 3)
-- Three wins came in World Cup 2014 qualifying to jump the USA into the
lead in the Hexagonal with four games to play. Six wins came at the Gold Cup, which the USA won for a fifth time. The other three wins came in friendlies.
-- All but the first and last
games of the streak -- 4-3 wins over Germany and Bosnia-Herzegovina -- were against Concacaf opposition.
-- Wednesday's game in Sarajevo marked only the second time the USA played on the
road. It also won at Jamaica.
-- And the BiH game marked only the second time the USA came back to win after trailing. Cuba led for 10 minutes late in the first half in Utah. BiH led for
51 minutes on Wednesday. Appearances: 9
Corona, Diskerud, E.Johnson 7
Besler, Donovan, Holden, Parkhurst, Shea 6
Bedoya, Beckerman, Castillo, Goodson, Rimando, Torres, Wondolowski 5
Altidore, Bradley, Evans, Gonzalez, Howard,
F. Johnson 4
Cameron, Dempsey, Jones, Orozco Fiscal 3
Davis, Gomez, Zusi 2
Beltran, Boyd, Brooks, Bruin, Johannsson, Kljestan, S.Johnson, Wood.
-- Thirty-eight different players have made
appearances during the 12-game winning streak, including three -- John Brooks
, Aron Johannsson
and Bobby Wood
-- who made their international debuts, all on Wednesday.
-- The only player who hasn't played during the streak and would be considered a
lock on a U.S. World Cup 2014 roster is No. 2 keeper Brad Guzan
. Klinsmann regulars from earlier in his tenure who have not played include Carlos Bocanegra
, Steve Cherundolo
, Timmy Chandler
, Maurice Edu
and Danny Williams
. Only Williams was called up for the BiH game but he didn't dress.
-- The player with the most
consecutive appearances is Mix Diskerud
, who has played in the last eight games.
-- Klinsmann started the same lineup in consecutive matches only
once -- for the first two games of the streak. Goals:
Altidore, Donovan 6
Corona, Dempsey, Goodson, Shea
Bedoya, Diskerud, Evans, Gomez, Holden, Orozco Fiscal, own goal
-- Fourteen different players have scored in
the streak. Most impressively, Jozy Altidore
, Landon Donovan
have all averaged a goal a game or more during the streak.
-- The USA has averaged 3.25 goals per game during the streak and scored four or more goals in six of the 12
games. It had previously never scored four or more goals more than three times in a year. Longest Winning
Streaks: W TEAM (YEARS) 15
Spain (2008-09) 14
Brazil (1997) 14
France (2003-04) 13
Brazil (1960-62) 12
USA (2013) 12
West Germany (1979-80) 12
France (1984-85) 12
-- Spain's streak began with a 3-0 win over Russia in the semifinals of Euro 2008 and ended when the USA beat it, 2-0, at the 2009 Confederations Cup.
-- Brazil and Belgium went into Wednesday with the next longest active streaks at six and five wins, but Brazil lost to Switzerland, 1-0, and Belgium tied France, 0-0.