The Staggering Numbers Behind The USWNT’s 500 Victories

The U.S. women’s national team recorded its 500th win on Thursday. Here’s how they went about it.

The U.S. women’s national team played its first-ever match on Aug. 18, 1985. They lost, 1-0 to Italy. The Americans have been pretty good since, racking up an impressive USWNT record, which hit an unprecedented milestone on Thursday. 

The U.S. women’s national team notched its 500th win with a 1-0 victory over Portugal on Thursday in Lisbon. The all-time USWNT record currently stands at 500 wins, 65 losses and 74 ties. 

That’s 500 wins in 33 years — not a bad haul from a country people say doesn’t care about soccer. For comparison’s sake, the Brazilian men’s national team has 606 wins, but the Seleção have been playing since 1914; the U.S. men have won 293 games since 1916. No other team can boast a better winning percentage in the history of sports.

The numbers behind this unparalleled USWNT record are just as staggering as the 500 wins itself. 

Embed from Getty Images

Some stats of note: 

  • The USWNT has played 330 of its 639 matches (52 percent) in the United States, compared to 80 (13 percent) on the road. The remainder (229, 36 percent) were neutral-site matches.
  • The U.S. has never lost to an African nation (6-0-0 since first match in 1999). 
  • The most matches the USWNT has played in a calendar year was in 2000, when the team went 26-6-9 after winning the 1999 World Cup. 
  • The USWNT has dominated Concacaf competition with 120 wins to just four losses and eight draws. Canada has inflicted three of those losses while the fourth was to Mexico in World Cup qualifying in 2010.
  • UEFA nations have inflicted the most losses on the Americans with 47 of the 65 (72 percent). About half of those came from the Scandinavian countries of Sweden and Norway.
  • Norway has more wins over the U.S. than any other country, beating the USWNT 19 times, including in the 1995 World Cup semifinals and 2000 Olympic final. Norway has one win over the U.S. since 2003. 
  • China, the 1999 World Cup finalist, has beaten the U.S. more than any team outside of Europe with nine victories. But the U.S. has beaten China 36 times.
  • Japan, despite beating the U.S. on penalty kicks in the final of the 2011 World Cup, has only beaten the U.S. once (penalty kick victories count as draws in the record books). That win over the U.S. came in March of 2012, though that same year the U.S. beat Japan two times and they tied once.
  • For all its footballing history (and in Marta one of the greatest to ever play the game), Brazil just has three wins over the U.S., two coming in friendlies on Brazilian soil in 1997 and 2014, the third in the 2007 World Cup. 
  • The U.S. began winning almost immediately. Despite being new to the game, the USWNT posted a winning record in the 80s (14-12-5) and dominated in the 90s, starting with a 6-1-0 record in 1990 and 21-5-1 in 1991, winning the inaugural women’s World Cup. 
  • The late Tony DiCicco won the most USWNT games as coach with 103, not including the memorable victory over China in the 1999 World Cup final, which was won on penalty kicks and went down as a draw. He is the only USWNT coach to win both a World Cup and an Olympic gold medal. 
  • Greg Ryan owns the best win percentage of USWNT coaches at 90 percent, losing once in 54 matches (45-1-9). Mike Ryan (unrelated) has the worst win percentage, going 0-3-1 (.125) as coach in 1985. 
  • The U.S. has played nearly two-thirds of its matches under American coaches, winning more than 300 matches. 

USWNT Record Behind The Numbers

Overall

  • Wins: 500
  • Losses: 65
  • Draws: 74

Home/Away

  • Home Wins: 282
  • Home Losses: 28
  • Home Draws: 20
  • Away Wins: 50
  • Away Losses: 13
  • Away Draws: 17
  • Neutral Wins: 168
  • Neutral Losses: 33
  • Neutral Draws: 28

Trophies

Embed from Getty Images

  • World Cups: 3
  • Olympics Gold Medals: 4
  • Concacaf Gold Cups: 8
  • Algarve Cups: 10
  • SheBelieves Cups: 2
  • Tournament Of Nations: 1
  • U.S. Cups: 7
  • Four Nations Tournaments: 7
  • Miscellaneous Cups: 14

By Decade

  • 1980s: 14-12-5 (W-L-T)
  • 1990s: 155-22-9
  • 2000s: 175-18-33
  • 2010s: 156-13-27

By Competition

  • World Cup: 33-4-6
  • Olympics: 26-2-5
  • Concacaf Gold Cup: 37-1-1
  • Algarve Cup: 56-12-11

By Region

  • Concacaf: 120-4-8
  • UEFA: 207-47-33
  • AFC (including Australia): 106-15-23
  • CONMEBOL: 39-4-5
  • CAF: 6-0-0

By Team

  • Canada: 49-3-7
  • Mexico: 34-1-1
  • China: 36-9-13
  • Germany: 24-4-7
  • Brazil: 29-3-5
  • Japan: 27-1-7

By Coach

  • Mike Ryan (1985): 0-3-1
  • Anson Dorrance (1986-94): 66-22-5
  • Tony DiCicco (1994-99): 103-8-8
  • Lauren Gregg (1997, 2000): 2-0-1
  • April Heinrichs (2000-04): 87-17-20
  • Greg Ryan (2005-07): 45-1-9
  • Pia Sundhage (2007-12): 91-6-10
  • Tom Sermanni (2013-14): 17-2-4
  • Jill Ellis (2012, 2014-present): 18-2-4

Records

  • Most Consecutive Wins: 18 (Aug. 25 1990-May 25 1991)
  • Most Consecutive Losses: 3 (Oct. 30 1991-Oct. 4 1991 and March 3 1993-April 7 1993)
  • Most Wins In A Year: 33 (2008, 33-1-2)
  • Fewest Wins In A Year: 0 (three times: 1985, 1989, 1992)
  • Most Losses In A Year: 6 (2000, 26-6-9)
  • Fewest Losses In A Year: 0 (eight times: 1989, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2013, 2016, 2018)
  • Most Draws In A Year: 9 (2000, 26-6-9)
  • Fewest Draws In A Year: 0 (six times: 1986, 1990, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1997)
  • Winning Seasons: 29
  • Losing Season: 3 (1985, 1992, 2001)
  • .500 Seasons: 2 (1988, 1989)

Most-Capped Players

Embed from Getty Images

  • 1. Kristine Lilly, 354
  • 2. Christie Rampone, 311
  • 3. Mia Hamm, 276
  • 4. Julie Foudy, 274
  • 5. Carli Lloyd, 264
  • 6. Abby Wambach, 256
  • 7. Joy Fawcett, 241
  • 8. Heather O’Reilly, 231
  • 9. Tiffeny Milbrett, 206
  • 10. Hope Solo, 202

Most Goals Scored

Embed from Getty Images

  • 1. Abby Wambach, 184
  • 2. Mia Hamm, 158
  • 3. Kristine Lilly, 130
  • 4. Michelle Akers, 107
  • 5. Carli Lloyd, 105
  • 6. Tiffeny Milbrett, 100
  • 7. Alex Morgan, 97
  • 8. Cindy Parlow, 75
  • 9. Shannon MacMillan, 60
  • 10. Carin Jennings-Gabarra, 56

Most Assists

Embed from Getty Images

  • 1. Mia Hamm, 145
  • 2. Kristine Lilly, 106
  • 3. Abby Wambach, 73
  • 4. Tiffeny Milbrett, 64
  • 5. Megan Rapinoe, 56
  • 6. Julie Foudy, 55
  • 7. Heather O’Reilly, 52
  • 8. Carli Lloyd, Shannon MacMillan, 50
  • 10. Carin Jennings-Gabarra, 48

USWNT record and statistics accurate as of Nov. 8, 2018.  

Videos you might like