Relive The USMNT’s Epic 1-0 Win Over Brazil In 1998, Including An Unreal Kasey Keller

The U.S. and Brazil men’s national teams have clashed 18 times dating back to their first meeting in 1930. Brazil has won 17 of those. The USMNT vs Brazil 1998 match was the lone outlier, a wild win in a fairly major competition. 

As the USMNT gets ready to face off against Brazil for a 19th time on Friday night, it’s easy to look at the lopsided history and assume Brazil has always dominated. While there have been some heavy defeats for the Americans (most recently a pair of 4-1 losses in 2012 and 2015 friendlies), the U.S. has been competitive. 

The Americans nearly knocked off the Seleçao in the 2009 Confederations Cup final, going up 2-0 before losing 3-2.

But the one match between the two that stands out is the USMNT vs Brazil 1998 Gold Cup semifinal, won 1-0 by the U.S.

In February 1998, both Brazil and the U.S. were preparing for the upcoming France World Cup, at which Brazil finished second and the U.S. finished dead last. But in the Gold Cup semifinals in Los Angeles, the Americans pulled off an unlikely upset thanks to the heroics of Kasey Keller.

Keller, who at the time was the Leicester City goalkeeper, came up with 10 saves and Predrag Radosavljević — better known as Preki — scored the lone goal with an exquisite strike in the 65th minute against a Brazil team with the legendary Romário. The goal call in the above video (starting at about 2:20) is just fantastic. 

Stunningly, less than 13,000 fans were in attendance at Memorial Coliseum in LA to watch the historic feat, to this day the only time the U.S. has beaten Brazil in any major competition (on the men's side). 

Unfortunately for the Americans, the USMNT vs Brazil 1998 match was followed by a 1-0 loss to Mexico in the ensuing final, which was played in front of more than 91,000 back at the LA Coliseum. Luis Hernández, El Matador, scored the only goal in the final to finish joint top scorer of the tournament with four in four games. 

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