Why the USMNT will be at best a Third Placed Team in the Hex for Qatar 2022

That is a bold statement in the title of this piece but the USMNT has a historic ineptitude of winning abroad. In fact in the games between the four nations who have safely clinched a spot in the Hex for the next World Cup, the US has an overall win-loss-draw ratio of one win, twelve losses and three draws. That’s right it is 1-12-3, and that figure is from 1985 which was the first time that there was any data featuring all four nations. These nations are: Costa Rica, Mexico and Jamaica. That number when translated to points is six in sixteen games. That is a 12.5% point percentage. Even though they have played against Jamaica the least, only three games in total they have a 41.67% point percentage. That percentage includes the only win against these three nations abroad. The nation who the USMNT has the worst percentage is Costa Rica only netting one point out of the possible thirty. That means that they have only won 3.33% of all the points, and that they haven’t scored more than one goal since 1997. Basically, I haven’t seen the USMNT score more than one goal in my entire lifetime. Against Mexico it has only played six games in over thirty-five years but the overall record is 0-3-3 or only having won 16.6% of all possible points.

Here are all of the results since 1985 abroad. I’ll start it with the Costa Rican games, because I had outside help from one of the major sport channels, Teletica Deportes, and more specifically Christian Sandoval who is the chief statistician in the channel,

Date Game Result
5/26/1985 Costa Rica 1-US 1
4/16/1989 Costa Rica 1-US 0
12/1/1996 Costa Rica 2- US 1
3/23/1997 Costa Rica 3-US 2
7/23/2001 Costa Rica 2-US 0
10/8/2005 Costa Rica 3-US 0
6/3/2009 Costa Rica 3-US 1
9/6/2013 Costa Rica 3-US 1
11/15/2016 Costa Rica 4-US 0

Overall Record: 0-9-1

Total goals scored: 7

Total goals conceited: 24

Goal differential: -17


At Mexico:

Date Game Result
11/2/97 Mexico 0-US 0
7/1/01 Mexico 1-US 0
3/30/05 Mexico 2-US 1
8/12/09 Mexico 2- US 1
3/26/13 Mexico 0- US 0
6/11/17 Mexico 1-US 1

Overall Record: 0-3-3

Total goals scored: 3

Total goals conceited: 6

Goal Differential: -3


At Jamaica

Date Game Result
3/2/97 Jamaica 0-US 0
6/16/01 Jamaica 0-US 0
6/7/13 US 2- Jamaica 1

Overall record: 1-2-0

Total goals scored: 2

Total goals conceited: 1

Goal Differential: 1


Overall record: 1-12-3

Total goals scored: 12

Total goals conceited: 31

Goal Differential: -19


I know that every team has a horrible record abroad, for instance Costa Rica has only one win in the Azteca since 1985. Or that it had forty-years before winning in Honduras in the 2002 World Cup qualification cycle.

Speaking of Honduras who is more than likely or 95% in the Hex, the USMNT has done a good job playing in Honduras. Winning seven out of the twelve points or 58.33%.

Date Game Result
3/28/01 US 2- Honduras 1
3/10/09 US 3-Honduras 2
2/6/13 Honduras 2- US 1
9/5/17 Honduras 1-US 1

Overall Record: 2-1-1

Total goals scored: 7

Total goals conceited: 6

Goal Differential: 1

And against the most likely team to be the sixth team in the Hex the USMNT has won eight points out of the twelve possible points or 66.67%.


Date Game Result
11/5/89 US 1- El Salvador 0
8/30/97 El Salvador 1- US 1
10/9/04 US 2- El Salvador 0
3/28/09 El Salvador 2- US 2

Overall Record: 2-2-0

Total goals scored: 6

Total goals conceited: 3

Goal Differential: 3

As for my predictions for the games abroad I believe that the US will lose at least eight points at best and eleven at worst. They will lose at Costa Rica which has become a tradition of sorts by a margin of 4-5 goals as the trends have not changed in over thirty-five years, and will lose in Mexico and draw in Honduras. The two unknowns are the games in El Salvador as well as Jamaica as there are not that many games between the two. Assuming that the US will win ⅔ of the points played at home they will finish with either 13 points at the low end and 18 points at the high end of the spectrum I laid out in the beginning of this paragraph. If the Hex were to finish the way that it did for the 2018 World Cup cycle  then the US will finish either fourth and will most likely face Curaçao in the inter-regional playoff to then make it to the inter-continental playoff or third and make it to the World Cup by their skin of their teeth.



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