2021 was a particularly success year for the United States men's national team, who lifted two trophies and saw a new generation of players rise up to every occasion.
The entire nation boarded the Ricardo Pepi hype train, while James Sands and Matt Turner began to distinguish themselves as leaders among the roster. Through the highs and lows, the USMNT managed to break records as they become a contender to watch.
While the American side has many challenges to face in 2022 as they continue the fight to qualify for the FIFA World Cup, let's look back at the team's accomplishments of the past 12 months...
The rise of young talents
2021 saw a new generation of the US men’s national team come forward and succeed.
The USMNT holds the record for youngest roster currently competing to qualify for the 2022 FIFA World Cup. At the start of the team’s training camp in September, the squad averaged an age of 24 years and 43 days.
Thirteen players that formed part of the qualifying campaign in 2021 were under the age of 23.
When playing against Jamaica in November, the starting 11 held an average age of 22 years, 341 days, the second-youngest roster to start a World Cup qualifier in history.
But age did not stop the team from thriving. This USMNT squad defeated Mexico in two official competitions, a feat that hadn’t been completed in seven years. And they didn’t stop there.
More official trophies than any other country in 2021
This year, the American side introduced two trophies to their collection after defeating Mexico in back to back CONCACAF competitions.
The US men’s national team kicked off their victory run with a spectacular 3-2 win over Mexico in the Nations League Final to lift the tournament’s first trophy. The Yanks then went on to prove their worth once again when facing their North American rivals in the Gold Cup final one month later.
The USMNT suddenly faced Mexico without the players that inspired success in the Nations League, forcing head coach Gregg Berhalter to trust the newest generation of players to seal the deal.
They did not disappoint, managing a 1-0 victory to secure back to back triumphs and become the national team with the most official trophies in 2021.
More victories than any other country in 2021
In 2021, the American side won 17 matches, more than any other country in the world. With that number, the USMNT also set a new team record for wins in a calendar year.
In ending the year with a 17-2-3 record, the US men’s national team managed an .841 winning percentage, the best in a calendar year in which five or more matches were played.