It was a momentous Friday for USA’s Matt Besler, who scored his first international goal in the U.S.’s win over St. Vincent and the Grenadines mere hours after his wife gave birth to their first child.
The U.S. men's and women's national teams both endured a roller-coaster 12 months in 2016. The men hosted Copa America, finishing fourth in the tournament, and continue their quest to qualify for the 2018 World Cup. The semifinal round of qualifying ended in September, while the CONCACAF Hexagonal has begun earlier than usual in the cycle, commencing in November with a USA-Mexico rivalry match in Columbus. The 0-2-0 start to the Hex resulted in the end of Jurgen Klinsmann's reign, though, with the manager fired and replaced by Bruce Arena. The World Cup-champion U.S. women, meanwhile, hosted and won the SheBelieves Cup against three European powers but had a quest for a fourth consecutive Olympic gold medal (and fifth overall) this summer in Rio cut short by Sweden in a quarterfinal stunner. Hope Solo's post-match comments resulted in her national team contract being terminated, and all this happened with the backdrop of a fight for equal pay, with labor talks going down to the wire.
Here is the year in photos for U.S. Soccer's two senior squads.