Yearbook, Nov. 19: USA qualifies for Cup

November, 19, 2012
11/19/12
11:07
AM ET
Nov. 19, 1989: In 1950, the Americans reached the World Cup -- and beat England in one of their matches.

The next 40 years? Nothing. Well, almost nothing, as a college player-filled Team USA entered the final match of the World Cup 1990 qualifying campaign with a chance to end a four-decade stint away from soccer's biggest competition.

It wasn't going to be easy; host Trinidad and Tobago needed just a draw, and the talented team seemed up for it. That is, until late in the first half, when defender Paul Caligiuri scored a rare goal (one of only five he scored for the U.S. in 110 appearances). Thanks to the goal later known as "the shot," the U.S. held on to win 1-0. Team USA hasn't missed a World Cup since.

USA Soccer 1989AP Photo/Mark LennihanUSA defender Paul Caligiuri scraps with Russell Lataby of Trinidad and Tobago.
United States soccer team AP Photo/Mark LennihanTeam USA celebrates Caligiuri's "the shot."
Patrick Dorsey works for SportsNation. He has worked for the Web and newspapers, had a cup of craft service coffee in film school, and played in one Division III golf tournament (he shot 105).
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