Why are the United States soccer teams called USMNT & USWNT?

It is very common to hear the United States men's national team and the United States women's national team to be referred to as USMNT and USWNT, respectively.

Although the sport may be argued to be broached as soccer over football in the US, the intention might have been to bring out a reference that can be used in a broad sense, globally - which brings us back to the question...

Why are the United States soccer teams called USMNT & USWNT?

There could be multiple explanations but the rather obvious one would remain to be the sheer length of saying the name of the team in one breath while using it in a sentence - imagine commentators having to say 'the United States men's national team' or journalists having to mention 'United States women's national team' each time. It is hence concise and convenient to use USMNT and USWNT.

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In that sense, of course, every team have their short names. However, it is uncommon to hear someone calling out 'SNT' for the 'Spanish national team' - which would also boil down to the popularity of the sport locally. And then, saying 'Italian national team' is not necessarily as much of a mouth full, either.

Distinction between teams

United States 2021 WNT Summer SeriesGetty Images

Given that the US women's national team has excelled internationally more than their male counterparts, or even otherwise, there needed to be a notable distinction in the title.

The name of the country in itself has two words, if not three - United States of America, commonly known as United States (US). Hence, the only remaining letters to be added were 'MNT' for the men's national team and 'WNT' for the women's national team.

Anything to do with TMNT?

For fans of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (TMNT) in the Americas and world wide, the acronym might sound very similar, but there is no indication to suggest that TMNT is the inspiration behind the United States men's national team called USMNT. It could only be incidental.

Why US and not America?

FIFA has more than 50 member nations in the Americas alone. Given that both the USMNT and the USWNT compete under the aegis of the CONCACAF (Confederation of North, Central American, and Caribbean Association Football), 'US' would be the more specific phrase to use here.

What are the nicknames of the USMNT & USWNT?

It is quite customary for any international team or professional clubs to have nicknames. While USMNT or USWNT are a shorthand way to refer to the respective national teams, 'Die Mannschaft' is not what the German national team is officially called - but a nickname.

The nicknames of the USMNT are 'The Stars and Stripes' and 'The Yanks', while the USWNT may be referred to as 'The Stars and Stripes'.