The only US related team news you’ll get in London regard Beasley and his club Rangers / Photo from Setanta Sports
Later today here in the capital of the world (well at least the English speaking world) the United States will face England at the year old New Wembley Stadium. Not only will this be my first trip to the new Wembley, but my first visit to a match involving the Three Lions, England’s legendary national team.
Aside from the debacle that is Heathrow Airport Terminal Five, the Three Lions have been the the preeminent national disgrace the past few years. After falling short of expectations in Euro 2004 and World Cup 2006, the team missed out completely on Euro 2008 qualification. However, that qualifying campaign was not without achievements, in particular the successive 3-0 drubbings of Russia and Israel. In other words, for whatever their traveling form, England remain a very formidable side at Wembley.
The US has gotten scant little attention here in London since touching down two days ago. Several factors explain this:
1- The lack of respect for the US National Team
2- An over emphasis in the British Press on the Premier League and Football League especially in May.
3- A lack of understanding of the US system and how football is different in North America.
I don’t necessarily begrudge the British media for its biases. In everything from Politics to reporting on society, the British media tends to be more worldly than their American counterparts. When it comes to Football however, it seems many British pundits simply don’t understand the American game nor take the time to understand it. This is probably why so many questions have arisen about the possibility of Sven Goran Eriksson leading Mexico. The American game is a hybrid which has many Mexican elements in it and it is plainly obvious to me that the British media doesn’t know the first thing about Mexican football or the Mexican National team, which is quite honestly a pity.
Back to the British media. I have felt for a number of years that their lack of understanding of football outside the British Isles has been a contributing factor to the failure of the English National Team. It seems the media is so driven to push England forward without knowing any of the ways of nations that have been truly successful on the global stage that they fail their own national team. Obviously some pundits like Martin Samuel of the Times and the large number of educated English based soccer bloggers among others do not fit this description, but by and large I feel it to be true.
So what has been said about the US team here in London? A great deal about DaMarcus Beasley hero now for Rangers and precious little about the rest of the team. Here are some stories about Beasley from the last few days:
As you’ll note, the articles all seem to focus on Beasley’s comments regarding the SPL fixture and/or his play with Rangers. The bottom line is during this time of the year, the focus in the British press is on club football, and with England not participating in Euro 2008 it makes coverage of international football even more scant.
The Independent has a blurb on Donovan today in the print paper but I could not find online. Also Donovan is reportedly not likely to play today but I hope to double check that in the next few hours.
I will attempt to check in before the match with some final thoughts if possible.