US Fans Are Too Concerned With Beating England

Trinidad and Tobago v United States FIFA 2010 World Cup Qualifier

England will meet the US squad on June 12th at Rustenburg in South Africa and fans in the US are already anticipating what will probably be one of the most watched games in the States. Unfortunately, history is not on the US squad’s side. England have appeared in thirteen tournaments and made it to at least the quarterfinals seven times. The US, on the other hand, has eight appearances in the tournament and has made it to the quarterfinals once. As far as team matchups are concerned, England definitely has the advantage having played the US nine times and only lost twice. I don’t think that will stop the enthusiastic US side from taking it to England but you see the difficulty they face.

On the England fan and media side, a simplistic, arrogant view has been predominant concerning the US squad. They appear to underestimate the US squad and, although the England team rightfully is the favorites in this group, may find themselves to be in for quite a surprise against an eager US side. Just one example of this arrogance is England’s The Sun when they summed up this idea by printing a headline with the word “easy” being an acronym for England, Algeria, Slovenia, and Yanks.

I think a major problem with the US fans and media, however, is their unjustified belief that the game against England amounts to some sort of grand significance. To listen to some fans and media, one might think that beating England was more important than getting out of the group stage. During the US international friendly with the Czech Republic on Tuesday, I was amazed at the amount of times the announcers brought up England. I understand that this is the first game for the US in the tournament but the obsession seems to hinge on unhealthy. Even the new US shirt seems disrespectful to the talented US teams in the last decade or so by celebrating a 60 year old win against England that didn’t result in advancement from the group stage. Why are the US fans so concerned with beating England?

  • US fans view this as a chance to prove themselves.

With most American soccer fans watching the Premier League and possibly even having England as their “second” side, there’s the hope that the birthplace of football will give the US some credit. However, I don’t believe that beating England will do this. Constantly qualifying for the World Cup and having players at top clubs accomplishes this much more convincingly. Plus, even if the US demolishes England, a loss at this point in time to the US will still be seen as a fluke in England and will gain little respect.

  • Many US fans view this as a rivalry.

It seems many US fans view England as a rival and see this as the equivalent of an international derby. Maybe it’s because of our close political ties or the amount of ex-pats living in the US. This rivalry, however, doesn’t seem to be a shared one. Paul Bestall wrote an excellent article last week describing the regular, England fan’s view of the US squad. His view is that England does view the US as a threat – but just like any other team out there. He writes, “…as with Algeria and Slovakia, the team are expected to win. Nothing more, nothing less.” I feel similarly – that English fans want a win against the US but it wouldn’t mean anything more than a win against Slovenia. England fans just don’t seem to share the US fan’s intense feelings about the game, only the expectation that they should win. The US already have a shared rivalry and it’s Mexico not England.

  • Beating England will bring exposure to the sport in the US.

I’ve heard this argument a few times (and many times from people I respect) and it still doesn’t make any sense to me. The argument is that by beating England people will start to see their national side as real contenders and take notice of them. The US beat Spain, an arguably much more talented side than England, last year and it didn’t seem to raise any awareness other than with the enthusiast. I believe common sense should lead you to understand that (as said before) continuous advancement in the tournament and quality US players signing for top clubs should be the main goals for the US in order to raise awareness of the sport. Beating England or Spain without these two goals being met is not enough.

In addition, I think anyone that thinks the US will beat England is letting one of the above reasons cloud judgment. Would US fans take a similar stand on a matchup between Greece and Germany or Egypt and Argentina?

The question of who will win aside, US fans should not be so concerned with England. If the US squad and their fans really do want to prove themselves to the world and advance the game in this country, they have to forget about England and focus on the tournament.

79 thoughts on “US Fans Are Too Concerned With Beating England”

  1. “This rivalry, however, doesn’t seem to be a shared one.”

    Lakers fans didn’t think the Sacramento Kings were their rivals. It’s not a rivalry on both sides until the bigger team loses (and or the RAF bombs Puerto Rico) but if that happens – you’ll have all the anti-eurosnobs pounding their chests and all the UK Bush-haters’ fears will be realized. That we’re good at this too.

  2. This ‘rivalry’ is getting a bit cringe-worthy now. As a Brit, I have to tell you, we feel zero animosity towards the USA team. THERE IS NO RIVALRY. Please concern yourself with getting out of the group. Otherwise, when England beat you (which is by far the more likely outcome), you will be on a down as you built it up so much. This will hamper your chances of progressing.

    If instead you look at it realistically, and realise you are easily just the 2nd best team in the group, then view the England game as a bonus, making sure you get 2 wins in the remaining games.

    You are building yourselves up for a major let-down.

    1. What do you think your chances are of winning the World Cup? Not high I hope. Your team is average at best. Get off your high horse, you look foolish. This is the attitude that has stopped your team from winning a Cup since 1966! Keep up the good work!

      1. Josh, England is not “average at best.” At best, England can win it all. They have a great team on paper. Capello needs to get them to play their best football, though.

        1. They will implode by the semis for sure, like always. They cannot beat real opposition and have always struggled to do so, which makes them average at best. I stand by my comment.

      2. Let me get this right… because I think England will beat USA I’m implying that England will win the World Cup? Wrong. Idiot. England are 4th/5th favourites in my eyes.

        That actually makes you look arrogant and foolish for thinking that a win over USA means you have a great chance of winning the entire tournament. Don’t flatter yourself Josh.

        1. Your arrogance is way to obvious, quite typical actually. Did I hit a nerve? Read your comment again and ask yourself if it might be taken as arrogant or rude to a US fan. You talk as if it will be a stroll in the park, thus suggesting that the rest of the opposition will be the same. We are not much weaker than other major teams in the Cup.

          No matter what happens I will be proud of our achievements. I cannot say the same for your team. On paper you should be much more successful than you are and I know you are already setting yourself up for a HUGE letdown. You again will have NOTHING to be proud of. Just as positive as your are about beating the US, I am equally positive that England will win NOTHING.

          1. Yet again you seem to imply I think England will win the World Cup.

            How many members of the US squad play in the Champions League? Exactly. You ARE a lot weaker than the good teams in the competition. You are deluded if you think otherwise.

      1. Another sign of arrogance thinking you knew how I wanted to spell my user-name. My USER-name is spelt RICAHRD. Tool.

  3. As you noticed with the announcers during the USA v Czech Rep match, hyping this game is a no-brainer for the media.

    One sure fire way of generating interest among American viewers is by portraying the US squad as underdogs in a titanic fight against England. Americans love having enemies we can respect, and with no one else stepping up to fill that role, our original enemy will do nicely.

    The US media (ESPN especially) knows that by generating a lot of buzz about this game, they are sure to get great ratings. And if the US wins? BOOM…up goes the ratings for the rest of June. So turn the hype meter to overload and lets get it on!

    I agree with them. I’m a US soccer fan who watches 3-4 EPL matches every week during the season. Not only do I think we can beat them, I think we will. For me, this is the match of the tournament so far. I’ll be camped out at the local pub hours before the match and be shit-faced drunk chanting USA-USA with the rest of the packed house.

    1. Hell yeah, brother. I’m with you on this one, I think there’s a chance we can take this game it if they don’t I’m certainly not going to have a let down for the rest of the group games. I will also be bombed by 8am at The Globe, here in Chicago, there’s sure to be a crowd pouring out the doors and it’s probably going to be a 50/50 crowd whch should make for some great banter. I’m envisioning the US fans buying the local ex pats a pint to help them accept the loss. USA! USA!

      1. I admire your support and find it great that some US fans take a realistic view of how to support their team, although England will still prove too strong and disciplined a team for US to beat, especially with a shaky backline with a player who hasn’t played a single game this entire year, Onyewu.

  4. One aspect that seems to be overlooked is the fact that, as England are the favorites in the group, a win for the US would go a long way toward our being group winners and not runners-up. As group winners we could avoid a first knockout match vs Germany and we would instead have the runners up from that group Australia, Ghana, or Serbia. Not to slight any one of those teams but they would be viewed by most as an easier match than Germany. A quarterfinal match would likely be against Mexico or Nigeria, again i think the US and their fans would like our chances.

    Maybe US fans (and media) are “so concerned with beating England” because if we do, we have a realistic chance of reaching the semi-finals.

    1. If this is indeed the reason US fans and media are putting so much on the game, you’re the first I can recall to verbalize that.

      Every time I’ve heard the game mentioned it’s followed by a variation of one of the reasons listed above (I’d say mostly the respect explanation by media and the exposure reasoning by fans).

      1. I’d agree that some of it is ignorance of England’s standing but I think that Mizzy has a good point. In 2006 there was a lot of focused fan fare for the match with Italy and a correspondingly confused devastation when the U.S.A. was knocked out by the Ghanaian debutantes. I’d also add that the victory against Spain isn’t ascribed too much significance because it was the confederations cup. There would be very different feelings if that had been a World Cup match.

        1. Mizzy has a great point, but what I think Gaz is saying is that is not how it’s being portrayed by the media. Mizzy’s point is exactly what the commentators and analysts should be talking about when they discuss the US/England game, but they’re not.

  5. I just hope it’s a close competitive game. A rout for England will lead to too much apathy in the States. So the usual.

    A rout of England will probably lead to threats of mass suicide over there…uh, so the usual.

  6. Beating England will do World Football and England itself a favor! The kittens and their insanely loyal fans will be forced to confront their own faults after they get beat soundly by the US. Hopefully this will force the English press to look in the mirror and examine the true state of the entire game and lead to improvements from the lower divisions of English football up to the EPL. Just because the game has been played for a hundred years and England won 1 WC does not mean you can continue to do things you in 1933.

    Once again come June 12, England will thank America.

    1. “…examine the true state of the entire game and lead to improvements from the lower divisions of English football…”

      You mean the eight divisions of football in England (a country about the size of Alabama)? Despite problems with the system (and it’s far from perfect) there is nothing bad about having this much opportunity to grow players. I, for one, would take that system in this country despite any problems.

      I want the US to do well – don’t get me wrong. But the US have only progressed from the first round three times and didn’t even qualify for the tournament for 40 years in a row. Your arrogance is totally unjustified and a US win will be seen as a fluke. The US need to concentrate on getting out of the group stage… let’s say three World Cups in a row. The respect will follow.

      What sort of improvements do you think will come to the English pyramid if the US beat England?

      1. As far as the US is concerned, the only thing that matters is how far we progress in the tournament, not the outcome of the first game. As you said, a win against England will only be seen as a fluke UNLESS we prove ourselves by advancing in the knockout stages.

      2. I think he’s referring to the common complaint that the Premier League was supposed to help bring more money to grassroots football and the fear that all the foreign influence has taken away opportunities for homegrown talent to thrive and develop at the highest levels.

        At least that’s what guys like Mick Dennis complain about.

    1. You mean my visit to Chelsea does not count along with seeing the Queen at Windsor( I can send you the picture), shopping at Harrods, and a day trip to Wimbledon. You mean they where all for naught? Alas, why did I spend all that money to see Mary Poppins on the West End.

  7. You make some valid points here Gaz. The one thing I would disagree with, however, is in reference to the win over Spain. Obviously all of us on this website understand the gravity of that win and how significant it was for the U.S. But ESPN basically had to explain to the general public how big of a deal that win was when they were showing the highlights last summer. The difference between that game and a win against England is that everyone here, soccer fan or not, understands at least to some degree that England is a good team and among the world’s elite. Honestly, to the average American ignorant of the game, England would most likely be regarded as the best team in the world. This is the reason why I believe that many pundits are arguing that a win in this game would permeate much deeper into the American consciousness and possibly have the impact for which all of us reading this site will be hoping.

    1. Ryan,

      I think you’ve hit the nail on the head here with the reason why the media is focused on England. For the casual and or ignorant fan, a win over England would resonate more than a win over anyone else (except probably Brazil). Personally, I’d rather beat Mexico. But a win over England would be sweet, mainly because I’ll be watching in NY with a bunch of American and English friends.

      Gaz’s post is also correct. The best thing the US can do is win consistently in these tournaments. The respect will follow.

      Here is a stat for my fellow Americans that tells you how far our team has to go:

      In the last 5 World Cups, the US has won just 2 of their 15 group games.

      1. An amazing stat. Twenty years and just two wins. I knew we weren’t great, but…….

        How does that compare to some other teams?

        1. that’s 2 wins in 12 games (along with 3 draws) – 9 points from 36 or 0.75 points per game. England, by contrast, has gotten 18 from 27 over that same time or 2 points per game.

  8. There has been a lot of emphasis on this game with the fans and the media, but if anybody thinks Bob Bradley is emphasizing it their crazy. Bradley probably has the team completely focused on Algeria and Slovenia. For England it’s “no pressure, have fun, don’t let the goal differential get away from you, and if we get a result great.”. A loss won’t be a let down for the team. In my mind, the most important result is am Algeria-Slovenia tie or Slovenia win. I want Algeria nervous against England and/or Slovenia relaxed against us. If Algeria wins, they know their England match doesn’t matter and Slovenia will know they must beat the USA to have any chance.

  9. Note to eplnfl – not sure of the service to world football that would be provided by a US win over England. Please explain.

    Also, nothing that takes place at the World Cup will make the English tabloid press do anything differently in the future. They are in the business of selling papers and will go overboard in either direction to achieve that aim.

    I’m also not sure of the improvements needed in the lower divisions that you talk about. The Championship has the 4th highest attendance of any league in Europe. League One and League Two are far ahead of the lower divisions in other world leagues and have teams that comfortably outdraw MLS teams.

    I’m not discounting the fact that the US can beat England. England are notoriously slow starters at World Cups and it’s the least desirable opening game. I just happen to agree with nothing else in your post!

    1. Good question. My view is that due to the influence of the English media especially in the US English football is viewed as the world standard. The intelligent fan knows better. A defeat by the US will force a lot of people to follow and copy what is going in Spain and Italy and South America football wise. This will be especially important in the US and Canada.

      The failure and second rate status of English football will be exposed by a US win for all the world to see. Let’s face it we watch the English domestic leagues not because of the English talent but the foreign talent. The big money in the EPL is from overseas owners and the English fans and media do not respect it. It is terrible what the Man U. fans do to the Glazers. How many championships under their ownership. The complete refusal to acknowledge the foreign role and interest and to provide something in return for it is amazing(ie:39th game).

      So I believe that a US win will be of great benefit to world football.

      1. “My view is that due to the influence of the English media especially in the US English football is viewed as the world standard. The intelligent fan knows better. A defeat by the US will force a lot of people to follow and copy what is going in Spain and Italy and South America football wise.”

        But what is it that “…the intelligent fan…” doesn’t like about English football? Or, what is better about Spanish, Italian, or South American football?

      2. I think you’re selling the American fans of the Premier League short if you believe that they are being influenced by the English media. The English Premier League is hugely successful only because of its on field product. In my opinion the league itself markets the cosmopolitan make up of its teams. The highlights shows and previews sold to US television are always pointing out the international flavor. So who is being conned into thinking that the England team is the world standard?

        Regarding the overseas investment, I think you have the cause and effect back to front. The success of the league and the massive TV contracts signed by Sky led to the clubs and the league getting richer and this attracted the overseas investment, not the other way around. It has only been in the last few years that so many American investors have seen the potential to make money in the league. They are not saviours of the premier league and should not be treated as such. Hicks has just said that he will quadruple his investment when he sells his share of Liverpool. The Glazers have not been a boon to the balance sheet at Old Trafford. The performances and results at both clubs looks much the same, or worse in Liverpool’s case, than before they were purchased, so its not surprising that the real fans of these clubs are unimpressed.

      3. How does the English media influence the American fan of the premier league? I think you’re selling the fans short. The league itself is constantly promoting the foreign talent. Highlights packages and preview shows are full of biographies on players from around the globe, underlining the cosmopolitan nature of the league. If anyone is drawing the conclusion that the England national team holds the same ranking in world football as the English Premier League, they are not being fed that by any English media outlet that I’ve come across. But when you see the top players from South America, Asia and Africa being drawn to the EPL, La Liga and Serie A, its not unfair to assume that the leagues they are leaving are probably not as good.

        Regarding overseas investment, I think you need to get the cart and the horse in the right place. The league’s financial boon came from Sky Sports. This influx of cash flowed to the field and ultimately drew the better players from around the world. The ensuing financial success of all parties drew the investors. The American, Russian and Arab money men are not the saviours of the league and should not be treated as such. They have followed the money trail in the belief that it will make them even richer. Tom Hicks was recently quoted as saying he will quadruple his investment when he sells his share of Liverpool. The team is in its poorest form of the last decade. The Glazers bought United in 2005. The team has continued to win, not begun to win, since their arrival. The club is laden with debt it did not have when they arrived. Little wonder that the reaction of the true fans of these clubs is what it is.

        1. Remember the media is the message. Having a lot of our football/soccer news filtered by the English media distorts our view of world football. US fans get next to nothing on what is going on soccer wise in Mexico or Brazil. Yet we know readily who is being promoted up to the EPL.

          It truely effect the news of the USMNT, we know more about England and Wayne Rooney’s injury status then when a USA player like Herculez Gomez has a great season in the Mexican league and makes the US team.

      4. ”It is terrible what the Man U. fans do to the Glazers. How many championships under their ownership. The complete refusal to acknowledge the foreign role and interest and to provide something in return for it is amazing(ie:39th game)”

        Clearly you know very little about the Glaziers or Manchester United
        or the depth of feeling in England / UK / Europe regarding our respective Clubs.

        I write as a Man Utd supporter of 49 years (which is different from just being a fan) supporters actually go to the matches I am also from Manchester.
        Firstly foreign investment, Football is the biggest sport in the world, FIFA expect that this World Cup will have a total audience of 26 Billion so it is obvious that a sport with a worldwide following will attract foreign investement and that the top Clubs will attract attention welcome or not.
        The thing that gets a lot Football supporters upset is when these so called ‘’investers’’ treat our clubs like just one more ‘’franchise’’ (a word we hate!) in their portfolio.
        Football clubs are NOT franchise’s they are not shopping malls or factories or office blocks they are first and foremost community based institutions with massive historical importance to the local supporters and to the the wider support.
        Manchester United is over 132 years old some clubs are older and all have generations of support behind them it’s a family thing its tradition and its most of all about passion about love often a love that outlives all others , partners may come and go but your club is forever !
        This isn’t about a sport we recently discovered, it’s in our blood.
        So when so called investors from abroad start schmoozing us with promises of massive investments and a wonderful future we are wary, especially when they are from countries that don’t have a history of football yet they claim to have a passion for the game often with little in depth knowledge.
        When these people turn out to be a bunch of account juggling shysters then we get angry.
        When we realize that not only have they put NOTHING into our club yet are taking a lot out we get mad here are some FACTS so you are better informed –
        The Glaziers bought United with a hostile takeover, they were not invited.
        They paid for the shares by raising loans against their existing business’s and by raising money against the value of MUFC.
        MUCF were debt free and in profit before the Glazier cowboys turned up
        MUFC were the most successful team in the Premier League when the Glaziers took over
        MUCF have won 18 League titles 11 FA trophys 4 League trophys and 3 European Cups
        MUCF were the first English Club to win the European Cup and are the only English club to win the Treble in one season (before Glazier)
        MUFC are now £717 Million in debt
        The shopping mall empire owned by Glazier is £392 Million in debt
        63 out of 64 Malls have been re-mortgaged by Glazier and are on a US bank ‘’watch list’’
        The Glazier Cowboys are £1.1 BILLION in debt and seem to know as much about running a successful business as I do about astro physics

        So can anyone tell me why we Man Utd supporters should not hate the Shyster Glaziers ?
        We can only pray that the next time the Glazier private jet fly’s to the UK it has the same success as their soon to collapse empire.

    2. First I believe the English have a great system in place. It’s among the best in the world if not the best, I’d be curious what system is better?

      In regards to attendance MLS isn’t as bad as people think. 12th among all football leagues. They are right behind the Championship league in England. 17,900 vs 16,900. The MLS is actually ahead of the SPL, all 2nd divisions (except England), Russian first league, Portugal first league to name a few.

      oh and EPLNFL doens’t really seem to make sense…

      1. Yes, MLS attendance is better then it is given credit for. Not only against other soccer leagues but also against American sports.

        Jason to your comments and some of the the others. The English media has great access to the US fans through say Sky Sports which is should on FSC. ESPN will now show programming that is produced by it’s UK unit. The BBC radio and local English newspapers all are available over the internet. How many Spanish or French league podcasts are on itunes compared to EPL related podcasts. That is the point. The US fan has to look beyond the maze of English league coverage to find out whats going on in the rest of the world.

  10. eplnfl, England won the World Cup in 1966. Secondly, the English media is a separate entity from the national team. I cringed the other day when ESPN showed a cover from The Sun published the day after the WC draw.

    Lastly, I think that type of wake-up call that you suggested came when England failed to qualify for Euro 2008. England critics seem to base everything on the pre-Capello era. Every time I’ve watched England win a match in the past couple of years, everyone always says how unconvincing England looked. In fact, I don’t think England has had one “convincing” win since Walcott scored his hattrick against Croatia.

    Living in the states, I feel that England has become the underdog in this match. Do I think England will win the World Cup? No, but I expect them to go far in the tournament. Could the US pull off a victory against England? Sure. Anything is possible, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Algeria or Slovenia deliver a nasty shock to the Americans.

    1. Nick, anyone can get lucky once. Yet the English team at it’s highest levels does feed the English media to promote itself and the team.

      I really believe you view things the right way in that can the US beat them yes, well they, who knows. We all hope that it’s a good game. In the meantime lets all have fun with it.

  11. I think you are underestimating the number of Americans with English roots and a fondness for the English game/EPL. It’s natural for many of us to pull for America first and England second, and hope that both teams do well in the tourney. It follows that beating the country where both football and the United States were born, so to speak, would mean a lot to us.

    As for ESPN hyping the rivalry, it’s ESPN. That’s what they do.

  12. Want the US to beat England.

    Want to US team to believe they can beat England.

    But the easiest path to the knockout round that I think actually could happen is as follows:

    Draw England.

    Beat Slovenia.

    Have England give you a helping hand by beating Algeria.

    One point against Algeria gets you through to the knockout round. If Algeria and Slovenia draw, potentially you could lose to Algeria and get through on goal difference. And (with help from Slovenia) you could even win the group.

  13. Of course we want to beat England. Winning the match would do a hell of a lot more for the sport for us than it would for England. If England win, it’s expected and on to the next game. For the US, a win would continue to silence the haters in the media who run such headlines as the EASY one in the Sun (I believe), and would also do wonders for the US perspective internationally.

    But at the end of the day, USA/England is a very big distraction for the ultimate goal of the tournament, which is advancing from the group stage. I would definitely trade a loss to England for 6 points from Slovenia and Algeria. I’m sure the Bob Bradley will let the boys know to give it their all against England but not take their focus off of advancing from the group.

    If you listen to the players and BB at press conferences and interview, they always say that their first priority is to get out of the group. Not beat England.

  14. I don’t give a rat’s ass whether we beat England or not. Would it be cool to beat one of the best teams in the tournament? Absolutely, but if we don’t get out of the group stage the WC will have been a failure for U.S. soccer, imo.

    On the other hand, should we lose to England, but advance nonetheless, I will be thrilled to death. That will keep a whole lot more casual fans interested in the tournament and who knows….maybe even “convert” a few.

  15. Thank God the boys in 1776 didn’t read a similar headline ” US Fans are too concerned with beating England”

    I can’t believe the author of this article has approached this game from a football perspective. I think for those of us who have immersed ourselves in the English football culture, 3 points in this match will give us a great deal of satisfaction.

    My friends and I have dubbed most, if not all of the English media as stealthily immodest [yeah, I know, it’s a made up term]. They always play the modest card while slagging off in really condescending terms, the American’s efforts at football [To be balanced, there are a vast majority of English football supporters who aren’t like the media]. Fair play, I don’t blame them at all if you look at the historical chip on England’s shoulder.

    I’d be threatened too. Football is really the last hope England has for any significance in the vast world of national superiority. And if you don’t think they’ve still got that chip on their shoulder about 1776, ask all the other colonies who have flicked them off their shoulders like mosquitoes on a hot summer’s day.

    So yes, from a footballing perspective it isn’t that healthy to be so fixated on England because they do have more talent and should put a tonking on us if they’re at their best. But that really isn’t the reason most of us are hoping we tonk them.

    You want any more evidence, just read Ricahrd’s post right out of the gate. And by the way Ricahrd, if my fellow poster Josh is arrogant for thinking you just bolloxed your name whilst typing and are now trying to cover up your faux pas, then count me and the thousands of others who have read this post who are thinking the same thing among the arrogant.

    USA! USA! USA!

  16. I could care less if we beat them or not, either way we arent going to win this tournament we just plain don’t have the talent or management to do so. Maybe for the ‘lite’ soccer fans this is an important game and it is probably why ESPN and the media has been marketing it that way, but in the grand scheme of things its a blip on the world cup radar, England a good (maybe great) team vs a mediocre US team that is about as consistent a politician. I’ll be happy with a US win just so that England can sit up and take notice that this isn’t going to be easy and hopefully they will play their heart outs in the rest of tournament to a World Cup title.

  17. this is the problem with Americans. everything is so competitive. competition over love for the game. that’s why there are ridiculous, good-for-nothing coaches in America cursing and shouting at little kids to play better, pay harder, hustle. maybe that’s ok for baseball and american football. but this is the world cup. grow up.

    1. tonyspeed…

      Believe me, there are plenty of problems with America, but if being competitive is one of them, then guilty as charged. And regarding your comment about shouting little kids down, you’re watching too much tabloid television mate. Just look at the terraces on any Saturday in England if you want to see some scary shouting’s down. I’m talking about Hackney Marshes at the U-14’s not one of the pyramid’s 92 clubs.

      The reality is that there are very few Americans, percentage wise, who care about the World Cup. You have a fair bit of really interested supporters like myself who inhabit the blogosphere looking for like minded people to share thoughts and ideas. Growing up, well yes, thank you very much, we are, and we’ll be driving that final nail in the empires coffin sooner rather than later. Lord knows that when the USA invade football’s elite, there will be English jumping off bridges by the thousands.

    1. No its FOOTBALL you moron and always will be even if the USA cant get its head around the fact that there is more than one kind of game with that name and Association Football was the ORIGINAL kind.

      There are 208 national football associations and only the US Canada Australia and some parts of Ireland use the term soccer
      so as you guys like to say ”go figure”
      and the World governing body is ? – FIFA not FISA
      The biggest sport in the world is not going to be re-named no matter what you call it.
      As for England fans crying i dont think so certainly not over the USA there are much more important teams to play we will leave the hand on the heart theatrics to you guys , you do it so well.

  18. to chime in on the article. no, it doesn’t make sense. and that is because you don’t understand the American mentality. If we can’t beat everyone in it, it’s because it’s a terrible sport. if we can beat everyone else in it, then it’s our favourite sport. it surpasses logic. i know.

  19. I agree that our progres out of the group stage will more likely be decided against Algeria and Slovenia, and that the US shouldn’t let a loss to England shake its confidence.

    As an entertaining match-up for US soccer fans though? I don’t think it really gets bigger than USA vs England. I’ve got goose bumps already.

  20. It’s a bigger deal for America to win.

    Lets just imagine if America went to the quarter or semi finals this year beating several of the best teams. If America do well in the World Cup Americans will suddenly adopt football. On the other hand if Americans dont do well and get knocked out in the group stage suddenly America will think football sucks and forget about it.

    With England even if England get knocked out in the group stage 4 years later those fans will be back. Americans only win at good sports and the sports they don’t do well in suck.

    It wasn’t long ago American fans were hyping up a game against Italy so much that they got knocked out of the competition by Ghana. The Ghanians were World Cup debutants having never been in a WC before and suddenly it was all over. Another statistic is in the last 20 years out of 15 group stage games the USA have won 2.

    Truth of the matter is England are slow starters and the USA seems to have decent tactics they could make a game of it. It may very well be a draw as well. That is unless the USA get unjustifiably arrogant like a lot of American fans, if that is the case England will pick apart the USA systematically and then the paper American football fans will claim “soccer” sucks and leave it for another 4 years till they find Spain or Italy or England in another group stage game.

    England should win all three games in the group stage. If England can’t beat the teams in the group stage they are not going to be very confident for the bigger teams in the tournament and with good reason too.

  21. Spot on

    Whoever wins the game will not be the king of anything. Whoever makes it further will be the actual winner

    If USA loses to England yet makes it 2 rounds further than England, will anyone give a rats ass? Absolutely not

  22. US fans are excited about this game as we were for Italy or Portugal or any other “A team” that we play in a World Cup. England happens to be the easiest “A team” that we’ve been drawn against so there’s some excitement.

    Get over yourselves and stick your England up your ass. . . and Remember Yorktown!

  23. The only reason I want the US to beat England other then it would help us to avoid Germany in the knockout rounds, is the “EASY” headline. I found that very disrespectful and would like to beat them to shove that headline back at the English media. Most England fans I know expect a good match and a close game, there are sadly those few who think England can just show up and win.

    1. Shakira, that headline was printed on the front cover of The Sun, an English tabloid owned by Rupert Murdoch. In other words, the opinion of The Sun is not necessarily the opinion of English football fans like myself.

      1. I know that…like I said most English fans are good people who we can have a good natured banter with. That headline irked me and would it be such a bad thing to stick it back to the Sun? lol

        1. As someone said earlier, the English media make it their job to do whatever they can to sell papers – regardless of whether it’s right. See the Lord Triesman and Fergie debacles. If I were a public figure in the UK I would never talk to anyone except my own PR staff.

  24. Hello Gaz, lovely article. However, there are several legitimate reasons the game against England is important. Getting off to a good start is important and there was nothing worse than seeing that first goal go in 4 years ago when Eddie Pope got schooled within the first 10 minutes of the first game.

    Second, winning our group rather than placing second would set us up much nicer in the knockout stages (assuming argentina and germany win their groups)

    Third, every negative nancy television pundit (which is all of them) will dismiss the U.S. immediately after the U.S. loses to England which will deflate the casual fans interest in the rest of the tournament.

    So while I agree this obsession with the 1700’s rah rah rah baloney is stupid, let’s not lose sight of how incredibly important our game with England actually is.

  25. elpnlf
    I would be more impressed if you told me you had see Miss Saigon on the WE and had an invite to the PR ‘s garden party.

  26. Regarding beating England bringing greater attention to soccer and the comparison with the Spain game I have two comments. First, this is the World Cup. Many didn’t even know the Confed Cup existed until after we beat Spain. the hype machine this time around is massive thanks to ESPN. Second, ask any average person what two countries they think of when it comes to soccer greats. They wil say Brazil and if they can name a second one are probably more likely to say England. That’s why this matters. It’s also the time slot for this game. Couldn’t be any better at 2:30 on a Saturday afternoon, when nothing is going on except some baseball, and on network television.

  27. I’m an Englishman living in NYC (been here for about a year now). Where is the best palce to watch the game? And no, I shall not be going to Nevada Smiths – it’ll be a zoo in there!

    By the way, think the game should be a good one – USA have progressed the past couple of years and I would not be surprised if it ends in a draw.

  28. One of the problems with the US media hyping the USA vs England match is that they are overlooking the big picture which is that this is a group stage match. What’s most important is to progress to the the round of 16. I’m afraid that the uninformed American viewer will not understand this and should the US lose will be turned off for the rest of the tournament. The format of the World Cup is unlike any other format used in any of the other sports followed in this country. ESPN should be emphasizing the format more to put the England vs USA match in perspective. I know they will do it on the day of the match but I feel they should do more now to inform the typical US viewer about the tactics teams use during the group stages which is not the same as during the knockout stages.

    1. well, the College World Series is the closest, but that’s not something a lot of people pay attention to or understand. They just kinda get told what team A needs to do to progress.

  29. England on paper are one of the top teams in the world. but on the pitch our rank certainly falls under teams such as argentina, spain and france, brazil etc,especially if there are penalties involved, ive heard good things about the us team and there is always a chance they could beat us, however if rooney and gerrard are on good form come saturday, your gonna have your arses handed to you and theres no denying that. But saying that, our teams chemistry hasnt been too good in the last couple of weeks, i can easily see it ending in a draw. good luck to both teams.

  30. As a Brit living in the USA, I can tell you that any informed England fan is definitely not assuming the USA game will be a walkover. There is a some real quality in the USA team, proven by the fact that many players are based in top-flight Europe leagues (this is not a slight on the MLS). They have some game-winning players in their squad, and our warm up games have been less than impressive (although traditionally England’s friendly games are not indicative of their tournament potential). You cannot take the opinions of the Sun ‘newspaper’ to reflect England soccer Fans. True it is one of the more popular tabloids in England, but any Liverpool fan will tell you how little they really know about football.

    Hopeful, but nervous, for an England victory.

  31. Hmmm that’s a good question. Why do we want to kick Englands ass so much when we usually don’t give a damn about football. Oh yeah, I know why, it’s because of the fucking OIL SPILL

  32. lol letdown i guess not the only thing about that game that was a letdown was england’s keepers performance.

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