Prediction: England Will Beat the U.S. in World Cup

David Beckham (3rd R) runs with the England squad during a World Cup soccer training session at the Royal Bafokeng Sports Campus near Rustenburg, June 8, 2010.  REUTERS/Darren Staples  (SOUTH AFRICA - Tags: SPORT SOCCER WORLD CUP)

World Cup fever has got it’s abnormal hold on my mind, body and soul this week as Friday’s opening match approaches like a cold sweat in the night, (if only World Cup fever was an adequate excuse to get out of work). Having awoke the previous two nights contemplating tactics and potential match ups for the England v USA game, I remain tired but at least ready to make a concrete prediction that England will win the match 2-0, better make that 3-0 if Bob Bradley starts Oguchi Onyewu.

With the dust starting to settle from all the hyped-up talk, (seriously do any of the English journos think England have a reasonable shot to even make the quarter finals?) deceiving but necessary friendlies, and pre-tournament injuries, my middle of the night analysis points to England’s ability to commit players forward, dominate the midfield, score goals when they’re not at their best and their ability to defend the United States’ counter attacking formation which will allow England to exploit the advantage they have of simply being better at every position.

I think and hope the US will advance out of this group and in fact hope they go quite far. However, I remain convinced that there are questions at the back that will prevent the US from keeping clean sheets in matches where one goal could be enough to face elimination. Also, in order to progress, Bob Bradley will have to pair striker Jozy Altidore up front with another central striker, possibly the in-form, but untested on a major international stage Edson Buddle. The space the US concedes from midfield if they place a second striker up front will allow games to become more open and free flowing thus exploiting the weakness the US has at the back, which is either Onyewu’s inclusion, or a back four that lacks cohesion. I’d be surprised if Bradley picks the aforementioned Onyewu to start v England. If that man is anywhere near match fit, then I’m Bozo the Clown.

I also get the distinct and worrisome idea that Bob Bradley isn’t quite sure who his best XI are. Take for instance a recent friendly between the US and Turkey. In the first half, the US looked like their old self conceding chance after chance to the semi final squad of Euro 2008, Turkey. In the 46th minute when Bob Bradley substituted the more attacking full back Steve Cherundolo and playmaker Jose Francisco Torres, two quality players not likely to start, for defensive minded Jonathon Spector and Ricardo Clark respectively, the US were a changed team with more fluid movement forward resulting in a sense of purpose and ultimately two goals, one a match winner.

As much as the USMNT has the fitness, strength and heart to give England fits, the US players give up skill, touch and finishing abilities to that of the English players. England will win against the US and the US will probably still advance to the round of 16 and hopefully further. A recent article stated the US fans need to beat England at all costs. I say to US Soccer fans as well, forget this obsessive idea in beating England and focus on getting out of the group, a more important goal than a one off game against a squad poised to go deep in this tournament.

England will win this match because they’re simply better in every position. England attack far more decisively and with pace. They’ve got far more depth coming off the bench with players such as Joe Cole, James Milner and Jermain Defoe. England also posses the ability to add important width to the pitch when right back Glen Johnson moves forward in support. In midfield, Aaron Lennon in all his brilliant pace can cause serious problems for a slow defence who sit back waiting to counter. England have two of the best attacking and versatile midfielders in this tournament in Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard and they’ll also continue to be dangerous from set pieces where goal scoring threats can come from a myriad of England players.

Regardless of who partners Rooney, if he plays up front alone, or just behind a central striker, England’s experience in big matches, more specifically their brilliant World Cup qualifying campaign under Fabio Capello will give them the confidence to brush past the US on way to a long World Cup run.

106 Comments

  1. Son of a Pitch June 8, 2010
    • Jesse Chula June 8, 2010
      • kingsajoke June 8, 2010
        • Paul Bestall June 8, 2010
          • Django June 8, 2010
  2. Clampdown June 8, 2010
    • Jesse Chula June 8, 2010
      • Clampdown June 8, 2010
        • Scott Alexander June 8, 2010
        • Paul June 9, 2010
  3. Poker Rakeback June 8, 2010
    • Jesse Chula June 8, 2010
    • Patrick Cowsill June 10, 2010
  4. McBride June 8, 2010
  5. Kartik Krishnaiyer June 8, 2010
    • Poker Rakeback June 8, 2010
    • Jesse Chula June 8, 2010
    • Paul Bestall June 8, 2010
      • Scott Alexander June 8, 2010
    • Paul June 9, 2010
  6. McBride June 8, 2010
  7. Jason June 8, 2010
    • UpTheBlues June 8, 2010
      • Jason June 8, 2010
    • Victory Poker Rakeback June 8, 2010
      • McBride June 8, 2010
        • Tyson June 8, 2010
  8. Captain Obvious June 8, 2010
  9. Jesse Chula June 8, 2010
    • Simon Burke June 8, 2010
  10. M.Garcia June 8, 2010
    • Victory Poker Rakeback June 8, 2010
      • M.Garcia June 8, 2010
  11. Stevie the K June 8, 2010
  12. sockermd June 8, 2010
  13. george young June 8, 2010
    • Jason June 8, 2010
  14. Martin June 8, 2010
    • Brett June 8, 2010
      • Paul Bestall June 8, 2010
  15. patrick June 8, 2010
    • Jesse Chula June 8, 2010
  16. Ads June 8, 2010
    • Jason June 8, 2010
      • Ads June 8, 2010
      • Tyson June 8, 2010
        • Jason June 9, 2010
          • Ads June 9, 2010
    • David June 8, 2010
    • Kartik Krishnaiyer June 8, 2010
      • Ads June 9, 2010
  17. David June 8, 2010
    • McBride June 8, 2010
      • Clampdown June 8, 2010
    • Tyson June 8, 2010
      • David June 9, 2010
        • Tyson June 9, 2010
  18. Jesse Chula June 8, 2010
  19. 2Tix4Chelsea June 8, 2010
  20. Paul Bestall June 8, 2010
    • jose June 8, 2010
    • McBride June 8, 2010
      • Paul Bestall June 8, 2010
    • Tyson June 8, 2010
    • UpTheBlues June 8, 2010
  21. jose June 8, 2010
  22. You'll Always Walk Alone June 8, 2010
    • jose June 8, 2010
      • Paul Bestall June 8, 2010
        • jose June 8, 2010
    • Tyson June 8, 2010
  23. Paul Bestall June 8, 2010
  24. Sami S. June 8, 2010
    • Tyson June 8, 2010
      • David June 9, 2010
        • Tyson June 9, 2010
          • David June 9, 2010
  25. Shakira June 8, 2010
    • Rooney10 June 9, 2010
  26. snavetrebor June 9, 2010
    • Brett June 9, 2010
  27. Mike ead June 9, 2010
    • snavetrebor June 9, 2010
      • Paul June 9, 2010
  28. 4GoneConclusion June 9, 2010
  29. robert downes June 9, 2010
    • 4GoneConclusion June 9, 2010
  30. Rooney10 June 9, 2010
    • Clampdown June 10, 2010
      • Rooney10 June 10, 2010
        • Clampdown June 10, 2010
          • Rooney10 June 10, 2010
          • Clampdown June 10, 2010
  31. snavetrebor June 10, 2010
    • Rooney10 June 10, 2010
    • Rooney10 June 10, 2010
      • snavetrebor June 10, 2010
        • Rooney10 June 10, 2010
          • snavetrebor June 10, 2010
  32. snavetrebor June 10, 2010
    • Rooney10 June 10, 2010
  33. snavetrebor June 10, 2010
    • Rooney10 June 10, 2010
  34. Trizzle June 12, 2010
    • Rooney10 June 12, 2010

Leave a Reply