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Should I Support England or the United States?

 Should I Support England or the United States?

With the World Cup literally hours away from kicking off in South Africa, there are so many thoughts running through my head that I thought I’d share many of them with you. And one is of major importance to me. Should I support the USA or England?

I agree with many of you that too much time and energy is being spent on the hype for the England against United States match. When you think about it, it’s just one game. An important one, yes. But having said that, there are so many talking points circling around the game between the two western giants that it does, in fact, deserve the hype. It’s a game where there are so many story lines. It’s a game between two countries that have so much in common but there is an attitude of “We think we’re better than you” from both sides of the aisle. Americans would love to beat England. Englanders would love to beat America. With so much on the line, don’t be surprised if it ends a draw.

One of the many reasons I love the sport of soccer is because it’s better than any movie you can imagine. Going into the England against United States match, no one can predict what will happen and few will correctly predict what the end result will be. The unpredictability of the sport and how one decision or mistake can change the entire fabric of a 90 minute game is better than the greatest film. The movie featuring one of the biggest games of our lives will unfold in front of us on Saturday afternoon. And we’ll be watching every moment of it. ESPN must be licking their chops at the prospect of how massive the TV ratings will be.

For me, I have a very difficult decision to make. Do I support England or do I support the United States? I’ve gone on record to say that I’ll be happy no matter what happens this Saturday, so I can’t lose. Being Welsh and having lived in that country until I was 14, I should have a hatred of England (as many Welsh people do). But my father and my father’s side of the family is English. And the truth of the matter is that I’ve always supported British teams in previous World Cup tournaments because Wales have never reached the World Cup tournament in my life time. And more often than not, England has been the only British team that has qualified. So I’ve cheered them on in the 1982, 1986, 1990, 1998, 2002 and 2006 World Cup tournaments.

I’ve also supported the United States in the 1990, 1994, 1998, 2002 and 2006 World Cup tournaments. I’ve lived in the States for 26 years. I love this country and want the sport to succeed here. But up until the 2010 World Cup, I never had to choose between England or the United States because they never played each other in competitive games (again, during my lifetime). But now they will. And I have to decide which country I’ll support.

On Saturday afternoon at Wowies Sports Grill at the EPL Talk Viewing Party, I will be supporting <gulp> the United States. I’m hoping for an entertaining game. I won’t be disappointed if England wins, but I really really want the United States of America to win this match. Whether they will or not is a completely different story, but my allegiances are with the States. Running one of the top English soccer blogs in the world, you would think I would want England to win. But the States needs the win more than England. And so does the nation.

While so much of the focus has been placed on England against the United States, rightfully so, I trust that we’ll watch the other matches with nearly as much interest too. I know I will. The world doesn’t rotate around the USA and England, and there are so many countries I’m looking forward to seeing. Chile, Honduras and Spain are three teams I’m really looking forward to watching. And they just so happen to all play in the same group alongside Switzerland. There are many more matchups I’m looking forward to watching, but there are too many to list here right now. I just hope the tournament will be as good as it can be and that it won’t be ruined with the negative 4-5-1 tactics like the last World Cup was.

This entry was posted in General, Leagues: EPL. Bookmark the permalink.

About Christopher Harris

Founder and publisher of World Soccer Talk, Christopher Harris is the managing editor of the site. He has been interviewed by The New York Times, The Guardian and several other publications. Plus he has made appearances on NPR, BBC World, CBC, BBC Five Live, talkSPORT and beIN SPORT. Harris, who has lived in Florida since 1984, has supported Swansea City since 1979. He's also an expert on soccer in South Florida, and got engaged during half-time of a MLS game. Harris launched EPL Talk in 2005, which was rebranded as World Soccer Talk in 2013.
View all posts by Christopher Harris →

57 Responses to Should I Support England or the United States?

  1. AtlantaPompey says:

    For me, your conundrum is very simple: Which country would benefit more from a win? That’s easy: USA. Football in England will not be affected on any significant level if they lose or draw. However, a win in such a marquee matchup could catapult the sport, the World Cup, and the current team into the hearts and minds of the entire nation.

    I, however, don’t have that conundrum. USA all the way!

    • AtlantaPompey says:

      “However, a win BY THE US in such a marquee…yada yada yada” is what I meant to write. 90 minutes of sleep last night on a hard bench in the labor and delivery room will do that to you.

      Rob: You nailed it. A marquee win would do wonders for the US. If England win, it won’t help the sport in England at all. The sport in England doesn’t need any help.

    • Tyson says:

      Don’t you think thats the wrong reason to watch football?

      Would you stop supporting your team or stop watching football because your team didn’t win the Premier League? The kind of fans who are glory hunters are bad for the support we shouldn’t encourage that.

  2. RobG4 says:

    Lets not forget that a USA win, coupled with further success by the USA in the tournament, can only have a positive effect on fan interest in the US, with a corresponding growth in viewership of this website!

  3. TT says:

    Bottom line – gut feeling, if it were Wales vs the US you’d not support the yanks then, right?

    • The Gaffer says:

      There’s no question about it, TT. I would support Wales in that case. If the United States played anyone else, I would support the States.

      Cheers,
      The Gaffer

      • Wales would be better just being part of England. That way we Could have G.Bale now and we could have had R.Giggs for the last 15 yrs.
        Also, the Gaffer would have such a tough choice on who to support.

        Maybe that’s just me being selfish though.

        • The Ultimate ABU (Anyone But United) says:

          …and Northern Ireland would be better just being part of Ireland.

          Your belief would most certainly open a can of worms.

          • I don’t give a rats arse about Northern Ireland or Scotland. Wales are part of England for the purpose of Cricket though so why not have the same in Football.
            I’m sure the Welsh would be ok with it because atleast they would have a team in a tourney to support and England could take a few players like Giggs, Bale and Bellamy.
            Works for both Wales and England as far as I can see.

        • The Ultimate ABU (Anyone But United) says:

          I am sure you don’t speak on behalf of all Welsh citizens, so you can remove your idea from that one.

          I was pointing out that to suggest Wales combine with England would only further complicate the issue and you will eventually see a British national side. You all want your separate identities, so your idea would only cause a major rift between Football Associations.

          As for the Northern Ireland comment I made, it runs similar to what you stated. Northen Ireland may find it beneficial to have their players go out for the Ireland national side, like they do with Rugby Union. It is the same principle…and besides Northern Ireland is the ONLY ONE isolated from the rest of Britain so it would make sense for NI to unify with the motherland!

          OH and pitch your idea to the RFU of Wales and see what happens. I suggest bringing some bodyguards.

          • We’re not talking Rugby, we’re talking Football. Wales never do anything in Football and fantastic talent such as Giggs are going to waste.
            Cricket would never allow this kind of Welsh talent to go to waste and therefore have the common sense to combine the team.
            Wales are good enough in Rugby to have their own team and so should have their own team but i just don’t like the idea of players such as Giggs going to waste and not having the opportunity to play in the World Cup which he has not.

            Will it ever happen? Probably not, but it doesn’t stop me thinking it should.

        • The Ultimate ABU (Anyone But United) says:

          You can not sit there and tell me that we are discussing football when you are using a Cricket example to support your argument.

          If you are going to use Cricket as an example, then it is only fair for me to use Rugby as my example!

          You babbling on about how Wales would welcome this idea is not only absurd, but it’s lunacy at its finest. None of the Welsh players would even make it to the starting eleven, yes that is including Gareth Bale, so they would have no incentive whatsoever.

          Remember that back in the 70s and 80s, Wales had a very decent national side that had beat England on a few occasions…and I am pretty sure that they would not welcome the proposal.

          But it is nice to see that English arrogance. Ya know, the mentality that makes you believe that everyone wants to join your national side and that you have the best league in the world. No wonder Platini is always making up rules that hinder England!

          • ‘But it is nice to see that English arrogance. Ya know, the mentality that makes you believe that everyone wants to join your national side and that you have the best league in the world. No wonder Platini is always making up rules that hinder England!’

            England does have the best league in the world. As far as your take on ‘England thinking that everyone wants to play for out national team’. That is not the case at all. But I do think that players playing for lesser footballing nations would move to play for England. I use Eoin Morgan as a player who has done this. He is a very talented cricket player who stopped playing for Ireland and started playing for England. Why? Not because he liked England more but because playing for England gave him a better option to play on the world stage.

            So basically you don’t know what the f**k you’re talking about, nice try though.

        • The Ultimate ABU (Anyone But United) says:

          Oh STFU.

          Continuing with the Cricket shit I see! Do you even know how to read? Did you not see what I wrote in my last statement?

          Best league in the world? Yeah, that’s why English clubs did well in the Champions League. That’s why Spanish clubs could hammer the likes of Chelsea and manyoo on a given basis…that’s because England are soo much better.

          AND I apprently don’t know what the fuck I am talking about although I have stated many facts in my last statement I wrote.

          Yeah, that settles it. You are a fucking moron.

          • LMAO

            Are you even aware of the English clubs record in Europe over the past 10 yrs? And if you’ve got such a hard on for the Spanish teams why don’t you take that Liverpool avatar off, put a barca one on, and f**k off over to la liga talk

            You’re not even worth my f**king effort typing you f**king clown.

        • The Ultimate ABU (Anyone But United) says:

          Don’t get me wrong, I love the PL…but at this current moment La Liga has taken the reigns. BUT you can’t say that to an Englishman. You all get hell bent out of shape over it because god forbid that someone is better than you at something (for the time being).

          Ya know, Liverpool is STILL the most successful English side in history, and yet we (Liverpool supporters) get dragged through the mud over it because we talk about history. Yeah, England may have been the more successful in the Champions League over the last decade, but apparently history doesn’t count and current results are the ones that matter.

          But this whole thing started because you got your panties in a wad because I made a simple comparison. Then you tried to justify your reasoning by talking about a situation involving Cricket. When I made a counter-argument by using an example for rugby, you told me that we are not discussing rugby.

          I just think that sometimes you don’t think before you type.

  4. Patrick says:

    I was sat in a section at Lincoln Financial Field filled mostly with Turks at the US v Turkey match two weeks back. A fellow American who was directly behind me said, “if they live here shouldn’t they root for America?” with a tone of question and yet distain… I told him maybe against Germany, but its much more complex then that. Imagine if we told all the ‘Irish” on St Patrick’s day to wear red, white & blue, and forget who they are. Its all about trying to grasp a small bit of home and your culture. Sadly the same Turks latter threw things at us after the US took the lead..
    Ok my wife is English, and has hung English bunting and a St George’s Cross flag on the house here in New Jersey. To say that this Saturday will be a strain on our marriage is an understatement… She has lived here for almost 7 years, but she is still English. Will always be English.
    And if the US plays Germany in the first knock out match, she’ll be wearing the red, white and blue but her alliance will be firmly on the English side to win it all.

    As for me… born here, exposed to English culture with every breathe… I take this Saturday as a can’t lose. If the US pull the upset, I’ll be rooting for England to destroy Algeria and Slovenia. and win from there out.

    As for the Anglophiles that adopt the English team over their own country… shame on you.

    • Glad to hear your wife has has remembered where she is from. I love the this time of the year when the World Cup is on. Houses, shops and cars all decked out in the Cross of St George. There’s no better sight in my eyes.

      Come On England

      P.S I’ll be supporting England just in case you were wondering.

  5. man99utd says:

    Dad’s family English, mum’s Scottish, I’ll be supporting England all the way. But I do hope the US make it out of the group.

  6. edmondi says:

    i am Albanian from Europe but i live in the USA so i support USA too the top

  7. forweg says:

    I’ll be hoping Slovenia and Algeria make it out of that group. Both the American and English fans are too arrogant.

  8. Simon Burke says:

    Gaffer you DISGRACE! Nah just kidding mate, enjoy the game. Will anyone in Wales cheer England on? Probably not.
    There is no reason both teams cant get out of this group if they take all 3 games with the right level of respect.

    If I see an article in a couple of weeks that says “Who should I support? England or Germany?” Then I am coming to Florida :)

  9. I’m part Native American.

    Americans slaughtered my ancestors.

    I hope they beat England on Saturday.

    USA! USA! USA! USA!

    • ianm says:

      Yikes! I’m shocked and appalled…after we looked after your lady pochedherfrequently as well.

      Theres gratitude for ya.

    • tonyspeed says:

      so true. these are things the fake americans don’t like hearing. but the real americans will be back one day!

  10. Phil McThomas says:

    You don’t have to make a logical decision here Gaffer. Just let your gut tell you.

    The first goal will go in and you’ll feel either happy or sad. At that point you’ll know who you’re supporting.

    Mentally, I was ready to cheer on the US in this tournament – not over England, I hasten to add, but for the rest of the tournament. I have American citizenship and I don’t want to see my kids disappointed.

    However, I started reading some of the blogs and Tweets irrationally slamming England just for being England. That must have stoked my inner rivalry because when the US were struggling in their warm-up games, I was secretly happy inside. :)

    So on a mental level I’ll be cheering the USA, but my get is probably going in the opposite direction.

  11. The Ultimate ABU (Anyone But United) says:

    I will be definitely supporting the United States…no question about that.

    As for those of you that are here and supporting your country instead of the United States: just remember who allowed you to live here in the first place. There is a reason WHY you are no longer in the particular country you came from, so WHY OH WHY would you support it?

    It is a treasonable idea to be here and enjoy the liberties and freedom that Americans have on a daily basis and deny support to the same country.

    Shame on you.

    • ianm says:

      Hmmm, yeah…a couple of points…

      1. Your not really a ‘country’ in the same sense of the word that the Euros understand it…more a conglomoration of many countries (states) and mainly inhabited by the people who fled other countries at some point – some would say because they couldn’t make a go of it in their own country but others might just as validly say that it was to escape persecution. The US is really the equivalent of the UK (Which is England + Scotland + Wales) and not England in that respect. Many Scots & some Welsh wont support the UK as it doesn’t gel with their feelings of patriotism.

      Now if Saturdays match were Texas v England…

      Stop me if thats bullshine.

      2. I’m unaware of any “liberties and freedom” that you get that the rest of the free world doesn’t get…I mean…we (UK) abolished slavery before you, racism was actually legal in the southern states until the late 60′s…yada yada

      Thats not bullshine.

      3. If you now married a lovely Algerian woman and moved to Algeria should you support Algeria against the US (the place of your birth and culture) next week?

      No malice intended in these comments by the way.

    • Christopher says:

      That’s the biggest bunch of crap that I’ve heard on this site to date.

      • The Ultimate ABU (Anyone But United) says:

        What is? My stance on those who live in the US, but wish to not support the US?

        • Christopher says:

          Yep. My wife might live in the States but she’s not a U.S. citizen and has no intention of becoming one. She was born in France and chooses to continue supporting them and probably would even IF she ever thought to become a citizen here.

    • KJ says:

      I agree to a certain point. Citizens especially should support the US, since they have to give up every allegiance to any foreign nation to become a citizen. That has to relate to soccer in some way, right? :)

    • Gaz Hunt says:

      ABU,

      Think about what your saying here.

      You just played up all the freedoms Americans have (which I agree with) and then make a statement saying that people must support the US team.

      I’m not a US citizen but I live here and enjoy all the freedoms this wonderful country offers – notably the freedom to support the football team of where I was born. :)

  12. JUNT says:

    US born. Live in US. Grandfather was from Macclesfield, followed England and Man United (and to a lesser and somewhat questionable extent, Maccs. Town). Watched matches with him when I was younger — follow those teams to this day largely based on that and I genuinely love watching and supporting both.

    Saturday I’ll be rooting for England. I do however USA progresses and has a successful run of it though. That said — I fully expect a draw come Saturday afternoon.

  13. Roy H says:

    Wow I am in almost the same position as you man… I grew up in the states, but my fathers side of the family is Welsh and English. I cheer for all three teams, but in this situation the US really needs this win to further the popularity of the sport here so I pulling for them a bit (or a draw hah).

    Good to know im not the only one… alot of my friends give me a hard time for this!

  14. tonyspeed says:

    us will will when they are good enough to win. nuff said. until then they won’t win. no need to support any team.

  15. Mosian says:

    Where’d you get that picture? I think I know that guy.

  16. rej4sl says:

    Been here 10 years – and I am rooting for England through and through – will have the St. George’s Flag outside – also the U.S. flag as my partner is American through and through. Will be fun – he wearing his U.S. shirt and me wearing my England Shirt. Both yelling on our favorite teams – not a problem in our relationship just a bit of friendly rivalry. But we will both support England and the U.S. when they play other teams – just this one match will be our rivalry …..

  17. Mike in Idaho says:

    I think this game is all hype, I bet both the U.S. and England will advance to the next round so it’s really just about bragging rights. That being said, U-S-A U-S-A!!

  18. Robert says:

    I am a mexican-american who grew up on both sides of the border and played my club soccer down in Mexico. My allegiance is for the USA but root for Mexico as well when they are not playing each other competitively. If I were given a shot to play for a national team I would play for USA in a heartbeat. So, for those who are stuck between England or USA you should be ashamed of yourselves if you have no idea where you allegiance is.

  19. Three Lions says:

    Yanks do not get football. The sooner the Yanks are out of the World Cup the sooner we can ensure the history and integrity of the game is not compromised.

    • jose says:

      im a yank and i get it but our establishment of american sports is our soccer downfall. if we would put our our effort and finances in soccer instead of american sports well you already know the answer to that. im sure the rest of the soccer loving world loves that we care more about our sports cause if we would ever go to the inner cities like the brazilians go to the favelas, again you know what would happen.

    • AtlantaPompey says:

      You do not get Yanks. The sooner you realize we don’t all want to be like you, whomever you are, and wherever you come from, the sooner we will all get along. The sport in this country will be different from anywhere else. Football in England and Germany aren’t the exact same. The culture is different. The environment is different. We don’t want to be you. We want to be us.

  20. Chaz Worthy says:

    I love how you talk about the HYPE
    of the USA v England match!!

    HYPE?!!
    Hell, on the sports radio stations here (New York City)
    they are talking about the Mets getting a 3rd or 4th starting pitcher via a trade…
    NO ONE…I repeat…
    NO ONE!!! talks about the USA v England WC match
    …NO ONE!

    I wish there was hype here in NYC!!!

    NOBODY beyond my few soccer friends
    has any knowledge of this event…local sports radio doesn’t MENTION it AT ALL!!! local sports radio doesn’t MENTION it AT ALL!!! local sports radio doesn’t MENTION it AT ALL!!!

    …no it’s “Is Le Bron James coming to the Knicks!!?”

    I wish a USA victory would be as sweet to
    Americans as it would hurt the English
    BUT…truth is a USA upset of mighty England
    would hardly be noticed by 99.999% of Americans…

    It would be such a meaningless triumph…

    IF we WON the WC this year, I doubt more than a handful of Americans would show up at their parade here in New York…

    But go USA!!!!!

    • The Gaffer says:

      Chaz, I have it on good authority that one of the major radio stations in NY will be having a significant portion of their radio time focused on the World Cup. Let the tournament start first.

      Cheers,
      The Gaffer

      • Chaz says:

        In retrospect I was wrong, people here in NYC were down with the England match and the whole USA drama…As a passionate new footy fan who watched five mins of the last WC only to mock it…
        I still dont think I like this event.
        The football hasn’t been scintillating…The overwrought passions it brings out is exactly the aspect of soccer that I loathed in my soccer-hating days…

        Hell, US soccer “experts” are talking about sacking BB!! My god, when u considers the gaggle of football ne’er-do-wells (excluding, TH, LD, and MB…) we put onto the pitch against these Dream Teams…we got bang for our buck
        and so much fun and some very rare soccer thrills!!
        …What do people want? The US is clearly a top-20 national side
        and if one day we can raise our own Messi or Rinaldo…We might win…

        Anyway, it was a great run…
        But today’s RIP-OFF of Lampard and Mexico is scandalous…When you think of the huge investments that went into these matches…

        But the soccer was much better today,
        England looked lively & bashed the crossbar a few times that might have all the difference
        …at least it felt like a good EPL late-season mid-table match…not the constipated draw-at-all-cost 7-man-back-lines type shows we saw last week…

        As a Forlan fan from his one-man gang performances in the Europa League…From the start I have believed in this guy’s ability to take control of a match almost at will…Robben has the same knack…
        in the end…it will be Paraguay or da Dutch holding that art-nouveau trophy!

  21. dlink09 says:

    if you are a citizen of USA, you should support USA. didn’t you pledge you’re allegiance to USA. shame on you people.. all the other nonsense people are trying to come up with to justify there stance is ……………..

    • American Patriot of 1776 says:

      Amen!

      When you (an illegal) went through naturalization and swore an oath of allegiance to the United States of America, it is a tragic shame that they would STILL proclaim their allegiance to their country of birth.

      It should be considered treason.

  22. Gaz Hunt says:

    I suppose I’m in a similar situation as you Gaffer. I guess one could say I could pick too.

    Born in England and spent my childhood there. Still a UK citizen.

    But I moved to the States at a very young age (been here almost 20 years) and I consider the US my home.

    I’ll be supporting England – but I don’t really think it was ever really a decision on my part. It’s been part of me ever since I can remember the sport.

    That said, I’d also love to see the US do well in this and future World Cups. I’ve been talking junk to co-workers (and a little here and there on this site) about the game but the genuine interest from the people around me that would surface from a quality, respected US side would be great.

  23. Chaz says:

    Let’s face it…
    WE AMERICAN soccer fans are fans of English players and teams

    …I’ve watched 10 EPL matches to every minute I’ve seen of MLS games, I know Liverpool’s line-up as well as I know the NY Yankee’s or the NY Giant’s but here we go with this WC tournament and we face so many familiar faces in this initial match that, I believe, we US footyheads cannot help but have ambivalent feelings as kick-off looms

    …but I hope first and foremost that it is a great match that brings out the best in both sides, one that will inspire both teams to a great result in the grand soccer scheme of things…as long as the US wins!

  24. jleau says:

    Stop the insanity!!!

    Between Chula and the Gaffer this topic has been recycled to death. It was interesting 20 articles and 6 months ago.

  25. lanky says:

    you will have to support england now – unless we get knocked out by germany tomorrow

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