World Cup 2022: What to Know About the U.S. vs. England Game

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The first time the U.S. men’s national team confronted England in a World Cup, in 1950, a miracle occurred. The hastily-assembled U.S. squad—which was partly made up of newbie gamers who held day jobs together with as lecturers, dishwashers, and mail carriers—knew that England had the stronger aspect. “We definitely didn’t entertain any concepts we have been gonna beat ’em,” the previous U.S. defender Harry Keough reflected many years later. “However we figured we might give them a battle for it.”

That battle got here to a head on the thirty seventh minute of the primary half, when the Haitian-born U.S. ahead Joe Gaetjens managed to graze the ball simply sufficient to sink it into the English aim. England by no means recovered, and the match led to a 1-0 U.S. victory. So unthinkable was the consequence that many information retailers, together with the New York Times, presumed that the reported rating was a typo.

U.S. ahead Joe Gaetjens is carried off by cheering followers after Group USA beat England 1-0 in a World Cup soccer match in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, June 28, 1950.

AP

The final surviving member of the U.S. squad died in 2018, and few individuals alive as we speak will do not forget that match. Nonetheless, its legacy looms massive over the soccer rivalry between the U.S. and England, whose groups are slated to go head-to-head on Friday in Doha’s Al Bayt stadium. The final time these two nations confronted one another in a males’s World Cup was greater than 10 years in the past, in South Africa. It led to a 1-1 draw. Although England is the favorite to win this match in Qatar, American followers are hopeful that their workforce can as soon as once more pull off a miracle.

Learn Extra: Meet the 22-Year-Old Star Who Could Make Team USA a World Cup Contender

More moderen historical past doesn’t bode as favorably for the U.S. The workforce certified for this World Cup after failing to do so four years ago in what was seen as a significant setback within the effort to raise the world’s hottest recreation on the American sports activities stage—the success of the U.S. girls’s nationwide workforce however. Towards England, specifically, the U.S. males’s workforce has misplaced the overwhelming majority of its matches—all, in actual fact, however the 1950 World Cup group stage victory in Brazil and a 2-0 win on the 1993 U.S. Cup. Group USA is markedly youthful and fewer skilled than the Three Lions (because the English squad is understood), who arrived in Qatar off the again of formidable performances throughout final 12 months’s UEFA European Football Championship in addition to the 2018 World Cup.

But when the previous is any information, neither aspect ought to make any assumptions about how Friday’s recreation will go. England coach Gareth Southgate cautioned in opposition to complacency in a post-match information convention on Monday, noting that the U.S. workforce will “be coming for us full throttle.” And U.S. midfielder Christian Pulisic warned as a lot within the days main as much as the match. “We don’t take a look at the percentages and we’re not on the World Cup simply to make up the numbers,” he informed Britain’s Daily Mirror. “We go, we give it the whole lot in each recreation we play, we make America proud. Wherever that takes us we’ve got to attend and see.”

Right here’s the whole lot it’s essential to know forward of match day.

When is the sport and how are you going to watch within the U.S.?

Kickoff is scheduled for two:00 p.m. Jap time, Friday, Nov. 25. Viewers within the U.S. can watch the match stay on FOX or via a variety of streaming options.

How have each groups fared within the match up to now?

Each squads will enter Al Bayt stadium undefeated on Friday. England kicked off its 2022 World Cup on Monday with an emphatic 6-2 victory over Iran. Though the U.S. secured an early lead in opposition to Wales later that day with a surprising aim from ahead Timothy Weah, the match led to a draw after a penalty scored by Welsh captain Gareth Bale.

Forward Timothy Weah embraces teammates after scoring the U.S.'s first goal during the Qatar 2022 World Cup in the match against Wales at the Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium, Nov. 21, 2022. (Jewel Samad—AFP/Getty Images)

Ahead Timothy Weah embraces teammates after scoring the U.S.’s first aim throughout the Qatar 2022 World Cup within the match in opposition to Wales on the Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium, Nov. 21, 2022.

Jewel Samad—AFP/Getty Photos

Learn Extra: Team USA Held to 1-1 Tie Against Wales in World Cup Opening Game

When it comes to factors, which is able to in the end decide which two groups in Group B will advance to the knockout stage, England tops the leaderboard with three factors, adopted by the U.S. and Wales with one level apiece, and Iran at zero. Assuming a win in opposition to Iran subsequent week, which is poised to be the U.S.’s best (although certainly not assured) match on this stage of the match, victory or a draw in opposition to England on Friday would put the U.S. in a robust place to make it to the spherical of 16. If Group USA advances, it could face one of many high two groups from Group A—which incorporates the Netherlands, Ecuador, Senegal, and host nation Qatar. However a loss to England might put these hopes within the stability.

How a lot does historical past inform this matchup?

The U.S. and England have developed a wholesome—and, at occasions, even meme-worthy—soccer rivalry over time. Though the U.S. gamers are self-described “underdogs” on this World Cup, American followers know that the workforce has the capability to ship upsets in opposition to giants of the game, having crushed Brazil in the 1998 CONCACAF Gold Cup, Portugal in the 2002 World Cup, and, after all, England in 1950.

When the U.S. defeated the Three Lions in Brazil 72 years in the past, the information barely registered at residence, in line with Geoffrey Douglas, the writer of the 1996 guide The Sport of Their Lives, which chronicled the story of the match and people who participated in it. When the gamers returned residence after being knocked out of the competitors, they found that “no one knew something about it,” Douglas tells TIME, noting that as a sport, soccer “simply wasn’t on the radar” in the way in which that extra standard video games comparable to baseball and soccer have been. It wasn’t till many years later—as soccer’s significance grew and because the story of the 1950 World Cup started to be memorialized in standard tradition, together with in a 2005 film primarily based on Douglas’s guide—that People began to change into extra conscious of their nation’s historic upset.

Learn Extra: Your Complete Guide to the U.S. Men’s National Team at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar

As a lot because the U.S. squad will really feel that it has one thing to show, England will equally be eying this match as an important one to win in its quest for World Cup glory. In any case, the Three Lions have suffered some heartbreaking defeats of their latest worldwide competitions, together with their loss to Italy in a penalty shootout throughout the European Championship closing final 12 months and their semifinal defeat by the hands of Croatia throughout the 2018 World Cup. The stress to lastly be sure that soccer’s coming residence, as goes England followers’ popular rallying cry, a nod to the nation’s invention of the game Americans call soccer, will weigh closely on Southgate’s workforce.

What are each groups’ strengths and weaknesses?

England’s squad beneath supervisor Southgate has been continuously criticized for being too defensive and overly cautious, a notion Monday’s 6-2 consequence in opposition to Iran might assist dispel. The U.S. workforce is seen as having the reverse downside, lacking a solid defense on its backline.

However the England workforce is broadly thought to be the favourite to win this recreation, and with good purpose. England has seen a resurgence beneath Southgate, boosted partially by a younger but internationally-tested squad, together with numerous rising stars, such because the 21-year-old ahead Bukayo Saka.

England's Bukayo Saka cheers after the final whistle, having scored two of the Three Lions' six goals against Iran. Coach Gareth Southgate walks in the background, at Qatar's Chalifa International Stadium, Nov. 21, 2022. (Robert Michael—picture-alliance/dpa/AP)

England’s Bukayo Saka cheers after the ultimate whistle, having scored two of the Three Lions’ six targets in opposition to Iran. Coach Gareth Southgate walks within the background, at Qatar’s Chalifa Worldwide Stadium, Nov. 21, 2022.

Robert Michael—picture-alliance/dpa/AP

Youthful gamers however, England is fielding some of the internationally-seasoned squads on this match—its captain Harry Kane was the highest goalscorer within the 2018 World Cup. The U.S., however, claims one of many youngest groups, second solely to Ghana, with a median age of 25. Whereas the American gamers’ youth may very well be seen as an asset in relation to the vitality and depth they will carry to matches, it can be seen as a drawback: Group USA’s absence from the 2018 competitors implies that the squad has nearly no World Cup expertise, save for 2014 veteran DeAndre Yedlin.

Learn extra: Tyler Adams Is the World Cup Captain Team USA Desperately Needs

Nonetheless, gamers within the present U.S. squad have been sourced from a number of the world’s high skilled groups, together with these competing within the hardest leagues in Europe. “We’ve by no means had a workforce that has had so many gamers who’ve been enjoying at such a excessive degree on their membership groups,” says Djorn Buchholz, the manager director of the Nationwide Soccer Corridor of Fame in Texas, “and never simply sitting on the bench, however beginning.”

How vital is that this World Cup for the U.S.?

Whereas Group USA is preoccupied with the World Cup at hand, it’s going to undoubtedly even be considering forward to 2026, when the U.S. is slated to co-host the competitors with neighbors Mexico and Canada.

“So long as they will keep wholesome and hold enjoying at excessive ranges, you’re going to see them in 2026 having had a World Cup beneath their belts,” says Buchholz. “And I feel that’s going to be extremely advantageous to us in 2026.”

An older, extra skilled U.S. workforce bolstered by residence turf benefit might emerge as a severe contender in 4 years’ time—one with the potential to tackle not simply England, however any nationwide workforce. That, at the least, is what followers comparable to Buchholz are hoping for. In any case, miracles can occur.

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Write to Yasmeen Serhan at yasmeen.serhan@time.com.



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