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Sports Then and Now

U.S.A. Starts Well At The FIFA World Cup

Posted on June 13, 2010 by Daniel Sullivan

Clint Dempsey scored the lone goal for the U.S.A. in the 1-1 tie with England.

Saturday afternoon the United States men’s national team drew in their game against England with a score of 1-1. This draw was not just any draw, however. In most games, a draw is about the same as a loss, but Saturday’s game was just the second matchup between England and the United States in the World Cup over the last 60 years.

A heavily favored England team scored right off the bat in the fourth minute, taking the wind right out the United States’ sails with a goal by English Captain Steven Gerrard. We didn’t give up, however, sticking with them, and later capitalizing on a mistake by English goalie Robert Green in the 40th minute. Clint Dempsey’s goal tied the game at 1-1 and the score would remain a tie until the final whistle blew.

A tie against this seemingly overpowering English team is as good as win. Group C is made up the United States, England, Algeria and Slovenia this year, with the United States and England being the two favorites to advance. There is a good chance these two will meet again and hopefully it goes the same way it went 60 years ago, the last time the United States and England met in the World Cup.

In 1950, the United States beat England 1-0 in Brazil after a score by Joe Gaetjens in the 37th minute. This was such a huge upset that the English newspapers thought they were misinformed of the outcome, actually printing some newspapers with a score of 10-1 in favor of England. That wasn’t the case and the game would go down as one of the biggest upsets in World Cup history.

Robert Green's bobble cost England in the 1-1 tie.

The United States, since 1950 have faced England in several friendly matches. England avenged their loss in 1950 with a win during a friendly game in 1953. The USA got smoked in 8-1 and 10-0 losses in 1959 and 1964 respectively. In another friendly match in 1985, England defeated the USA, shutting them out in a 5-0 victory in California.

The United States was finally able to steal a win from England in a US Cup match in Foxborough, Massachusetts in 1993. The USA won 2-0, including a goal being scored by current US World Cup commentator Alexi Lalas. The losing resumed the next year in 1994, when the USA lost to England 2-0 in a friendly match.

The two teams didn’t meat again until 2005, in which the losing ways continued. England, in another friendly match, won 2-1 on US soil. They met again three years later, with England winning 2-0 in yet another friendly match. Over the last 60 years, the United States have only been able to take two out of a total of nine matches.

This years favorites to win the World Cup, according to ESPN, are Brazil, Italy, Germany, Spain and Argentina. Although England is not on that list, they are still a powerhouse team stacked with excellent players. The United States gave their all in today’s game and although the score doesn’t represent the grit they showed, they played great. That is a huge game for the United States, definitely getting them off on the right foot.

Hopefully, we can see a repeat of the 1950’s matchup between the United States and England and see a similar outcome. This game was the first draw between the two teams, which is a score that Americans are willing to take. In a game that means so much to both England and the United States, a draw is acceptable for us. England, trying to defend their reputation as one of the most powerful countries for soccer, basically lost today. They expected to win and win big, which they weren’t able to do.

Consider Saturday’s tie a win for the United States. They showed England that they aren’t going away easy and will be a touch matchup for them in this years World Cup.

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