World Cup 2022: what you need to know about the match USA vs England


Jhe first time the United States men’s national team faced England in a World Cup, in 1950, a miracle happened. The hastily assembled American team – which was partly made up of amateur players who worked day jobs, including as teachers, dishwashers and mail carriers – knew that England had the stronger side. “We certainly had no idea we were going to beat them,” former USA defender Harry Keough said decades later. “But we thought we could give them a battle for it.”

This battle came to a head in the 37th minute of the first half, when Haitian-American striker Joe Gaetjens managed to graze the ball just enough to ram it into the England goal. England never recovered and the match ended in a 1-0 American victory. The result was so unthinkable that many media, including the New York Timesassumed the score listed was a typo.

USA striker Joe Gaetjens is carried away by cheering fans after the USA team beat England 1-0 in a World Cup soccer match in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, June 28, 1950 .

PA

The last surviving member of the 1950 USA team died in 2018, and few people alive today will remember that game. Yet his legacy looms large in the soccer rivalry between the United States and England, whose teams are set to face off at Al Bayt Stadium in Doha on Friday. The last time these two nations met in a men’s World Cup was over 10 years ago in South Africa. It ended in a 1-1 draw. Although England are the favorites to win this game in Qatar, American fans are hoping that their team can once again pull off a miracle.

Read more: Meet the 22-year-old star who could make Team USA a World Cup contender

More recent history does not bode so favorably for the United States. The team qualified for this World Cup after failing four years ago in what was seen as a major setback in efforts to elevate the world’s most popular game to the American sports scene. — notwithstanding the success of the United States Women’s National Team. Against England, in particular, the American men’s team lost the vast majority of their matches – all, in fact, except the group stage victory of the 1950 World Cup in Brazil and a 2-0 win at the United States Cup 1993. The American team is significantly younger and less experienced than the Three Lions (that’s how the English team is known), who arrived in Qatar after a terrific performance in the Championship. UEFA Football Europe last year as well as the 2018 World Cup.

But if the past is any guide, neither side should make assumptions about how Friday’s game will play out. England coach Gareth Southgate warned against complacency at a post-match press conference on Monday, noting that the USA team “will be coming for us at full throttle”. And American midfielder Christian Pulisic warned of that in the days leading up to the tournament. “We don’t look at the odds and we’re not at the World Cup just to catch up on the numbers,” he told the UK. DailyMirror. “We’re going for it, we’re giving it our all in every game we play, we’re making America proud. Wherever that takes us, we have to wait and see.

Here’s everything you need to know ahead of game day.

When is the game and how can you watch it in the US?

Kickoff is scheduled for 2:00 p.m. EST on Friday, November 25. Viewers in the United States can watch the game live on FOX or through a variety of streaming options.

How have both teams fared in the tournament so far?

Both teams enter the Al Bayt Stadium unbeaten on Friday. England kicked off their 2022 World Cup on Monday with an emphatic 6-2 win over Iran. Although the United States took an early lead against Wales later in the day thanks to a superb goal from striker Timothy Weah, the game ended in a draw after a penalty scored by the Welsh captain Gareth Bale.

Striker Timothy Weah hugs his teammates after scoring the first goal for the United States in the Qatar 2022 World Cup in the match against Wales at Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium on November 21, 2022. (Jewel Samad—AFP /Getty Pictures)

Striker Timothy Weah hugs his team mates after scoring the first goal for USA in the Qatar 2022 World Cup in the match against Wales at Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium on November 21, 2022.

Bijou Samad—AFP/Getty Images

Read more: USA team tied 1-1 against Wales in World Cup opener

In terms of points, which will ultimately determine which teams from Group B advance to the knockout stage, England top the table with three points, followed by the USA and Wales with one point each, and Iran to zero. Assuming a win over Iran next week, which is poised to be USA’s easiest (although by no means guaranteed) game at this stage of the tournament, a win or a draw against England on Friday would put the United States in a strong position to make it happen. in the round of 16. If Team USA qualifies, they will face one of the top two teams in Group A, which includes the Netherlands, Ecuador, Senegal and host country Qatar. But a loss to England could put those hopes in jeopardy.

To what extent does history inform this confrontation?

The United States and England have developed a healthy and, at times, memorable rivalry over the years. Although American players describe themselves as “outsiders” in this World Cup, American fans know the team has the ability to create upsets against sports giants, having beaten Brazil at the Gold CONCACAF Cup in 1998, Portugal in the World Cup in 2002, and, of course, England in 1950.

When the United States defeated the Three Lions in Brazil 72 years ago, news barely registered at home, according to Geoffrey Douglas, the author of the 1996 book The game of their life, which tells the story of the match and those who took part in it. When the players returned home after being knocked out of the competition, they found “no one knew anything about it,” Douglas told TIME, noting that as a sport, football “just wasn’t not on the radar” in the more popular way. games like baseball and football were. It wasn’t until decades later – as football grew in importance and the story of the 1950 World Cup began to be commemorated in popular culture, including in a 2005 film based on the book. of Douglas – that Americans began to become more aware of their country’s history. upset.

Read more: Your complete guide to the USA Men’s National Team at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar

As much as Team USA will feel they have something to prove, England will see this game as a crucial one to win in their quest for World Cup glory. After all, the Three Lions have suffered heartbreaking defeats in their recent international competitions, including their loss to Italy in a penalty shootout in the European Championship final last year and their defeat in the semi-final against Croatia at the 2018 World Cup. The pressure to finally ensure that soccer come homeas the popular rallying cry of England supporters, a nod to the country’s invention of the sport Americans call football, will weigh heavily on the Southgate team.

What are the strengths and weaknesses of the two teams?

The England squad under Southgate have been frequently criticized for being too defensive and too cautious, an idea that Monday’s 6-2 result against Iran could help dispel. Team USA is considered to have the opposite problem, lacking a strong backline defense.

But the England team are widely seen as the favorites to win this game, and for good reason. England have enjoyed a resurgence under Southgate, boosted in part by a young but internationally tested squad, including a number of rising stars, such as 21-year-old striker Bukayo Saka.

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

England’s Bukayo Saka applauds after the final whistle, after scoring two of the Three Lions’ six goals against Iran. Coach Gareth Southgate walks in the background, at Qatar’s Chalifa International Stadium, November 21, 2022.

Robert Michael — picture-alliance/dpa/AP

Even with their young players, England will field one of the most internationally experienced sides in this tournament – captain Harry Kane was the top scorer at the 2018 World Cup. one of the youngest teams, just behind Ghana, with an average age of 25. While the youth of the American players could be seen as an asset when it comes to the energy and intensity they can bring to matches, it can also be seen as a disadvantage: Team USA’s lack of the 2018 competition means the squad has almost no World Cup experience, save for 2014 veteran DeAndre Yedlin.

Read more: Tyler Adams is the World Cup captain Team USA desperately needs

Nonetheless, the players in the current USA team come from some of the best professional teams in the world, including those competing in Europe’s toughest leagues. “We’ve never had a team that’s had so many players that have played at such a high level on their club teams,” says Djorn Buchholz, executive director of the National Soccer Hall of Fame in Texas, “and not just sitting on the bench, but starting.

How important is this World Cup for the United States?

While Team USA is preoccupied with the upcoming World Cup, they will no doubt be thinking of 2026, when the United States is expected to co-host the competition with neighbors Mexico and Canada.

“As long as they can stay healthy and keep playing at high levels, you’ll see them in 2026 having a World Cup under their belt,” Buchholz says. “And I think that’s going to be incredibly beneficial for us in 2026.”

An older, more experienced American team, bolstered by home-field advantage, could become a serious contender in four years’ time – a team with the potential to take on not just England, but any national team. At least that’s what fans like Buchholz are hoping for. After all, miracles can happen.

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


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