Head-to-head record

The sides have met 11 times in total, but England are yet to beat the USA in their two World Cup matches – losing 1-0 at the 1950 tournament and drawing 1-1 in 2010.

Overall, England have won eight of the fixtures, lost two and drawn once.

What are they saying?

Tyler Adams is relishing USA’s role as underdogs but is not overawed by facing England. “I wouldn’t say there’s many things out there that intimidate me, other than spiders,” said the Leeds United midfielder.   

Adams, 23, is in his fifth season in European football, all of it spent at RB Leipzig before this summer and it is a period which has seen Gareth Southgate’s team reach the latter stages of two major tournaments. 

By contrast the USA are at the start of their cycle with their high-profile players at the start of their careers and their coach Gregg Berhalter asked on the eve of their Group B clash whether this was a “Golden Generation” for the country. Adams sees no reason why his team-mates should be afraid of taking the game to their higher-ranked opponents.    

“England are still a big team at the end of the day, but the intimidation factor?” Adams said. “It’s fine for me, but obviously I’ve got to play against all those big players, so I’ve done it before. But we also want to show what we’re capable of and that US soccer is developing and growing in the right way.

“It’s a huge opportunity to fast-track the impact we have. When you get a result in a game like this people start to respect Americans a little bit more. England are currently one of the favourites to win the World Cup. People would probably say we are the underdogs, but we carry that with pride.”

Adams spent his childhood watching Thierry Henry on the television in New York as football’s popularity grew in America, telling his mother that he wanted to play in the Premier League eventually. The chance presented itself in the summer when he was signed by countryman Jesse Marsch, although he is yet to try Yorkshire food, let alone speak in the accent. 

With Brenden Aaronson also at Elland Road, there is experience of English football in Berhalter’s squad with attacks going through Christian Pulisic, Antonee Robinson pushing forward from full-back and Tim Ream at centre-back. They also have Sunderland-born Gio Reyna who has recovered from a hamstring injury but was not selected in the 1-1 draw against Wales. 

“He was available for the match and it was the coach’s decision that he didn’t play,” was the terse explanation from Berhalter, who is friends with Southgate but has been ghosted by the England manager in the build-up to meeting at the World Cup. 

“I’ve been Whatsapping but I haven’t seen the blue checkmark,” he said. “So I don’t know what’s going on. No, we kind of took a hiatus, we will pick up our relationship after the game.”

Berhalter’s other young players include Timothy Weah (22), former Arsenal midfielder Yunus Musah (19) and Sergino Dest (22) but the USA coach is reluctant to set a target on what his players can achieve.   

“I think that’s just TBD. To be decided. We haven’t achieved anything as a group on a world stage,” he said. “When you’re talking about England coming in fourth and then coming in second, there’s tangible things that you can say: okay, this group achieved something. We’re just not there yet. I think we’re getting a little bit ahead of ourselves calling the team [a Golden Generation].” 

With the next World Cup co-hosted by the US there is a sense this group will peak then, rather than now, although Berhalter insists this makes it even more imperative to do well in Qatar. “We feel the added pressure,” he said. “We know it’s relevant.”

Latest odds

England to win 4/7

Draw 10/3

USA to win 5/1

Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *