U.S. MNT Set to Kick Off 2010 FIFA World Cup Against England
Find out all the facts and figures about the U.S. and England before they meet Saturday, June 12 to begin their 2010 FIFA World Cup campaigns.
June 11, 2010
© John Todd/isiphotos.com
U.S. Men's National Team vs. England
Rustenburg, South Africa
2010 FIFA World Cup
June 12, 2010
GAME TIME: Four years of pent-up anticipation will be relieved in a little more than 24 hours, when the eyes of more than a billion soccer fans around the world will focus their attention on the USA's opening match of the 2010 FIFA World Cup against England. What is likely the most highly-anticipated match in U.S. Soccer history kicks off at 2:30 p.m. ET on ABC and Univision, with special pre-game coverage beginning at 1:30 p.m. on ABC. Fans can also follow along on ussoccer.com's MatchTracker and at twitter.com/ussoccer.
- Tournament rules provide that all 23 players will dress for FIFA World Cup matches. Drawn as Team ‘B’ for the game, the U.S. will wear the all-blue Nike away strip, while England will sport all white. The maximum number of substitutions will be three.
- All 23 players on the U.S. team are fit and available for selection. U.S. forward Jozy Altidore suffered a mild right ankle sprain a little more than a week ago, but has recovered and been in full training since June 8.
- The U.S. and England have met nine times in history, with England holding a 7-2-0 advantage. This will be their second contest in a World Cup and the second time in neutral territory, the U.S. having shocked England and the world with their 1-0 victory in the 1950 FIFA World Cup in Brazil. More on the ‘Miracle of Belo Horizonte’ later.
- Nineteen of the 23 players on the U.S. World Cup Team appeared in 2010 FIFA World Cup qualifying for the U.S., although only eight appeared in at least half of the USA’s qualifiers (Altidore, DaMarcus Beasley, Carlos Bocanegra, Michael Bradley, Clint Dempsey, Landon Donovan, Tim Howard and Oguchi Onyewu).
- The U.S. squad carries a variety of World Cup experience into South Africa, as 15 players have been named to their first World Cup roster. Meantime, six players have played in a World Cup game, with midfielder Landon Donovan leading the team with eight appearances – all as a starter – while DaMarcus Beasley has six World Cup caps to his credit. That duo and Steve Cherundolo are earning a place in their third World Cup.
- Two players on the current roster have scored in a World Cup. Dempsey got the USA’s lone credited goal in 2006, scoring against Ghana on June 21 in Nuremberg. Donovan’s famous header against Mexico provided the insurance goal in the 2-0 victory in the Round of 16 on June 17, 2002 in Jeonju, Korea Republic, putting the U.S. through to the quarterfinals for the first time in 72 years.
- Brian McBride remains the only U.S. player to have scored in multiple World Cups, netting in 1998 and then twice in 2002, the game-winners against Portugal and Mexico.
- Sixteen players on the roster have scored at least one international goal, and six have scored in 2010: Altidore, Bocanegra, Edson Buddle, Dempsey, Maurice Edu, Herculez Gómez, and Clarence Goodson.
- Donovan is the leading cap winner on the roster with 123 appearances. Conversely, Buddle has played only three times for the full team.
- With the goal against Turkey, Altidore increased his career total to nine goals. Remarkably, five of those goals have been assisted by Donovan.
- Dempsey’s game-winner that afternoon in Philadelphia marked his 18th career tally, inching closer to fifth place on the USA’s all-time scoring register. The Nacogdoches, Texas native earned ussoccer.com Man of the Match honors for his efforts.
- Donovan’s assist to Herculez Gómez on the third goal in the 3-1 victory against Australia increased his record-setting total to 45 for his career.
- Dempsey became one of only a handful of U.S. players to receive recognition from FIFA when he earned the Bronze Ball at the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup after scoring goals against Egypt, Spain and Brazil.
- Howard also picked up honors in that tournament, collecting the Golden Glove as the best goalkeeper. Howard finished the 2010 qualifying cycle with six clean sheets in 13 appearances and a 0.92 goals against average.
- Howard hit his silver anniversary in caps after starting against Turkey, completing his first 50 caps with 30 victories and 19 shutouts. José Torres also hit a milestone, reaching double-digit caps in perhaps his finest performance for the national team.
- Jonathan Bornstein and Goodson are the only two players to have appeared in all five of the USA’s matches in 2010.
- By earning 45 minutes against Australia, Marcus Hahnemann made his first appearance for the U.S. since Oct. 17, 2007, a 1-0 win in Switzerland. Hahnemann already held the record for the longest layoff between caps for the United States, with an eight-year, five-month, 28-day break between games.
- With their goals on May 25 against the Czech Republic, Edu and Gómez became the first pair of U.S. players to get their first goal in the same game since Stuart Holden and Robbie Rogers tallied in the 4-1 win against Grenada on July 4, 2009, to open the 2009 Gold Cup.
- Gómez made the U.S. World Cup team after appearing in just two matches before coming on at halftime against the Czech Republic to earn his third cap.
- Five of the seven defenders on the roster have at least one goal for the national team: Bocanegra, Bornstein, Cherundolo, Goodson, and Onyewu. Three of those tallied in 2009, and all of them were memorable. Bocanegra’s game-winning header against Honduras in Chicago; Goodson performing the same feat against the same team in the same stadium in the Gold Cup; and Bornstein capping off qualifying with a last-second header against Costa Rica.
- With his goal against Netherlands on March 3 in Amsterdam, Bocanegra upped his career tally to 12, just one shy of the mark set by Marcelo Balboa for U.S. defenders.
- Two players on the U.S. roster — Edu and Beasley — come from Scottish Premier League Champion Glasgow Rangers, which clinched its second title in a row.
- Aston Villa goalkeeper Brad Guzan has recorded five shutouts in 14 appearances for the U.S., including three clean sheets in five World Cup qualifiers. Overall he has posted a 7-4-1 record.
- Only two players on the U.S. World Cup Team made their first U.S. appearance for Bradley within the last year. Holden debuted on July 4, 2009, with an Independence Day goal in the Gold Cup, and Buddle in the match against the Czech Republic.
- U.S. MNT Assistant Mike Sorber is the only member of the U.S. contingent who was involved in the USA’s first match in England. Appearing in the team’s first match since the conclusion of the 1994 FIFA World Cup, the former U.S. international went 90 minutes in the 2-1 defeat on September 7, 1994.
|Average Age: 26.9||Average Caps: 34.9|
|Most Caps: 123 (Landon Donovan)||Fewest Caps: 3 (Edson Buddle)|
|Oldest: 37 (Marcus Hahnemann)||Youngest: 20 (Jozy Altidore)|
Play professionally in: England (7), USA (4), Germany (3), Mexico (2), Scotland (2), Denmark (1), France (1), Italy (1), Norway (1), Spain (1)
Hometown in: California (7), Texas (3), Illinois (2), Arizona (1), Florida (1), Georgia (1), Indiana (1), Maryland (1), Nevada (1), New Jersey (1), New York (1), Virginia (1), Washington (1), Wisconsin (1)
USA IN THE WORLD CUP: The U.S. will be competing in their ninth World Cup finals tournament since participating in the inaugural event in 1930 where they finished as semifinalists, defeating Belgium in their first match and Paraguay in their second by identical 3-0 scorelines. Some other facts:
Matches played: 25
Best finish: Semifinals (1930)
Highest margin in win: 3-0 (vs. Belgium, Paraguay in 1930)
Biggest defeat: 1-7 (vs. Italy in 1934)
Most matches, player: 11 (Earnie Stewart, Cobi Jones)
Most goals, career: 4 (Bert Patenaude)
USA’s MARKS ON WORLD CUP HISTORY:
- The first hat trick in World Cup history was recorded by Bert Patenaude, who scored three times in the 3-0 victory against Paraguay on July 17, 1930.
- Brad Friedel is only one of two goalkeepers – joining Poland’s Jan Tomaszewski – to save two penalties in one tournament.
- The U.S. is the only CONCACAF team to reach the semifinals of the tournament, achieving that feat in the 1930 event before losing to Argentina.
FAMILIAR WITH THE FLAVOR: Many of the questions leading up to the England game have focused on the value of U.S. players being familiar with their counterparts. Why? Because a dozen players on the U.S. roster are current or former members of English Premier League teams. There’s no question that having experience against the English players can give insight into their tendencies and style. It also takes some of the mystery out of playing against some of the most famous footballers in the world. Especially when you have beaten them! The U.S. EPL contingent:
|Player||Club(s)||Years in England|
|Manchester United, Everton||7|
|Jonathan Spector||Manchester United, Charlton, West Ham United||7|
|Oguchi Onyewu||Newcastle United||1*|
|DaMarcus Beasley||Manchester City||1*|
|Jozy Altidore||Hull City||1*|
|Brad Guzan||Aston Villa||2|
|Marcus Hahnemann||Fulham, Reading, Wolverhampton||10|
*on loan for a year or less
MATES ON ANY OTHER DAY: When the draw was first announced, one of the immediate reactions in the U.S. was the potential matchup between Los Angeles Galaxy teammates Landon Donovan and David Beckham. While an Achilles injury has sidelined Beckham for the tournament, he continues to contribute to England’s efforts, having scouted the USA’s game against Australia. His lack of playing certainly hasn’t stopped English journalists from asking Landon as well as Buddle about their more famous teammate, both of whom said they have not spoken since arriving in South Africa. “No way,” quipped Donovan. “He’s a spy!”
1950: The story has been told a thousand times, with the same familiar questions and anecdotes. Was Joe Gaetjens' game-winning deflection header on purpose? Did the English press actually report the score as 10-0 England because they thought the teletype was a mistake? Did team captain Walter Bahr really do his first post-game interview 20 years later? They all contribute to the legend of the USA’s 1-0 victory against England in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, in the 1950 FIFA World Cup, which to this day remains one of the greatest upsets in tournament history. Gaetjens, the son of Haitian immigrants, immortalized a completely unheralded amateur U.S. team who triumphed over the mighty English team that had been expected to challenge for the trophy. Bahr and Harry Keough have done dozens and dozens of interviews since the draw for this year’s World Cup, and even the new Nike jersey is a throwback to the uniforms from that historic event. For the history buffs, here are the lineups from that day:
June 29, 1950 – Belo Horizonte, Brazil – FIFA World Cup
USA 1 Joe Gaetjens 38'
USA: Frank Borghi; Harold Keough, Joe Maca, Eddie McIlvenny, Charles Colombo, Walter Bahr, Eddy Souza, John Souza, Joe Gaetjens, Gino Pariani, Frank Wallace
England: Bert Williams; Alf Ramsey, John Aston, Jimmy Dickinson, Laurie Hughes, Billy Wright, James Mullen, Wilf Mannion, Roy Bentley, Stan Mortensen, Tom Finney
DID YOU KNOW?
- Landon Donovan is the fifth most capped player in the tournament. Rigoberto Song (Cameroon) and Amado Guevara are tied for first with 136 caps.
- Marcus Hahnemann is the third-oldest player in the tournament. England’s David James at 39 years and 314 days is the elder statesman.
- At 217 pounds, Hahnemann is listed as the heaviest player in the tournament.
- Steve Cherundolo and José Torres are tied with six others as the fourth shortest in the tournament.
- Three of the USA’s six all-time victories in the World Cup have come against teams from Europe (Belgium 1930, England 1950, Portugal 2002).
BACK AT THE BAFOKENG: The U.S. team will certainly be happy to step back into the friendly confines of the Royal Bafokeng Stadium in Rustenburg this Saturday, since it will bring back fond memories of what this team can accomplish. After playing with 10 men against defending world champions Italy and then Brazil in their first two matches of the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup, the U.S. entered the match against Egypt needing a world-class performance and a six-goal swing to advance, which is precisely what they delivered. Goals from Charlie Davies, Michael Bradley and Clint Demspey gave the U.S. the three goals they needed, while Brazil rocked Italy for a treble. The combined results put the United States into the semifinals and set up their now famous victory against Spain.
SOUTH AFRICAN EXPERIENCE: Fifteen players on the roster have played at least one match on South African soil between the 2007 Nelson Mandela Challenge Cup and the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup, several putting their name on the scoresheet. The U.S. faced South Africa on Nov. 17, 2007, at Ellis Park in Johannesburg, winning the Cup after a 1-0 victory on the strength of Steve Cherundolo’s second career international goal. That matched also marked the debut of Altidore for the full team. During the Confederations Cup, Dempsey netted in three consecutive matches, including the game-winner against then No. 1-ranked Spain in the semis and the first goal in the final against Brazil. Donovan collected a pair himself, finishing off a beautiful counter against the Brazilians to give the U.S. a 2-0 lead. Michael Bradley tallied against Egypt, and Altidore scored the first against Spain.
UBUNTU: The U.S. team has adopted the African concept of Ubuntu as their motto for the 2010 FIFA World Cup. Ubuntu refers to the interconnectedness of all human beings, that we are all part of a greater community and that we cannot succeed without the help of others, and they cannot succeed without us. Loosely translated, the word Ubuntu means ‘I am because you are.’ Only together can we prosper. This is the essence of what it means to be a team. U.S. Soccer has produced team pins and coins that the players will distribute throughout the tournament symbolizing the spirit of this idea.
ON THE MEND: Several players on the final 23-man roster are returning from injuries of varying length and degree. Oguchi Onyewu has played in three consecutive competitive matches since rupturing a patellar tendon on Oct. 14, 2009, against Costa Rica in the USA’s final qualifier. Jay DeMerit missed his club’s final two matches with an abdominal strain, while Carlos Bocanegra underwent a procedure on May 5 to repair a sports hernia. Stuart Holden played a full 90 for the first time after healing from a broken bone suffered in the March 3 friendly against the Netherlands.
DONOVAN, BEASLEY THE MOST VETERAN OF VETERANS… : A pair of 28-year-olds top the experience leader board in camp as fellow U-17 Residency founding fathers Landon Donovan and DaMarcus Beasley are the highest cap-winners present. Donovan holds 123 caps and a record-setting 42 goals and 45 assists, contributing to 12 of the USA’s 19 goals in the final round of World Cup qualifying. Beasley earned his 92nd cap against Australia and is the next active player in line to earn his 100th cap. If he does, he would join an elite group of just 11 men to play 100 times for the United States.
… WHILE BUDDLE AND GOMEZ ARE HAPPY TO BE BACK: Edson Buddle and Herculez Gómez are the newcomers to the group, holding just three and four caps, respectively. Their recent goal-scoring form in Major League Soccer and the Mexican First Division, respectively, certainly played major roles in their selections to the World Cup Team. On a tear for the Los Angeles Galaxy with nine goals in nine games, Buddle made his previous only appearance for the U.S. in 2003, playing the final 11 minutes on March 29, 2003, against Venezuela. Meantime south of the border, Gomez struck 10 goals for Puebla to become the first U.S. player to lead a foreign league in scoring. Gomez has played three times for the U.S., twice in the 2007 Copa America tournament and of course when he came off the bench to score a goal against the Czech Republic.
PREPPING IN PRETORIA: The U.S. team is training on familiar ground in Pretoria, utilizing the same Pilditch Stadium ground they occupied during the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup. About a 25-minute ride from the team hotel, the facility is normally used primarily for athletics. The groundskeepers have done a fantastic job getting the pitch in great condition for the rigors of daily use.
GETTING THE CALL: With the roster having been scheduled to be announced May 26 live on ESPN, there was a quick turnaround to make final decisions following the game against the Czech Republic which ended around 10 p.m. ET on the evening of May 25. The coaches met for nearly two hours after arriving back at the team hotel, and players were asked to remain available. In what would clearly be the longest couple of hours of their careers, the players chosen for the roster were called to a team meeting at 2 a.m. when they received the official news of their selection for the World Cup roster.
QUITE THE TOUR: The team experienced one of the most memorable 24 hours in national team history between May 26-27, and the MNT blog was right there to record the action. First, the newly minted 2010 U.S. World Cup team traveled to the campus of ESPN for their official unveiling live on the daytime edition of SportsCenter, then jetted to the airport for a charter flight to Washington, D.C. After a private team dinner at the Newseum, the group got geared up for an official visit to the White House. Greeted by President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, and President Bill Clinton, the team took photos before being led on an impromptu tour of the West Wing that included a stroll through the Rose Garden, a look in the Oval Office, a gathering in the Roosevelt Room, and finally a sit-down in the office of the Vice President.
PRINCETON PREP: The U.S. team spent the first week of camp training at Princeton University in New Jersey where U.S. head coach Bob Bradley ran the team through an excellent week that focused mostly on fitness. There was one day of inclement weather, but otherwise the U.S. camp was extremely smooth and productive as several players worked through their final stages of rehabilitation to overcome injuries.
NEW AWAY JERSEYS MAKE WORLD CUP DEBUT: The new away jersey will make its World Cup debut against England as the U.S. will wear the navy kit in their opening match. The away jersey is navy with a white sash and white trim on the round neck collar and a touch of red on the sleeves, while the home jersey is traditional white with a shadow-like gray sash, navy trim on the round neck collar and a touch of red on the sleeves. Designed by Nike with the national culture and identity of the U.S. in mind, the jersey echoes the uniform worn by the U.S. Men’s National Team during the 1950 FIFA World Cup in which they defeated England 1-0 in one of the biggest upsets in the history of soccer. The replica jerseys are available to fans now at ussoccerstore.com. The jersey is entirely constructed with recycled polyester fabric from plastic bottles and features materials to stay cool as well as Dri-Fit moisture control. The U.S. Soccer crest is embroidered over the heart.
CHAMPIONS AGAIN: The U.S. Men's National Team finished atop the FIFA World Cup qualifying Final Round standings in CONCACAF for the second consecutive cycle, besting Mexico by one point. Jonathan Bornstein's stoppage-time goal with only seconds remaining leveled the score in the final qualifying match with Costa Rica on Oct. 14 in Washington, D.C., the 2-2 draw giving the USA the vital point it needed. The result at RFK Stadium, coupled with Mexico's draw by the same score with Trinidad & Tobago in Port of Spain, kept the U.S. first with El Tri second. The late drama in the nation's capital served to shake up third and fourth spot in the standings as well, with Honduras the beneficiary. Los Catrachos won on the road in El Salvador (the first time in the final round the visitors won in San Salvador) and leapfrogged Costa Rica to claim the third and final automatic berth to the 2010 FIFA World Cup.
|Trinidad & Tobago||10||1||6||3||10||22||-12||6|
* qualified for the 2010 FIFA World Cup
GOLDEN BOOT WINNERS IN QUALIFYING: The U.S. scored more goals than any other nation in the world in 2010 World Cup qualifying, bagging 42 goals in 18 games.
ON TO THE NEXT CHAPTER: Since January of 2007 it has been the charge of U.S. head coach Bob Bradley to achieve the most important goal of any soccer playing nation: qualification for the FIFA World Cup. With 60 games under his belt, seeing 92 different players at least once and the process of reaching South Africa in 2010 complete, a review of the body of work during the past nearly-three years points to the U.S. clearly heading in the right direction. Bradley’s 31 victories in 50 games outdistanced his predecessor Bruce Arena, who had collected 25 victories at that point in his tenure. Since the start of the four-year cycle, the U.S. has:
- Produced the best finish ever at a FIFA tournament, finishing second at the FIFA Confederations Cup.
- Finished in first place in CONCACAF qualifying, collecting the most road wins of any team in the region during the campaign while going unbeaten at home in nine matches.
- Won six straight FIFA World Cup qualifiers in a row in 2008, a new team record (June 15-Oct. 15).
- Won the CONCACAF Gold Cup title in 2007 to qualify for the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup.
- Won by the largest margin of victory in U.S. World Cup qualifying history (8-0 vs. Barbados on June 15, 2008).
- Won three straight matches on the road for the first time in team history (Oct. 17, 2007 @ Switzerland, Nov. 17, 2007 @ South Africa and March 26, 2008 @ Poland).
- Played seven matches against four teams ranked in the top five in the world at the time they stepped on the field against them (Argentina, Brazil-3, Italy, Spain-2).
- Played matches on four continents.
- Posted a 1-1-1 record against No. 1-ranked teams, including a semifinal upset of Spain at the FIFA Confederations Cup.
Gold Cup: 10-1-1
Goals For: 115
Goals Against: 75
Record vs. …
CONCACAF: 25-5-5, 74 GF, 33 GA
CONMEBOL: 1-6-1, 9 GF, 19 GA
UEFA: 7-8-0, 21 GF, 21 GA
AFC: 2-0-0, 7 GF, 2 GA
CAF: 2-0-0, 4 GF, 0 GA
Record when …
Leading at half: 22-3-2
Losing at half: 3-7-2
Tied at half: 12-9-2
By year …
GROUPED TOGETHER:The U.S. Men's National Team has been drawn into Group C with England, Slovenia and Algeria for the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa. The U.S. will open its sixth consecutive World Cup finals tournament against England on June 12 in Rustenburg, and will follow that game with matches against Slovenia on June 18 in Johannesburg and Algeria on June 23 in Tshwane/Pretoria. The USA has faced England, ranked ninth in the FIFA World Rankings, on nine prior occasions and holds a 2-7-0 record against the 1966 World Cup champions. Most recently the two sides met in a friendly on May 28, 2008, at Wembley Stadium, where Fabio Capello's side earned a 2-0 victory. Slovenia (ranked 33rd) and Algeria (28th) have never faced the United States and the games in South Africa will mark the first meetings between the countries in any competition.
U.S. MNT 2010 FIFA World Cup Group C Schedule
|June 12||England||8:30 p.m. / 2:30 p.m.||Rustenburg|
|June 18||Slovenia||4 p.m. / 10 a.m.||Ellis Park Stadium; Johannesburg|
|June 23||Algeria||4 p.m. / 10 a.m.||Tshwane/Pretoria|
ELITE GROUP: Here is a look at the 32 teams from around the world who will be participating in the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa:
Host Country: South Africa
AFC – Asia (43 teams, 4.5 berths): Australia, Japan, Korea DPR, Korea Republic
CAF – Africa (53 teams, 5 berths): Algeria, Cameroon, Cote d'Ivoire, Ghana, Nigeria
CONCACAF – North America, Central America, Caribbean (35 teams, 3.5 berths): Honduras, Mexico, USA
CONMEBOL – South America (10 teams, 4.5 berths): Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay, Uruguay
OFC (10 teams, .5 berths) – New Zealand
UEFA – Europe (53 teams, 13 berths): Denmark, England, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Netherlands, Portugal, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland
Of these teams, only the USA, Argentina, Brazil, Germany, Italy, Spain and Korea Republic have participated in all six World Cups since 1990.
FOLLOW US ON TWITTER: Keep up with all U.S. Men’s National Team news (in short form, of course) by following at www.twitter.com/ussoccer. Get news, updates and your questions in for Studio 90 at http://twitter.com/studio_90.
SPECIAL OLYMPICS UNITY CUP: The members of the U.S. Men's National Team are not the only athletes representing their country in South Africa this summer as American Matthew Millett is set to participate in the inaugural Special Olympics Unity Cup in Cape Town. Millett, along with 15 other Special Olympics athletes from around the world, will play in a match on July 3 alongside soccer legends and celebrities in Cape Town's fabulous Green Point stadium, site of a quarterfinal match for the 2010 FIA World Cup. Millett visited the team in East Hartford and met the team after training Tuesday as he gets ready to represent the USA and 3.5 million Special Olympics athletes worldwide. The Unity Cup will serve as a leading example of the power of Special Olympics Unified Sports, with the goal of the match to support the mission of inclusion and acceptance for people with intellectual disabilities. To learn more about the Special Olympics Unity Cup please visit www.specialolympics.org/unitycup.
BE OFFICIAL WHEN YOU’RE WATCHING: What’s the next best thing to being at a game surrounded by your fellow screaming fans? Watching a game at an Official U.S. Soccer Bar surrounded by your fellow screaming fans! Bars across the U.S. are becoming the destination spots to gather and watch your U.S. teams in an atmosphere that is loud and rowdy. Enjoy a Saturday out on the town with other U.S. fans and watch the U.S. take on England this weekend! A full list of Official U.S. Soccer Bars is available at ussoccer.com.
U.S. SOCCER ON FACEBOOK: U.S. Soccer is offering a new way to follow its teams with the “Official U.S. Soccer Page” on Facebook. Visit the page to post videos, interact with other fans and follow the latest news from all U.S. Soccer teams. The Official U.S. Soccer Page on Facebook is the best place to keep with your favorite teams and make your voice heard in the U.S. Soccer community.
QUEST TO TOP THE GOAL! LEADERBOARD: Show your support for the USA in our quest to top the Popularity chart on the Facebook Goal! Leaderboard. U.S. Soccer is asking all fans to post the link on your wall and share with your friends to help the raise the U.S. flag to the top of the leaderboard. Show your passion as the Men's National Team heads to South Africa!
THE GAME IS IN US: Support for the United States' bid to host the FIFA World Cup in 2018 or 2022 has picked up some serious steam since the launch of http://gousabid.com. Twelve other nations are bidding to host at least one of the tournaments and if we're going to win the honor of hosting the FIFA World Cup™, it'll be because of the overwhelming grassroots support of soccer fans who believe in our bid's official theme, The Game Is In US. Please take a moment to sign the petition to officially show your support for the US bid to bring the World Cup™ back to America.
IN FOCUS: ENGLAND
ENGLAND FACT FILE
The Football Association
Founded: 1863 (Joined FIFA in 1905)
Head Coach: Fabio Capello (Italy)
Current FIFA Ranking: 8
Best World Cup Finish: Winners (1966)
Best European Championship Finish: Third Place (1968)
Caps Leader: Peter Shilton (125)
Top Scorer: Bobby Charlton (49)
Key Players: Wayne Rooney, Frank Lampard, Ashley Cole, Steven Gerrard
WITH GREAT POWER COMES GREAT RESPONSIBILITY: The inventors of the sport and home to the highest-profile domestic league in the world, England's place among the upper echelon of soccer playing nations is indisputable. Yet that influence has not always transferred to the international game, and, in the minds of most Britons, the Three Lions have often underachieved on the World stage. England's sole triumph in this competition came 44 years ago and one World Championship (and indeed no other international trophies) is seen by their vociferous supporters as a paltry haul. Every four years the questions are asked again: "Is this England's time?" Depending on who you ask in London, that question elicits the whole gamut of answers. It's no different this time around, and England enter the tournament simultaneously carrying both the weight of lofty expectations and the burden of potentially another failed chance to lift the World Cup trophy.
THE BEST SEAT IN THE HOUSE? Fabio Capello occupies one of the most famous roles in world soccer, that of England manager. Undaunted by the position, the studious Italian has exerted his influence over the team and in his two years in charge, he has rung in the changes. The replacement for Steve McClaren, Capello has made many well-documented adjustments to England off the field, while on the field the Three Lions are one of the most difficult and experienced sides in the world to play. England are certainly a team sculpted in their manager's vision. The players come to South Africa having bought into Capello's approach and ready to recoup the reward of two years' hard work.
ROAD THROUGH QUALIFYING: England were dismal during their failed run to Euro 2008, but that poor form did not carry through to World Cup qualifying. Capello's team cruised through Group 6 of UEFA qualifying, scoring a continent-best 34 goals en route to a 9-0-1 record. Particularly satisfying was a 4-1 annihilation of Croatia on the road in Zagreb. It was Croatia's first World Cup qualifying loss at home, made all the sweeter by the fact that they prevented England from qualifying for the Euros two years ago. England rattled off eight wins in a row to secure an early berth to South Africa and mark their fourth consecutive trip to the FIFA World Cup.
PREMIER LEAGUE ALL-STAR TEAM: England's squad, the oldest in the tournament and composed entirely of domestic-based players, contains a wealth of experience. Even with notable absences to injury - namely captain Rio Ferdinand and three-time World Cup veteran David Beckham - England's team is well-stacked with players who have played in World Cups and also won trophies for their respective clubs. Manchester United forward Wayne Rooney, still just 24, is set for his second World Cup, coming off a phenomenal club season where he scored 34 goals in all competitions and was named Professional Footballers’ Association and Football Writers’ Association Player of the Year. There is also the Chelsea quartet of Frank Lampard, John Terry, Ashley Cole and Joe Cole (no relation). Winners of both the FA Cup and the English Premier League title at their London-based club this season, all four could potentially start against the USA. Steven Gerrard, at his second World Cup, has inherited the captain's armband following the withdrawal of Ferdinand. The box-to-box midfielder did not have the best season for his club, Liverpool, by his own high standards, but his 80 caps and 16 goals make him an experienced and reliable leader for the England team.
ENGLAND ROSTER BY POSITION
GOALKEEPERS (3): 12-Robert Green (West Ham Utd.), 23-Joe Hart (Manchester City), 1-David James (Portsmouth)
DEFENDERS (8): 18-Jamie Carragher (Liverpool), 3-Ashley Cole (Chelsea), 5-Michael Dawson (Tottenham Hotspur), 2-Glen Johnson (Liverpool), 20-Ledley King (Tottenham Hotspur), 6-John Terry (Chelsea), 15-Matthew Upson (West Ham Utd.), 13-Stephen Warnock (Aston Villa)
MIDFIELDERS (8): 14-Gareth Barry (Manchester City), 22-Michael Carrick (Manchester Utd.), 11-Joe Cole (Chelsea), 4-Steven Gerrard (Liverpool), 8-Frank Lampard (Chelsea), 7-Aaron Lennon (Tottenham Hotspur), 16-James Milner (Aston Villa), 17-Shaun Wright-Phillips (Manchester City)
FORWARDS (4): 9-Peter Crouch (Tottenham Hotspur), 19-Jermain Defoe (Tottenham Hotspur), 21-Emile Heskey (Aston Villa), 10-Wayne Rooney (Manchester Utd.)
On the field for USA
June 5, 2010 – Ruimsig Stadium; Roodepoort, South Africa – International Friendly
USA 3 Edson Buddle 4, 31, Herculez Gómez 90+3
Australia 1 Tim Cahill 19
USA: 1-Tim Howard (23-Marcus Hahnemann, 46); 6-Steve Cherundolo, 15-Jay DeMerit, 21-Clarence Goodson (5-Oguchi Onyewu, 61) , 3-Carlos Bocanegra (capt.) (12-Jonathan Bornstein, 55); 10-Landon Donovan, 13-Ricardo Clark, 4-Michael Bradley, 8-Clint Dempsey (9-Herculez Gómez, 82); 20-Robbie Findley, 14-Edson Buddle (7-DaMarcus Beasley, 78)
Subs not used: 18-Brad Guzan, 2-Jonathan Spector, 11-Stuart Holden, 16-José Torres, 17-Jozy Altidore, 19-Maurice Edu, 22-Benny Feilhaber
Head Coach: Bob Bradley
AUS: 1-Mark Schwarzer; 8-Luke Wilkshire, 2-Lucas Neill (capt.), 3-Craig Moore, 11-Scott Chipperfield; 19-Richard Garcia, 13-Vince Grella, 4-Tim Cahill (16-Carl Valeri, 46), 5-Jason Culina (22-Dario Vidosic, 61), 23-Mark Bresciano; 9-Josh Kennedy (17-Nikita Rukavytsya, 71)
Subs not used: 12-Adam Federici, 18-Brad Jones, 6-Michael Beauchamp, 7-Brett Emerton, 10-Harry Kewell, 14-Brett Holman, 15-Mile Jedniak, 20-Mark Milligan, 21-David Carney
Head Coach: Pim Verbeek
On the field for England
May 30, 2010 – UPC Arena, Graz, Austria – International Friendly
Japan 1 Marcus Tulio Tanaka 7
England 2 Own goal 72, 83
JPN: Eiji Kawashima, Yasuyuki Konno, Yuji Nakazawa, Marcus Tulio Tanaka, Yuto Nagatomo, Makoto Hasebe, Yuki Abe, Yasuhito Endo (Keiji Tamada, 86), Keisuke Honda, Shinji Okazaki (Takayuki Morimoto, 65), Yoshito Okubo (Daisuke Matsui, 72)
Subs not used: Shunsuke Nakamura, Junichi Inamoto, Kengo Nakamura, Diki Iwamasa, Atsuto Uchida, Yuichi Komano, Yoshikatsu Kawaguchi, Kisho Yano, Seigo Narazaki, Keiji Tamada
Head Coach: Takeshi Okada
ENG: David James (Joe Hart, 46); Glen Johnson (Jamie Carragher, 46), John Terry, Rio Ferdinand, Ashley Cole; Aaron Lennon (Emile Heskey, 76), Tom Huddlestone (Steven Gerrard, 46), Frank Lampard, Theo Walcott (Shaun Wright-Phillips, 46); Darren Bent (Joe Cole, 46), Wayne Rooney
Subs not used: Robert Green, Peter Crouch, Scott Parker, Michael Carrick, Jermain Defoe, Matthew Upson, Leighton Baines, Stephen Warnock, James Milner, Adam Johnson
Head Coach: Fabio Capello
On the field vs. England
May 28, 2008 – Wembley Stadium; London, England – International Friendly
England 2 John Terry 38, Steven Gerrard 59
ENG: 1-David James; 2-Wes Brown (13-Glen Johnson, 58), 6-John Terry (capt.), 3-Ashley Cole (14-Wayne Bridge, 83), 5-Rio Ferdinand; 7-David Beckham (17-David Bentley, 46), 4-Owen Hargreaves, 8-Frank Lampard (21-Gareth Barry, 57), 10-Steven Gerrard; 9-Jermain Defoe (25-Peter Crouch, 68), 11-Wayne Rooney (22-Joe Cole, 79)
Subs not used: 12-Joe Hart, 15-Stephen Warnock, 16-Jonathan Woodgate, 18-Phil Jagielka, 19-David Wheater, 20-Tom Huddlestone, 23-Stewart Downing, 24-Ashley Young, 26-Dean Ashton, 27-Theo Walcott, 28-Gabriel Agbonlahor, 29-Joe Lewis
Head Coach: Fabio Capello
USA: 1-Tim Howard (18-Brad Guzan, 46); 6-Steve Cherundolo (27-Frankie Hejduk, 46), 22-Oguchi Onyewu, 3-Carlos Bocanegra (Capt.), 12-Heath Pearce; 8-Clint Dempsey, 13-Ricardo Clark (26-Maurice Edu, 78), 4-Michael Bradley, 7-DaMarcus Beasley (11-Eddie Lewis, 68); 9-Eddie Johnson (14-Nate Jaqua, 89), 16-Josh Wolff (19-Freddy Adu, 68)
Subs not used: 2-Dan Califf
Head Coach: Bob Bradley