U.S. Will Travel to Face England on May 28 at Wembley Stadium in London
CHICAGO (March 19, 2008) — The U.S. Men’s National Team will travel to England for the first time since 1994 to meet the 11th ranked England National Team on May 28 in London. Kickoff at the new, 90,000-seat Wembley Stadium is set for 8 p.m. local time (3 p.m. ET), and the match will be broadcast live on ESPN Classic and Univision.
The ninth meeting between the nations will serve as preparation for both teams as they gear up for the start of qualifying for the 2010 FIFA World Cup. Ticket information for U.S. fans wanting to travel to the England match will be announced shortly.
"We have consistently said that one of our goals is to play matches against good opponents and in environments that will really challenge our team,” said U.S. head coach Bob Bradley. “In addition to the quality of the English team, the tradition and passion for the sport in that country, the media focus, and the intensity of the fans all combine to make this a fantastic opportunity for our group. We are very pleased with the schedule we have put together to help us prepare for World Cup qualifying.”
With previously announced matches against Poland on March 26 and Spain on June 4, the meeting with England will provide the U.S. with an impressive three games on European soil in preparation for World Cup qualifying. The U.S. will face Poland in Krakow at 3:30 ET (live on Fox Soccer Channel) and Spain at Estadio El Sardinero in Santander at 4 p.m. ET.
The U.S. begins the quest to qualify for their sixth-consecutive World Cup finals when they take on the winner of the first round series between Barbados and Dominica. The Caribbean nations drew 1-1 in the first leg on Feb. 6 in Dominica, with Barbados hosting the return leg on March 26 in Bridgetown. The U.S. will host their first qualifier on June 15 at The Home Depot Center, with the second leg to be played between June 18-21 on the road.
The U.S. and England last met on British soil at the original Wembley Stadium in London on Sept. 7, 1994, with the Three Lions earning a 2-0 victory. One year before, the USA posted a matching 2-0 scoreline at Foxboro Stadium as part of the build up to the 1994 FIFA World Cup. The most memorable meeting between the teams occurred 58 years ago at the 1950 FIFA World Cup. In that match, the United States provided one of the sport’s biggest all-time upsets with a 1-0 win in Belo Horizonte, Brazil.
England holds a 6-2-0 lifetime advantage in the series that dates back to 1950. The teams last played on May 28, 2005, in Chicago where Clint Dempsey’s first international goal wasn’t enough to cancel out the pair from Kieran Richardson as England hung on for a 2-1 win before 47,637 fans at Soldier Field.
England has been drawn into Group 6 of UEFA qualifying for the 2010 FIFA World Cup, headlining a group that includes Croatia, the third place team in the 1998 World Cup. The English open qualifying action with a pair of away matches, traveling to face Andorra on Sept. 6, before meeting Croatia in Zagreb four days later. There are nine groups in European qualifying, with the top team from each advancing to the World Cup finals. The top eight second-place teams will vie for the final four spots in a two-legged European playoff.