FIFA World Cup 2010: England Vs USA Match Preview
With the start of the 2010 FIFA World Cup just days away, excitement is building as football fans hope for a good run for their team. For fans of the England and USA teams, their opening match kicks off against each other. It's fair to say that there's a lot riding on this match as the winner is in pole position to top Group C and enter the knockout stages of the tournament as the group winner. Here is a preview of the match.
England have met the USA on two occasions over the last five years, with England taking the spoils each time. Both were friendly matches so it's difficult to read too much into how telling these results were. At World Cup level, there has only been one meeting between the two countries but it was a good result from a US perspective as England were beaten 1-0 in a shock defeat back in 1950.
Ones to Watch
Who is likely to hit the headlines after this match has been completed?
Arguably the main man on the England squad, striker Wayne Rooney will be the center of attention in most of England's World Cup matches. He hasn't contributed an abundance of goals to England's pre-tournament friendlies but he'll be expected to play a key role when the pressure is on. He may play as a lone striker and could cause more than a few headaches for the US defence if he's on top form. During the domestic season for Manchester United, he experienced injury scares but has continued playing.
Along with fellow wide player, Clint Dempsey, he is likely to be a key component of the USA's team. He enjoyed a good loan spell at Everton last year so he's no stranger to English football, and is more than capable of scoring goals. As he is the most prolific amongst the USA team in terms of scoring goals and creating assists, he could prove a handful for the England defence, who will be without captain Rio Ferdinand after his recent knee injury.
A versatile attacking player who often plays as a winger and can score goals aplenty, he is another player that could trouble England. Outside of international duty, he plays for English club Fulham and was part of the team that reached the Europa League final (l. to Atletico Madrid). When he came off the bench to replace Bobby Zamora, he became the first American player to participate in a big European final. Earlier in the competition, his goal as a substitute in Fulham's second leg last 16 match against Juventus earned him plenty of plaudits.