Gio Grealish

The soccer vs. football debate isn’t fully settled – it might not ever be – but the numbers also don’t lie.

The US men’s national team remain undefeated (1W-0L-2D record) against England at FIFA World Cups, securing a 0-0 draw Friday in Qatar. In past editions of this tournament, the Yanks beat the Three Lions (1-0 at Brazil 1950) and drew them (1-1 at South Africa 2010). This year, England are ranked No. 5 in the world.

The all-time series edge still heavily favors England, as they’re 8W-2L-2D in matchups stretching back over 70 years. But in World Cups, where the lights shine brightest, the best-of-three series total undoubtedly tilts towards the USMNT. 

More pressing, for both nations, is advancing out of Group B and into the 16-team knockout rounds. Next Tuesday, the USMNT face a win-and-you’re-in situation against Iran (a loss or draw knocks them out). Meanwhile, first-place England can get through even with a loss against Wales (thanks to goal differential).

Enough math and history, though.

Social media made good sport of the “advantage soccer” discourse… a conversation that surely won’t fizzle out on either side of the pond anytime soon, far beyond the historical ties binding these countries.