For US fans, Monday’s 1-1 result against Wales left a sour taste (thanks, Gareth Bale 🙄), while England’s 6-2 thrashing of Iran left a ton of worry. To say the USMNT are coming into this game as an underdog would be very much an understatement.
Still, there are reasons to believe the US can pull off a good result. The first half against Wales was encouraging and Gregg Berhalter’s men, while young, are talented. Also, crazier things have happened at this World Cup – just ask the Germans… or Lionel Messi. (Too soon? Feels like it’s too soon.)
So, US fans, feel free to tune into Friday’s match (2 pm ET | FOX, Telemundo) trusting that the Three Lions can be tamed at Qatar’s Al Bayt Stadium. But since it’s tough to go on vibes alone, we've made a list of semi-reasonable arguments for keeping the faith.
Here are three reasons to believe soccer may just prevail over football this time around.
That’s right. England have never beaten the United States in the World Cup. And okay, they’ve only met twice, but the Stars and Stripes walked away with precious points both times.
The USMNT beat England 1-0 at the 1950 World Cup in Brazil. More recently, they earned a 1-1 draw at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa via a gift of a blunder from English goalkeeper Robert Green.
Talk about playing behind enemy lines. From the goalkeeper to the attacking line, the USMNT have six players – Matt Turner (Arsenal), Tim Ream (Fulham), Antonee “Jedi” Robinson (Fulham), Tyler Adams (Leeds United), Brenden Aaronson (Leeds United) and Christian Pulisic (Chelsea) – currently playing in the English Premier League.
These stars are tested (some more than others) in England's toughest competition every week and will know their opponent well – all but one of the Three Lions (Jude Bellingham at Dortmund) play in the EPL. If that’s not enough, Leeds United’s American manager Jesse Marsch is just a phone call away. He’ll know what to do.
Ok sure, he looked pretty good against Iran until he came off in the 70th minute as a precaution. Still, we’ve all seen what he’s capable of doing for the opposition at Manchester United. The US need that Harry Maguire on Friday.
Looking forward to Friday as well, Harry.