John Terry and England celebrated a 2-0 win last time they met the US in 2008.
Phil Cole/Getty

England, US share a lopsided soccer history

Any US fans worth their salt know all about the Belo Horizante upset of England at World Cup 1950, and it stands to reason. Joe Gaetjeans’ moment inspired a 2005 feature film and is still the go-to nostalgia feature for reporters covering the Americans’ World Cup exploits every four years.

But the seven matches since have failed to match the 1950's tilt in drama, significance and competition. Maybe it’s because the Americans have been overmatched ever since Gaetjeans’ game-winner, winning just one of the last seven in the series and dropping some of the six other decisions in humiliating routs.

With the latest chapter quickly approaching, we take a quick stroll down the memory lane that is US v England.

1953 – England 6, US 3

Less than three years removed from the upset in Brazil, the Three Lions came to New York for a friendly. With only Walter Bahr and Harry Keough dressed as veterans of the 1950 victory, the 'Nats fell 6-3 to an England team sparked by Tom Finney's brace.

Two of the American goals were scored by German-born debutant Otto Decker, but he'd never be capped again.

1959 – England 8, US 1

Despite having to navigate a pitcher's mound at the long-defunct Wrigley Field in Los Angeles, England lashed out against the Americans after a 1-1 draw at the break.

The visitors got a hat trick from Bobby Charlton to overwhelm a first half goal from the US’ Ed Murphy, a Chicago amateur who scored in his national team debut.

1964 – England 10, US 0

The Beatles weren’t the only ones who invaded America in 1964. Roger Hunt scored four goals and England cruised at Downing Stadium in New York.

1985 – England 5, US 0

The teams returned to Los Angeles a quarter century after England won big in the series’ California debut, and things didn’t change much in the mid 1980s against a U.S. line-up that featured several Major Indoor Soccer league stars. Gary Lineker won the Golden Boot at the next summer’s World Cup in Mexico, and his unstoppable volley off a Glenn Hoddle lob feed in this one is still a stunner.

1993 – US 2, England 0

Eight years later, the U.S. finally got revenge for all the beat-downs with a U.S. Cup victory in Foxboro, Mass.

Featuring much of the squad that reached the round of 16 at the World Cup a year later, the 'Nats kept England scoreless for the first time since 1950. Thomas Dooley bagged the opener and his replacement Alexi Lalas hit for the insurance marker.

1994 - England 2, US 0

The Americans had earned enough respect by the end of the 1994 World Cup to earn an invite to Wembley Stadium, but England played the role of rude hosts. Alan Shearer scored both goals for an England team that somehow missed the World Cup that summer, and was forced to watch the US play on the world’s biggest stage.

2005 – England 2, US 1

Both teams were a year away from World Cup 2006 camp when they met at Chicago's Soldier Field for a friendly at the end of the Premier League season.

England walked away 2-1 winners thanks to Kieran Richardson's pair of first half goals, but with 11 minutes to play, Clint Dempsey got the hosts on the board with his first career USMNT strike.

2008 – England 2, US 0

While the other European big boys were putting the final touches on Euro 2008 prep, England welcomed the Americans to the new Wembley for the first time.

The English won a bore-fest 2-0, with David Beckham serving for John Terry to head home eight minutes before the break and Steven Gerrard added on with a trademark stampede up the middle at the hour mark.


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