Can Landon Donovan (left) hold his own against Steven Gerrard in the midfield on Saturday?
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USA-England: Positional breakdown


The surest bet on the US squad, undisputed No. 1 Tim Howard is experienced, athletic and confident. Although he is not on one of the highest profile clubs in England, he is one of the best ‘keepers on the planet.  




They go into the game without a sure starter. And when your typical first choice goalkeeper goes by the nickname of Calamity James, it does not inspire faith. David James is known as much for his gaffes as his reaction saves.

The fullbacks don’t nearly contribute in attack as much as the team needs them. Jay DeMerit is not a world beater and Oguchi Onyewu is visibly hampered despite his fitness claims. Lots of weaknesses.


Speed (Ashley Cole), size (Glen Johnson), technique (Ledley King) and experience (John Terry) … the England back line packs it all, but that does not make them invincible. Johnson and Terry can be victimized by speed.

Two defensive mids plus Landon Donovan and Clint Dempsey may not be as good a match to England when it comes to quality. However, they form the more complete unit between the two.


A midfield of Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard and Joe Cole is heavy on world-class talent, but low on bite and fight. The loss of Gareth Barry to injury  hurts.

They might have scored goals in recent matches, but the US attacking corps is unproven on the big stage. When 20-year-old Jozy Altidore is your go-to guy, depth is a real issue.


Despite his recent injury setbacks, Wayne Rooney remains one of the top three players in the world. Peter Crouch is a multi-dimensional forward who is sure to prove a handful any day of the week.

Bob Bradley’s job depends on the three matches at the World Cup. Fabio Capello already has an extension in place through the European Championships of 2012. There's not much question here.


This is the World Cup in which English fans expect the Three Lions to have the mental toughness to take them through the tournament. And Fabio Capello is the reason.

The US has a lot more versatile and serviceable players, if less proven. But there is not a single player on the US bench that can be a game-changer.


Capello’s attacking options off the bench are battle-tested and dangerous: Shaun Wright-Phillips, Jermain Defoe and Emile Heskey.
Consider how far the US has come in just four years, and they should be thrilled just to be in the conversation with England. Fortunately, they're not.


Too deep, too talented. England have the horses to make a deep run into the tournament, even with a few injuries that will hamper their lineup.