When the US Under-17 men’s national team takes the field against England in Goa this Saturday, looking to advance to its first U-17 World Cup semifinal since the famous class of 1999, it will make history regardless of the result.
Saturday’s quarterfinal matchup (10:30 am ET, FS2) marks the first time the two nations will face one another at an official FIFA U-17 competition. It also brings the cycle full circle for both England and the United States, as the two sides also lined up against one another at the International Friendlies in December 2015.
Several faces on both sides were on the field that day, including Atlanta United's Andrew Carleton and Chris Goslin, who scored goals in a 3-2 loss. On the plus side, England’s star Jadon Sancho, who scored two goals in that win, has been recalled to his club team Borussia Dortmund and won’t be on the field in the quarterfinal in India.
The matchup is an excuse to look back at how the US have fared against England throughout the years – across all age groups. Dating back to the famous 1950 World Cup matchup, the US men actually have a winning record against England at FIFA competitions. Granted, it’s a modest record of 2W-1L-1D, with the most recent meeting coming in the 2010 FIFA World Cup (1-1 group stage draw in South Africa).
Here’s a look at how the US stacks up against England throughout the various age groups over the years:
Crazy to mention the youngest age group in here? Perhaps. But it's worth mentioning that the US Under-15 boys national team beat England 2-1 to win the Torneo Delle Nazioni back on May 1. The two sides had also met earlier in the competition, with England beating the US 3-2 on April 27.
Recent MLS Homegrown signings George Bello and Gianluca Busio, along with NYCFC academy standout Gio Reyna, were all a part of the US squad that competed in the tournament in Italy.
Those two teams will likely form the backbone of their respective national teams for the 2019 Under-17 World Cup qualifying cycle.
|May 1, 2017||USA 2, England 1||Stadio di Precenicco, Italy (Friendly)|
|April 27, 2017||England 3, USA 2||Stadio di Precenicco, Italy (Friendly)|
Saturday's match is the first USA-England matchup in an official FIFA youth championship or World Cup at this age group. The reason? England’s failure to qualify for an Under-17 tournament over the years. The Young Lions didn’t enter the first three editions from 1985-1989, and didn’t qualify for the biennial tournament until 2007.
The two sides that clash on Saturday are no strangers to each other, however. Along with the meeting at the International Friendlies in 2015, they drew 2-2 at the Mondial Football Montaigu International Tournament in France in March 2016.
|March 24, 2016||USA 2, England 2||Le Poiré-sur-Vie, France (Friendly)|
|Dec. 2, 2015||England 3, USA 2||Lakewood Ranch, FL (Friendly)|
Like the Under-17 age group, meetings between the two Under-20 squads have proven few and far between.
While the US visited England in the fall of 2016 and spring of 2017 as part of its World Cup preparation, the two sides did not meet each other in South Korea earlier this year (England went on to win this year’s edition of the U-20 World Cup).
The last official meeting in a FIFA competition at the Under-20 age group took place in 1999. The US won that Group E clash, thanks to a 12th minute goal from Danny Califf. LA Galaxy’s Sigi Schmid was the winning coach that day.
|Oct. 10, 2016||England 2, USA 0||Manchester, England (Friendly)|
|April 5, 1999||USA 1, England 0||Sani Abacha Stadium – Kano, Nigeria (FIFA Under-20 World Cup)|
|Oct. 9, 1993||England 1, USA 0||Olympic Park Stadium – Melbourne, Australia (Friendly)|
England usually doesn’t field teams at this age group since it competes as part of Great Britain at the Olympics, making Under-23 matches rare.
However, in the run-up to the CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying tournament, the US stopped over in England for two games, one against England and the other with Qatar. A James Wilson goal was the difference as the US fell to England back in September 2015.
|Sept. 3, 2015||England 1, USA 0||Deepdale Stadium Preston, England (Friendly)|
When it comes to clashes between the two senior teams, England holds the obvious advantage overall, winning seven of the eight friendlies. That covers various eras of American soccer, not to mention a 21-year gap between friendlies from 1964 to 1985.
Notably, when it comes to official FIFA competitions, the US are undefeated: In addition to the famous 1950 victory in Brazil, the Americans secured a 1-1 draw at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa in the most recent meeting.
|June 12, 2010||USA 1, England 1||Royal Bafokeng Stadium – Rustenburg, South Africa (2010 FIFA World Cup)|
|May 28, 2008||England 2, USA 0||Wembley Stadium – London (Friendly)|
|May 28, 2005||England 2, USA 1||Soldier Field – Chicago, IL (Friendly)|
|Sept. 7, 1994||England 2, USA 0||Wembley Stadium – London (Friendly)|
|June 9, 1993||USA 2, England 0||Foxboro Stadium – Boston, MA (Friendly)|
|June 16, 1985||England 5, USA 0||LA Memorial Coliseum Stadium – Los Angeles, CA (Friendly)|
|May 27, 1964||England 10, USA 0||Downing Stadium – New York, NY (Friendly)|
|May 28, 1959||England 8, USA 1||Wrigley Field – Los Angeles, CA (Friendly)|
|June 8, 1953||England 6, USA 3||Yankee Stadium – New York, NY (Friendly)|
|June 29, 1950||USA 1, England 0||Estádio Independência – Belo Horizonte, Brazil (1950 FIFA World Cup)|