USMNT to face England at World Cup

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RAYYAN, Qatar – Their borders are separated by a high sea and their level in soccer – er, football – is separated by a great distance. It’s England’s national pastime — apart from watching the king, of course — and a common refrain for many Americans.

Some Premier League clubs trace their history to the 19th century; MLS goes back to 1996. The English invented the modern game; Americans evaded those laws before accepting them.

But soccer’s ties between the two countries have grown stronger, largely due to the exposure of the English game to the United States, the desire of many American players to plot careers in England and the great respect in England for the way American soccer is played. young.

With these hard work, coming a World Cup clash Friday in Bayt, Qatar, between the England competitor fired on all cylinders and a boy US squad wants to join the family of Fatal weight and unpredictable competition.

Brimming with talent, the Three Lions set their sights on their first World Cup since 1966. Learning and changing, the United States have the soft goal of advancing to the knockout stages after failing to qualify for tournament four years ago.

They have competed in the World Cup twice before, and the Americans have never won (an upset in 1950 in Brazil and a 2010 draw in South Africa). A win or a draw would not only do the US cause immediate but further the larger goal of being a great soccer nation in the men’s game. (Women’s programs arrived long ago.)

“Obviously it’s a great opportunity to speed up the impact we can have,” said captain Tyler Adams. “These are games where it’s a lot of pressure and opportunity to get on the field against some of these guys. … It means a lot to the team because we’ve been trying to build on this for the last three years and we are going in the right direction.”

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Tyler Adams, a leader ‘by his actions and his words,’ was named USMNT captain

The relationship between the program begins with the coaches, Gregg Berhalter and England Gareth Southgate, who have become good friends over the years. Both took over a team that needed leadership, Berhalter after the 2018 qualifying fiasco and Southgate after a subpar performance at the 2014 World Cup and 2016 European Championship.

After meeting their teams in the World Cup, they have not had much contact.

“I’ve got his WhatsApp, but I haven’t seen the blue check mark” indicating Southgate has read the message, Berhalter joked on Thursday. “We have a kind of truce. We will resume our relationship tomorrow.”

Southgate said: “I’ve enjoyed my relationship with Greg over the last few years. I’ve learned a lot from him and it’s exciting to see the team progress under his leadership. “

Almost half a million people in the US 26 have an English connection. Sons of American fathers, defenders Antonee Robinson and Cameron Carter-Vickers were born and raised in England. Yunus Musah who was born in New York lived there from the age of 9 to 16, rose through the Arsenal academy and played for the English youth national team.

England were devastated by Musah’s departure. “Obviously one of ours was taken, which we’re not happy about,” Southgate said. “There’s no trick in the game.”

Nineteen-year-old Musah said: “I don’t know how I will feel [Friday]. It’s a special game, really, because I’ve played both sides.”

“My family, half want us to win and half want England to win,” said Carter-Vickers, 24.

Attacker Gio Reyna, 20, was born in Sunderland, England, while his father, Claudio, a former US captain, was in the midst of a European career.

Adams, goalkeeper Matt Turner, attacker Brenden Aaronson, defender Tim Ream and forward Josh Sargent and Christian Pulisic are members of the English team. Forward Jordan Morris spent time on loan at Welsh side Swansea City in the English second division, and midfielder Luca de la Torre began his career at London-based Fulham.

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Berhalter, a former defender, played one season for London’s Crystal Palace.

The Premier League was “the game I grew up watching, and I saw it” playing Arsenal, Turner said. “It was an eye-opening experience to see it from both sides.”

Three of Turner’s Arsenal teammates were selected in England’s World Cup squad: goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale, defender Ben White and forward Bukayo Saka. “Friends off the field,” Turner said, “but when you get on the field, he’s focused for 90 minutes.”

The ‘banana’ story of Matt Turner, the USMNT’s goalie at the World Cup

As a youngster, Adams supported Arsenal star Thierry Henry – he became Henry’s teammate at the New York Red Bulls – and lured him to the Premier League. This summer, Adams joined Leeds United from RB Leipzig of Germany. His teacher, Jesse Marsch, is American, as is Aaronson’s teammate.

Adams, 23, said: “I remember telling my mum when I was young that I wanted to play for England.” There is something special about the Premier League – always has been, I think always will be.”

Berhalter, Turner and Adams referred to the popularity of the Premier League in the United States, thanks to the broadcast of NBC Sports.

“Looking at the Premier League, everyone in America seems to have a team they support,” Berhalter said. “It is an incredible tournament. We are very happy that our players are playing this game.”

“We know a lot of them,” Southgate said [U.S.] the players are from our club, and we know their character and their game. “

With so many Americans playing in England, the fear of the Three Lions’ face can be mild. Every member of the England squad, apart from German midfielder Jude Billingham, is employed by a Premier League club.

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“I wouldn’t say there are many things that scare me, except for spiders,” Adams joked during a news conference at the Qatar National Convention Center, located under a large sculpture of spiders.

“So it’s good for me to have the opportunity to play against these great players, but we also want to show that what we can do in US soccer is growing and developing in the right way.”

The English have come stateside, too. Wayne Rooney played for DC United in 2018 and 2019 and currently coaches the club.

England, who know the weight of expectations, are opening the World Cup in style

Asked at the end of the season if he had split loyalties, England’s all-time leading scorer said: “No. I am English. I really want England to win.”

But he joked that if the three lions stumble, “I’ll have to play football for him next time. [MLS] time.”

World Cup in Qatar

Live updates: The last eight teams will make their debut in Qatar on Thursday in Group G and Group H matches. Follow for the latest news, updates and updates.

USMNT: In their return to the World Cup, the young Americans settled for a 1-1 draw against Wales in their Group B opener. The U.S. national team will face a tall task on Friday against the favored England B team, which destroyed Iran, 6-2, earlier Monday.

Qatar Conflict: Soccer players wearing the rainbow, a symbol of LGBTQ inclusivity, said they were denied entry to World Cup stadiums and faced public pressure to remove the symbol.

Group instructions: The US men’s soccer team, led by coach Gregg Berhalter and star player Christian Pulisic, qualified for the 2022 World Cup, a boost from a disastrous and unsuccessful 2018 campaign. Here’s a look at how all the members in each group stack up.

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