Yet football ties between countries have grown stronger, inextricably linked to exposure to the English game in the United States, the desire of many American players to build a career in England, and greater respect in England for how American football has grown.
Thanks to this dynamic, Friday’s World Cup clash in Bayte, Qatar between an English rival shooting at full blast and U.S. boy squad seeking to join a clan of giant assassins in this unpredictable tournament.
Talented three lions they are eyeing their first World Cup since 1966. By learning and growing, the United States has the modest goal of making the playoffs after did not qualify for the tournament four years ago.
They have only met twice in the World Cup before, and the Americans have yet to lose (an upset in 1950 in Brazil and a draw in 2010 in South Africa). A win or a draw not only fuels the immediate US cause, but also spurs larger ambitions to become a formidable soccer nation in men’s soccer. (The women’s program arrived a long time ago.)
“Obviously this is a huge opportunity to accelerate the impact we can make.” captain tyler adams said. “These are games where it’s a privileged moment of high pressure to take the field against some of these guys. … It means a lot to the team because we have been trying to move forward for the last three years and we have been moving in the right direction.”
The connection between the programs begins with coaches Gregg Berhalter and England coaches Gareth Southgate, who have become good friends over the years. Both took over teams in need of leadership, Berhalter after 2018 qualifying fiasco and Southgate after subpar performances at the 2014 World Cup and 2016 European Championship.
After your commands come together for the World Cup drawthey didn’t have many contacts.
“I reached out to him on WhatsApp but didn’t see the blue check mark showing Southgate had read the message,” Berhalter joked on Thursday. “We sort of took a break. We will resume our relationship after tomorrow.”
Southgate said: “I’ve had the pleasure of interacting with Greg over the past few years. I learned a lot from him, and it was very interesting to see the progress of the team under his leadership.
Almost half the American cast of 26 has English connections. Sons of American fathers, defenders Anthony Robinson and Cameron Carter-Vickers were born and raised in England. Midfielder from New York Yunus Musa lived there from the age of 9 to 16, studied at the Arsenal academy and played for the England youth teams.
The loss of Musa hurt England. “Obviously we took one of ours, which we were not very happy about,” Southgate said. “Fair.”
Musa, 19, said: “I’m not quite sure how I’m going to feel. [Friday]. It’s definitely a special game because I’ve played both sides.”
Carter-Vickers, 24, said: “My family half wants us to win and half wants England to win.”
Striker Gio Reina, 20, was born in Sunderland, England, while his father, Claudio, the former US captain, was in the middle of his European career.
adams, goalkeeper Matt Turnerforward Brenden Aaronson, defender Tim Rome and forwards Josh Sargent and Christian Pulisic work in English clubs. Striker Jordan Morris spent time on loan with Welsh club Swansea City in the second tier of the Premier League, while midfielder Luca de la Torre began his career at London’s Fulham.
Berhalter, a former defender, played one season for London’s Crystal Palace.
The Premier League is “a game that I grew up with and experienced firsthand” while playing for Arsenal, Turner said. “It was a learning experience seeing it from both sides.”
Three of Turner’s Arsenal teammates have been selected for England’s World Cup squad: goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale, defender Ben White and striker Bukayo Saka. “Friends off the field,” Turner said, “and then when you get on the field, you’re completely focused for 90 minutes.”
As a young player, Adams idolized Arsenal star Thierry Henry – he became Henry’s New York Red Bulls teammate – and was drawn to the Premier League. This summer, Adams moved to Leeds United from German side RB Leipzig. His coach, Jesse Marsh, is American, as is teammate Aaronson.
“I remember telling my mom at an early age that I wanted to play in England,” Adams, 23, said. “There’s something special about the Premier League – it always has been and I think it always will be.”
Berhalter, Turner, and Adams cited the Premier League’s popularity in the United States due to NBC Sports’ extensive coverage.
“Waking up to watch the Premier League, it seems like everyone in America has a team that they support,” Berhalter said. “This is an incredible league. We are very proud that our players play in this league.”
Southgate said: “We know a lot [U.S.] players from our league and we know their quality and athleticism.”
With so many Americans playing in England, the fear of facing the Three Lions may have allayed. All members of the England team, with the exception of Germany-based midfielder Jude Billingham, work for Premier League clubs.
“I wouldn’t say there are many things that scare me besides spiders,” Adams said with a laugh during a press conference at the Qatar National Convention Center, a floor below. giant spider sculpture.
“So it’s okay for me to be able to play against all these big players, but we also want to show what we can do and that American football is growing and evolving in the right direction.”
The British also came to the States. Wayne Rooney starred in DC United in 2018 and 2019. and now coaches the club.
Asked at the end of the season if he shared the same loyalty, England’s all-time leading scorer replied: “No. I am English. I want England to win, of course.”
But he joked that if the Three Lions stumble, “I should call it football for the whole next [MLS] season.”
World Cup in Qatar.
USMNT: Back at the World Cup, the young Americans agreed to Draw 1:1 against Wales in the first match of Group B. The US men’s team on Friday will face a tougher challenge against Group B favorite for England, who thrashed Iran 6-2 earlier on Monday.
Qatari dispute: Football fans wearing the rainbow, a symbol of LGBTQ inclusiveness, said they denied entry to World Cup stadiums and confronted members of the public to have the logo removed.
Group Guide: USA men’s national football team, led by coach Gregg Berhalter and star striker Christian Pulisic, qualified for the 2022 World Cup, an improvement over the failed and unsuccessful 2018 campaign. Here, take a close look at how all the teams in each group stack up.