When the draw for the 2022 FIFA World Cup was held at the start of April, the initial English press reaction was one of utmost confidence. Drawn alongside the USA and Iran, with the fourth team in Group B yet to be decided, the general consensus of opinion was that England will enjoy an easy route to the knockout phase of the tournament.
The tabloid newspapers in particular were gleeful, as the Daily Mail suggested that England had been handed a ‘dream draw’ against the USA and Iran, considering both rivals little more than minor obstacles. Meanwhile, the Mirror went with the ‘Yankee Doodle Dandy’ headline, suggesting that England would have little difficulty in a group containing the USA. Broadsheets like the Guardian were a little more cautious.
— Allie Hodgkins-Brown (@AllieHBNews) April 1, 2022
Clearly, it seems the sportsbooks agree with the level of confidence in the English camp. The iconic ‘Three Lions’ team coached by Gareth Southgate is regarded as one of the three strongest sides, valued by oddsmakers as potential challengers, just behind Brazil and France in the early outright winner betting stakes.
Of course, the odds may fluctuate as we get closer to the tournament itself in November. Likewise, it’s a great opportunity to get reviews for the best sports betting sites like asiabet.org, discovering which have the strongest reputation for safety and security, most appealing offers and bonuses, plus the broadest selection of World Cup betting options and markets available.
England versus USA record
Regardless of how euphoric the English media may feel about facing the USA, their competitive track record against the Americans is actually quite surprisingly poor. And by competitive, we mean encounters when the teams have crossed paths at international tournaments, even if that has only happened twice to date.
The first meeting was at the 1950 World Cup hosted in Brazil, when England were participating for the first time, after the British Home Nations had agreed to rejoin FIFA. Previously, England and Scotland, Wales and Ireland, had hosted their own International Championship amongst themselves, which they considered as being superior to the World Cup.
Nevertheless, the first appearance for England placed them in Group 2 alongside Chile, Spain, and of course, the United States. After enjoying a comfortable 2-0 victory against Chile, the English were full of confidence heading into their next game, although it would produce one of the World Cup’s biggest upsets.
On 29 June 1950 in Belo Horizonte, a single goal by Joseph Gaetjens was enough to secure the USA team a famous 1-0 win against England. The professionals from England had been beaten by amateurs, featuring a Haitian-born student, a dishwasher, and even a hearse driver in the team. To this day, American sports historians continue to refer to the ‘miracle on grass’ to define this remarkable result.
As the fates would have it, while various friendly matches were played between the two national teams, England and the USA wouldn’t meet competitively until the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. Regardless of England having comfortably beaten the USA in every friendly game, during the intervening six decades, there was to be more competitive frustration for the Three Lions.
“EASY” headlined one tabloid newspaper in England, when their national team was drawn alongside Algeria, Slovenia, and the ‘Yanks’ as they referred to the United States. They certainly didn’t expect the resulting 1-1 draw, Steven Gerrard opening the scoring for England, with Clint Dempsey grabbing the equalizer for the USA. In the end, USA topped the group and England finished second, with both teams qualifying for the knockout phase.
Chances of another upset?
Since that last 2010 World Cup encounter in South Africa, there has been just one friendly match between England and the United States, hosted at Wembley Stadium in London on 15 November 2018. The final outcome produced few surprises, as England comfortably ran out 3-0 winners, thanks to goals by Jesse Lingard, Trent Alexander-Arnold, and Callum Wilson.
Both teams have changed significantly over the last four years. Gareth Southgate remains as head coach of England, although his team has evolved and incorporated numerous young talents, many of whom featured in the March friendly wins against Switzerland and Ivory Coast. Southgate will certainly have no shortage of options, ahead of the World Cup.
See you in November. 🇺🇸
— USMNT: Qualified. (@USMNT) March 31, 2022
Dave Sarachan was head coach of the United States when they last played against England, although not long after that defeat, he was replaced by former Hammarby IF and Columbus Crew manager Gregg Berhalter. His record at the helm is actually quite impressive, the 76.60 win-percentage fruit of 33 wins, 6 draws and just 8 defeats.
The most recent United States team selections have featured a good mixture of youthful talent and experience. Interestingly, many of the key players in the squad now feature for top European club sides, including the likes of Christian Pulisic at Chelsea and Sergiño Dest at Barcelona, amongst others. They will certainly be no pushovers and when the United States meet England in Qatar later this year, it would be foolish to underestimate their potential to cause another World Cup upset.