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England 2-0 USA – match report

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This article refers to a previous USA-England matchup. Follow the latest England v USA match here.

For England, having failed to qualify for Euro 2008, this game was always likely to be a fairly meaningless affair. For the first half hour of the game it is difficult to remember a single incident of any real note.

David Beckham delivered a pin point pass from a free kick to Steve Gerrard who duly slotted the ball home, but the kick had been taken before the fussy Greek referee was ready. When the kick was retaken the ball flew harmlessly wide.

The Beckham-Gerrard partnership produced another chance for the Liverpool man from another cleverly worked free-kick but this time his shot was blocked by Fulham’s Clint Dempsey.

Steve Gerrard, playing wide on the left, was involved in everything that England did well. That wasn’t a lot to be fair! A nice move between him and Wayne Rooney set Jermaine Defoe up with a good chance which he fired wide.

With the USA creating next to nothing and England having lots of possession but not really looking like scoring a goal, the first half was a tedious and uninspiring spectacle. It looked as though the game would remain scoreless until half-time when England were awarded a free-kick on the right hand side on 38 minutes.

David Beckham delivered a trademark whipped cross into the box and John Terry rose to meet the ball on the penalty spot with tremendous power heading the ball past a helpless Tim Howard into his bottom left corner.

That goal for John Terry, captain for this game, won’t have removed the dark memories from Moscow last week but will be a good start to the healing process. Not even the most anti-Chelsea person would begrudge Terry that goal.

In the short time between the goal and half-time England played their best football of the game and came close to increasing their lead through Owen Hargreaves and Jermaine Defoe.

In the first minute of the second half the USA created their first and only real opportunity of the night when Eddie Johnson fired a left footed snapshot just wide of England’s post with David James beaten.

Both sides then begun to make full use of their six permitted substitutions as the game drifted on. There were a few moments for England but the USA continued to disappoint. In the 59th minute one of England’s substitutes, Gareth Barry, made an instant contribution when his pinpoint through-ball left Steve Gerrard one on one with the keeper. The excellent Gerrard made no mistake slotting the ball in at the far post.

At 2-0 the game was over as a contest although it had never really reached the heights of being called a contest! The match petered out, with the crowd starting the ‘Mexican wave’, a sure sign of boredom, some twenty minutes from the end.

For England, Rio Ferdinand and John Terry looked very comfortable at the back and Steve Gerrard was rightly awarded the man of the match award. For the USA it was a disappointing night, but striker Eddie Johnson worked hard all evening.

Will either manager have learned anything from the game? Probably nothing they didn’t already know to be honest.

From an England point of view I think it is a shame that we didn’t see Dean Ashton rather than Crouch and that we didn’t see Ashley Young rather than Joe Cole. It might have been nice to see Theo Walcott get a run as well. This would have seemed an ideal game for these players to get used to international football. I guess they may all play a part in Trinidad and Tobago on Sunday when England are likely to be without all of their Manchester United and Chelsea players.

Overall, not a terrible performance by England but not exactly world class either. A comfortable win against a USA team who were, I’m afraid to say, pretty poor.

England – James, Brown (Johnson 58), Ferdinand, Terry, A Cole (Bridge), Hargreaves, Beckham (Bentley 45), Gerrard, Lampard (Barry 58), Rooney (J Cole 78), Defoe (Crouch 68).

USA – Howard (Guzan 45), Onyewu, Cherundolo (Hejduk 45), Pearce, Bocanegra, Dempsey, Bradley, Clark, Beasley (Adu 68), Johnson, Wolff (Lewis 68).

Comments (4)

  1. Graham:

    I believe that Mr. Capello learned that the England side can implement his tactics. You could see the difference between 3 days of training versus a longer period. The defense was very organized, and the team seemed to have belief in itself. Something that was not the case, in my opinion, during the tenure of Mr. McClaren.

    Granted, this was a friendly; however, if you are an England supporter, I believe that there was another positive element. Mr. Capello showed that he is more than a hard-nosed no nonsense manager. While he stated the decision to make John Terry captain was effected before the events of Moscow, the signal it sent had to be very well-received by the entire squad. You build a team in stages, and one might look back at tonight as the foundation for that process.

    As usual, I enjoyed your perspective.

  2. I’m from America, and I wish we had soccer (football) like England does. I am a big supporter of the English national team. American soccer is just flat out awful.

  3. I don’t see why everybody is saying england were awful, i think they played good football, better than the Mclaren era anyway…
    What i really enjoyed was that they were able to show glimpses of good attractive football while keeping what’s good of the old regime: Beckham whips it in and a random defender scores.

  4. Where is Altidore? If we want to do anything in 2010 Altidore and Adu need to be starting every US match. Altidore and Adu are 100 times better than any of the garbage we have been playing for 40+ years. Its time to let the youngsters play on the big stage if American soccer is to develop.