England face the USA in the first game of Group C at the FIFA World Cup as both sides enter the action on the second day of the tournament.
Fabio Capello’s side have endured a fairly rocky build-up with two unconvincing friendly victories and an injury to captain Rio Ferdinand but will hope for better luck against the side he faced in only his third game as England manager back in 2008.
The USA are currently ranked 14th in the FIFA World Rankings , six places behind England, and will be looking to repeat their superb form in South Africa from last summer’s Confederations Cup which saw them finish as runners-up after giving Brazil a huge scare in the final.
The two nations have met on nine previous occasions, and whilst England hold the upper hand with seven wins to two, the USA do boast the most impressive victory in what was the sides' only past encounter at the FIFA World Cup.
The clash at the 1950 World Cup, the fourth edition of the tournament and the first which England had entered, was the first ever between the two nations.
The Three Lions were considered heavy favourites as their team of Football League stars lined up against the semi-pros of the United States in Belo Horizonte, Brazil.
England created a host of chances but failed to take any of them and paid the ultimate price on 38 minutes when Joe Gaetjens glanced home a header to give the USA an astonishing lead, one which they held on to until the final whistle to earn them victory in what has come to be named the "Miracle on Grass."
The nations met again just less than three years later as England embarked on an end-of-season tour. The friendly match was played in New York and England ran out 6-3 winners with Tom Finney and Nat Lofthouse both hitting two goals each.
The next two meetings saw even greater margins of victory for the Three Lions—an 8-1 win in Los Angeles saw Bobby Charlton net three goals, but even that was outdone in 1964 when England triumphed 10-0 in New York, with both Roger Hunt and Fred Pickering bagging hat-tricks.
England did not face the USA again for almost 20 years before they returned in the summer of 1985 for a friendly. Bobby Robson’s side ran out 5-0 winners with Gary Lineker grabbing two goals.
Graham Taylor was the next to lead an England side out on American soil in Boston in June 1993 as part of the U.S. Cup, a warm-up competition for the FIFA World Cup due to held in the United States the next summer.
Goals from Thomas Dooley and Alexi Lalas gave the hosts a comfortable 2-0 win over Taylor’s side who would finish bottom of the four-team tournament and who would not return for the World Cup the following year after failing to qualify.
1994 saw the first meeting to be hosted in England as Terry Venables' side welcomed the USA to Wembley. Two first-half strikes from Alan Shearer gave the home side the win.
The goals would famously be Shearer’s last for his country before he endured a 12-game scoring drought before he snapped out of it in style by winning the Golden Boot at Euro ’96.
Another decade passed before the sides clashed again, this time with Sven Goran Eriksson in charge of the Three Lions side as they faced the USA in a friendly in Chicago.
An experimental England side won 2-1 thanks to two goals from debutant Kieran Richardson, with Clint Dempsey pulling one back late on for the hosts. Zat Knight and Luke Young also made their debuts for England that day.
The most recent clash was in May 2008 when England, now under Fabio Capello, earned a 2-0 victory in a friendly at Wembley thanks to goals from John Terry and Steven Gerrard.
England’s overall record vs. USA
P9 W7 D0 L2 F35 A8
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