So after months of hype and build up, England finally got their 2010 Fifa World Cup campaign underway at the weekend against a US team packed with familiar faces from the English Premier League. The last time England played the US in a World Cup was in 1950 as huge favourites, when the score was sent back to England, journalists famously assumed there was a digit missing from the scoreline and printed the score as England 10 US 1. The actual score of course being 1-0 to the US. This time there would be no risk of Fabio Capello’s England underestimating the opposition, with leading players Wayne Rooney, Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard all looking to fire England into a dominant position within their group.
With “soccer” rising in popularity in the US, what better place to watch this game than in the heart of the US, New York City. If there was any doubting the popularity of the game in the US, the fact that bars were full and turning people away a good 3 hours before kick-off shows the level of support on show! In most venues support was fairly evenly spread between US fans and ex-pat supporters. The atmosphere was electric with fans of both teams helping to create a real carnival atmosphere. Still relatively new to the game, US fans sported US home kits along side Liverpool, Manchester United and Arsenal shirts. Again this showing the popularity of the English Premier League abroad.
The actual game was a nervy affair, but after Steven Gerrard flicked home the games opener in the first few minutes, it looked like England could really turn it on and send a message out to the rest of the teams in the tournament. As the game progressed however, the US gained a foothold in the action with their pressure resulting in a Robert Green error and a final score of 1-1. The score was a fair result and led to more good natured banter between English and US fans, ranging from everything from Rooney’s height to the American War of Independence. Not a classic start to the World Cup on the pitch, but it certainly was off of it!
My World Cup question today is: How do you feel about the noise of those horns during the matches?!
Thanks to Icons.com who have provided the content for this blog post.