USA vs England could change the world’s perception of American soccer

USA vs England could change the world’s perception of American soccer

Al Rayyan, Qatar — It United States The men’s national team is on a mission to change the way the world views American soccer.

And what better way to change a mind than to be beaten EnglandThe favorite to win the World Cup?

The USMNT There is a chance to do so in the second group stage match against England at the Al Rayyan Stadium on Friday (2 pm ET on FOX and the FOX Sports app)

Greg Berhalter’s team is fearless and ambitious. It has undeniable swagger and confidence. As the second-youngest team in the tournament, much has been said and written about them (Ghana a smidge smaller) and how only one player — the defender DeAndre Yedlin – Has previous World Cup experience. Now that they’ve got a game under their belt — a 1-1 draw against Wells Earlier this week — the Americans are in great shape for Game 2 against big, bad England.

On Thursday, the US captain Tyler Adams Admits that his team has an opportunity to make a statement here.

“I think it’s obviously a huge opportunity to fast-track the impact we can have,” Adams said. “These are high pressure, [high] It’s a privilege moment to be on the field against some of these guys. We respect them – it’s probably a mutual respect between both teams. When you get results in games like this, you know, people start to respect the Americans a little bit more.”

added the star winger Christian Pulisic: “We have to prove ourselves. We may not have been at the level of this world power in recent decades – but we have a good team with a lot of heart. But I think if we can take it. A successful World Cup is the next step, it will change a lot. can.”

In Monday’s tournament opener against Wales, Berhalter’s starting lineup included 10 players who played in Europe. Only center back Walker Zimmermanof Nashville SC, plays in the MLS. However, he did not rule out playing abroad one day.

English Premier League, where Adams plays Leeds United, has been incredibly popular in the States for the past 15-20 years It impressed and influenced young players, especially of this generation, who left their homes in America as teenagers with big plans to play for Europe’s top teams. As many have done, Pulisic is the only player to have actually played and won a Champions League final.

Adams grew up in New York and played for Red Bulls Academy before joining later Arabic Leipzig Bundesliga, where he became the first USMNT player to score in the quarterfinals of the UEFA Champions League. After three and a half years GermanyHe joined Leeds United in July 2022, where he played alongside his American teammate Brendan Aaronson.

Adams said Thursday that he grew up watching and admiring The Henry play for the Red Bulls and Arsenal. It was easy for him to tune into Premier League matches on Saturday mornings and dream of making it one day.

“I remember telling my mum as a kid that I wanted to play in England,” Adams said. “There will always be something special in the Premier League. Always has been and I think always will be.”

added Berhalter, who played Crystal palace Early 2000s: “Everybody in America seems to have one now [Premier League] The team they support. It’s an incredible leap. We’re really proud to have our players play in that league and, to me, it’s similar to the NFL in terms of how dominant it is and how commercial it is.”

Having so many Americans abroad helps with the familiarity of World Cup opponents and gives each team a little advantage here and there. Japan, one of the Cinderellas of this tournament, upset Germany 2-1 with eight players playing in the Bundesliga. USA have six players in EPL – will it make a difference against England?

“I don’t think that makes it predictable in any way,” Adams said. “You’re going to be playing against a lot of quality players, no matter how many times you’ve played against them before. They’re going to be able to adapt to the game and figure out what you’re doing.

“But that being said, it’s nice to have that experience and play some of those big games against some of the top teams in England. And to have that opportunity to learn, grow, develop and understand the game in a different way. I would say playing international club football Totally different from, but some of those players have a chance to play against [in club games] would be helpful.”

Adams rejected the idea that the USMNT would be intimidated by a team like England – in fact he said he wasn’t intimidated by anything “other than spiders”. He just hopes that this particular matchup will show that the Americans are capable competitors and “that US soccer is growing and developing properly.”

Now if only a squad full of players like USA can beat England why harry, Bukayo Saka And Jack GrealishWith Premier League-loving Americans cheering for the weekend, what kind of message will it send back home and to the rest of the world?

“It would mean a lot,” Adams said. “We’ve been trying to get this thing going for the last couple of years and we’re headed in the right direction. So I think ultimately, the capital will mean we’re moving in the right direction.”

Berhalter added: “We haven’t achieved anything as a group on the world stage. We have to use this World Cup to establish ourselves and then hopefully go to the next World Cup and do the same.”

Read more from World Cup:

Laken Litman covers college football, college basketball and soccer for Fox Sports. He previously wrote for Sports Illustrated, USA Today and the Indianapolis Star. She is the author of “Strong Like a Woman,” published in the spring of 2022 to mark the 50th anniversary of Title IX. Follow him on Twitter @Lakenlitman.

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