Everyone remembers the front page.
“Ah! World Cup draw relief” said The Sun on an acrostic placed along the Group C teams of the 2010 World Cup spelling “Easy” (“Y” for “Yanks”). The Last Page called it “the best English group since the Beatles”. It wasn’t the only paper to rejoice. Both the English tabloid press and their more stoic counterparts ruled that the Three Lions were lucky to get a “dream draw”, as the Daily Mail called it, while The Guardian called it a “group of life”.
Social media was already on the rise, but Stuart Holden didn’t even need to log on to see the headlines. the former United States of america The midfielder was playing with Bolton Wanderers Premier Leagueone in eight England-Based players who will make the 2010 World Cup roster.
“All of that was circulated among the team,” Holden told ESPN from Qatar, where he will be broadcasting Friday’s group match between the US and England. “Different people talked about it in the group, and I think that it was something [manager] Bob Bradley and the group bowed out. That, ‘Look, this is how they perceive you. It’s up to you to prove it wrong.'”
The American players based in England knew better what the real England team thought of their counterparts than what the English journalists were saying.
The goalkeeper said, “I don’t think it reflects the feeling within the English players. I think there was probably a bit of skewed judgment from the English press.” Brad Guzanplayed for Aston Villa those days. “There was humor. There were little jokes here and there, but I think deep down they knew that, listen, this is the World Cup. Not an easy game.”
Nevertheless, if England had faith in its history and happy present, it was well placed. Fabio Capello’s team stood at the height of their powers with some of the sport’s biggest stars. Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard were in midfield, with 24-year-old Wayne Rooney in front of them. John Terry anchors the back line, and even a few fringe players on the roster (a 24-year-old james milner Had just eight caps when making the roster) are now household names.
“The pressure was huge. [Rooney] had an incredible season with that year manchester united, He was the Premier League Player of the Year – arguably the best player in the world, so I had huge preparation time to understand everything about Wayne Rooney,” said centre-back Jay Demerit, who was based at Watford. Was thinking: How can I affect this game? How can I get the best player in the world out of this game to give myself and my team a better chance? I remember preparing for the game that really That was my focus.”
Demerit was boosted by his in-depth knowledge of how the opposition like to play at club level. While it wasn’t exactly hard to find tapes of Rooney, Gerrard and co, America was able to take an inside edge in the game with an England team based entirely on the Premier League.
“I think some of the different nuances, intricacies from our experience playing against them, it’s a more in-depth knowledge of those players, so we definitely shared that with our teammates,” said Jonathan Spector, who is playing Were West Ham Unitedwhere he was teammates with England goalkeeper Rob Green and defender Matthew Upson, and knew the other players from their time in the Manchester United academy.
Holden felt “less intimidated by the fact of playing with England. I didn’t think there were going to be any surprises on the field. I played against Rooney and Gerrard and Lampard and [Peter] Crouch and all these people, so it wasn’t a shock factor.”
And the United States was not bad either. Most players in the Premier League were getting regular minutes, while Carlos Boccanegra, Michael BradleyLandon Donovan and Day Marcus Beasley were among a group to excel at club level outside England.
Bob Bradley scored a run in the final of the 2009 Confederations Cup, during which the U.S. spainK remained unbeaten in 35 matches and took a 2–0 lead at halftime of the final Brazil before falling, 3–2. This put the squad at a higher level than previous US teams going into the World Cup, which DeMerit called “deserved confidence”.
Confidence could falter very quickly at the World Cup once the ball got rolling, as Demerit’s centre-back partner Oguchi Onyewu was gobbled up trying to stop Rooney from making a move in the third minute. Rooney instead found Emile Heskey, who played a quick pass to Gerrard, who scored the opening goal. But the United States found an equalizer in the 39th minute when Clint Dempsey tried his luck from distance and Green’s infamous bobble allowed the ball to go over the line.
“It was a big moment for me,” Dempsey said on the Paramount+ broadcast this year. “When you’re a kid, it’s the biggest stage. It’s what I dreamed of, to try and be in the World Cup, to be there, playing against England, the country I was playing for, it was just Was a special moment.” ,
The US may have been the better team in the second half as well, with Green redeeming himself with a crucial save on Jozy Altidore. In addition to Spector being Green’s club teammate, DeMerit shared agents with Green and was also friendly with the goalkeeper. Guzan felt for his fellow shot stopper, but said last week, “It didn’t matter to us how the ball went into the back of the net. I remember there was a new sense of confidence, positivity among the group,” Even after the final whistle rang at 1-1.
US ends draw with Slovenia and tops group after late goal against Donovan algeria, Both teams were eliminated in the Round of 16, with the US falling Ghana overtime and eventually on the third place team Germany thrashing England 4-1.
“It was obviously a great start to the tournament for us, and we go on to win that group and have that feather in our cap when we go back to our clubs after the tournament,” Gujan said. Told. “It felt great to have those bragging rights and whatnot.”
Others believe that the influence of that game goes further, marking a solidification of the American player, good enough to go toe-to-toe with top Premier League players, whether at club level or at the international level.
“I think we realized – and I think it’s going to be the case for the upcoming games – these are the games where you really get the barometer of how good you are, the measuring stick, and when you’re tested How do you stack up against the best in real World Cup matches? Not friendly. No excuses,” Holden said.
Players who were part of the 2010 US squad that used insults to score a result against England think the 2022 players should take away a different lesson from Friday’s clash 12 years ago: belief. Holden said, “That spirit was the biggest thing that came from that team, and what I hope to see from this young group is to really come together and believe.”
Friday’s game will certainly be about a lot and stir up a lot of emotion, but no one is expecting it to be easy.