United States Looks To Repeat 1950 Victory in World Cup

When the United States met England in the World Cup for the first time, the hurriedly constructed American lineup comprised a mailman, a grave digger, a dishwasher, and a schoolteacher.

Few of the players had ever met before traveling to Brazil in 1950 to face powerhouse England, and the 1-0 upset victory by the US is often compared to the 1980 “Miracle on Ice” victory over the Soviet Union at the Lake Placid Olympics as one of the most significant moments in American sports history.

England vs. the United States

The gap between the two national soccer teams isn’t quite as big 72 years later, as England and the United States prepare to face off in Group B on Friday. In fact, United States midfielder Tyler Adams has said that he is more afraid of spiders than of playing England.

The Americans are the underdogs after a 1-1 tie with Wales, while England is coming off a 6-2 win over Iran.

“England is still a big team at the end of the day, but the intimidation factor? I wouldn’t say there are many things out there that intimidate me, other than spiders,” said Adams, who plays for Premier League club Leeds.

“It’s fine for me, but obviously I’ve got to play against all those big players, so I’ve done it before. But we also want to show what we’re capable of and that U.S. soccer is developing and growing in the right way.”

World Cup 2022

However, the Americans’ victory in 1950 was a rare one against England, which had won eight of its previous eleven meetings with the US. None of those victories came in World Cup matches, and the teams’ second meeting on soccer’s biggest stage ended in a 1-1 tie in 2010.

Christian Pulisic of the United States isn’t interested in stats, rankings, or predictions. The United States did not qualify for the 2018 World Cup and is now tied with Wales with one point each in the battle to advance to the knockout stage.

With three points, England leads the group. If the Americans win or draw on Friday, they will be in a good position to be one of the two teams to advance.

“We don’t look at the odds and we’re not at the World Cup just to make up the numbers,” Pulisic said. “We go, we give it everything in every game we play, we make America proud. Wherever that takes us we have to wait and see.”