USA vs. ENGLAND (MATCH DAY COMMENTARY)

USA vs. ENGLAND (MATCH DAY COMMENTARY)

U.S. Men's National Team

USA vs. ENGLAND (MATCH DAY COMMENTARY)

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Us-soccer-fed1       England_crest

The U.S. men's national team kicks off its World Cup today against England (2:30pm, ABC) in one of the most anticipated matches in recent World Cup history.

England enters as the favorites in Group C and will be favored today, but the United States enters with plenty of confidence after enjoying such a strong showing in last summer's Confederations Cup.

The Americans will need to slow down a dangerous England attack led by star striker Wayne Rooney, and the battle will begin in central midfield, where the United States will need to contain the tandem of Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard.

Offensively, the United States will need Landon Donovan and Clint Dempsey to be at their most dangerous, while Jozy Altidore must have a stellar match.

I will be providing commentary from now until the end of the match so please feel free to follow along here. As always, you are welcome to share your thoughts and opinions in the comments section below.

Enjoy the action (Commentary and lineups after the jump):

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FINAL– That's all for me. Thanks for following along, and please be sure to check SBI and Fox Soccer for your post-match coverage of the USA's 1-1 tie vs. England.

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FINAL– As the place clears out of England fans, we see the USA fans out in force. They were here, and in the end they enjoy a great result for the U.S. national team.

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FINAL– Tim Howard is named Man of the Match, a well-earned honor. He's the rock who gives the team confidence every match.

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FINAL– Yes, that's the score I saw this match ending at beforehand, but I couldn't have imagined the USA shaking off an early punch to come back and score the well-earned draw. 

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FINAL– USA 1, England 1. I brave and strong performance from the americans, who shook off a very bad start, and with some help from Robert Green, the USA earned a precious point.

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94th Minute– Final seconds..

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94th Minute– USA fans chanting, England fans frozen.

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94th Minute– Final minute.

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93rd Minute– Herculez Gomez is ready to come in.

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92nd Minute– USA ready for another sub.

Onyewu beats Crouch to a ball in the area.

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91st Minute– Four minutes of added time.

Donovan's corner is cleared away. USA keeps possession.

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90th Minute– Good build-up from the Americans, led by Donovan. USA corner.

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90th Minute– Donovan tries one from distance, but its well high, Green can't botch it.

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89th Minute– Is England conceding a draw? Kind of looks that way.

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88th Minute– How about Onyewu racing out for a clutch tackle? Man of the Match?

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87th Minute– Three minutes left, plus added time. Still 1-1.

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87th Minute– Bradley fouls Rooney in midfield and a frustrated Rooney asks for a card on Bradley. No dice.

Holden coming in for Altidore.

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86th Minute– USA chant ringing out now.

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85th Minute– England on the break again, but Onyewu does enough to slow it down and England can't put it together.

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84th Minute– Here comes Holden.

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83rd Minute– Hold up on that Holden sub. Isn't happening just yet.

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82nd Minute– USA isn't settling for a tie with these subs. Bob Bradley is looking for the late winner.

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81st Minute– Holden ready to come in, look for Altidore to come out and Dempsey to move up top.

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80th Minute– USA 1, England 1. Ten minutes to go.

Peter Crouch comes in for Heskey. Crouch is tall AND dangerous.

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79th Minute– Onyewu clears away a dangerous ball, giving England a corner.

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78th Minute– Buddle is coming in for Findley.

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77th Minute– Edson Buddle is set to come in.

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76th Minute– SAVE HOWARD!! Stops a Wright-Phillips shot from close range. Need better than that to beat Howard.

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76th Minute– Rooney JUST wide. WOW, what a shot.

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75th Minute– Findley with a studs-up challenge on Gerrard, draws a yellow. Could have been a red.

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74th Minute– Clean challenge on Findley, who just didn't have that final gear to break behind the defense.

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73rd Minute– Green has looked shaky since the spill. The Americans need to get some shots on him.

England fans singing "God Save the Queen" trying to spur on their team.

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72nd Minute– Rooney is all alone in the area, but the cross is too high for him to handle.

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70th Minute– Some desperate defending from the USA as England attacks in the final third.

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69th Minute– Lampard skies the free kick into the stands. Not a good day for the Chelsea midfielder.

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68th Minute– Heskey draws a foul on Onyewu, free kick from distance, straight on goal, for England.

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66th Minute– USA is really going at England now, and Altidore has found the game. He's looking dangerous.

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66th Minute– Altidpore with a SHOT OFF THE BAR, saved by Green. Great turn and run by Altidore to earn that.

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65th Minute– The cortner finds Johnson on the back-post, but he rushes his shot wide.

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64th Minute– England corner. Lampard beats Bradley and forces a punch save from Howard.

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63rd Minute– Onyewu wins a header and you could hear chants of "GOooch" in the stadium. Onyewu looks good tonight folks. That was key for a USA result.

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63rd Minute– Bocanegra heads Donovan's hard free kick well wide.

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62nd Minute– Dempsey draws a dangerous free kick after being cleated by Gerrard, who draws a yellow.

This free kick is Donovan territory. Dangerous on the left flank.

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60th Minute– Onyewu caught in a footrace situation with Rooney and does the job. Definitely passed an important test there.

Carragher fouls Findley, drawing a yellow for the studs up challenge, could have been a red.

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59th Minute– Subbing out Findley for someone like Jose Torres or Maurice Edu would be a good move right now.

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58th Minute– USA doing well to relieve pressure with long balls to the strikers. The defense needs to be more careful not getting caught forward.

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56th Minute– England looking a bit nervous right now. Pressure will build on them the longer it stays tied.

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55th Minute– Rooney is starting to get frisky, he'll surely be more active this half.

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54th Minute– SAVE HOWARD!!! Stops Heskey after Onyewu gets caught forward. Lennon sprang Heskey on a breakaway, but Howard is up to the task.

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52nd Minute– Rooney called offside, though Bocanegra made a great goal-line clearance anyway.

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50th Minute– Dangerous cross in from England, but it is a second too late to find an open Rooney.

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48th Minute– Jay DeMerit with a yellow card.

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46th Minute– And we're back.

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HALFTIME– King played well, but his bad knees probably got the best of him.

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HALFTIME– Jamie Carragher is coming in for Ledley King. That's two subs used for England already. 

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HALFTIME– So what now? The Americans can keep the same squad, though subbing in a forward early in the second half would make sense if Altidore and Findley continue to struggle. I still think Altidore can offer something here.

Cherundolo must be careful with Wright-Phillips and realize that all the Manchester City winger is going to try to do is turn the corner on him. He can't cross with his left so he's basically one-dimensional on the left. It's a pretty fast dimension though. 

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HALFTIME– Some thoughts at the half:

Oguchi Onyewu has done well tonight. He's challenged in the air well and been up to the task when challenged.

Michael Bradley is doing well to keep Frank Lampard under wraps. Ricardo Clark had a shocker on Gerrard's goal, but eventually settled down and played a solid final 25 minutes.

Robbie Findley and Jozy Altidore haven't done much with possession when they've gotten it. Findley's speed threat hasn't really been a factor. You wonder if and when Edson Buddle comes in.

Landon Donovan has served up some good free kicks and corners. He should become more of a factor in open play come the second half. 

Aside from some flashes, Wayne Rooney hasn't really been much of a factor. He isn't likely to stay quiet for an entire game so the Americans will need to beware as he tries to impose himself on this match.

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HALFTIME– USA 1, England 1. An early goal from England is countered by a shocking blunder by Nick Green on a Clint Dempsey shot. We're in for a GREAT second half.

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48th Minute– Final seconds now.

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47th Minute– USA pressing in the final third.

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45th Minute– 3 minutes of added time.

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45th Minute– Onyewu kicks out a Lennon cross for a corner.

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44th Minute– A blunder like that can ruin your whole game, so it'll be interesting to see how Green handles future shots at him.

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43rd Minute– Heskey is down after being kicked in the face inadvertently by Jay DeMerit.

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42nd Minute– Chants of U-S-A are ringing out in the stadium. The tide has turned.

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41st Minute– SAVE HOWARD!! Stops a Johnson shot.

Wow, what a blunder by Green, who should have handled Dempsey's shot with relative ease. To his credit, Dempsey hit a hard shot and created the situation to score his second World Cup goal. Wow.

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41st Minute– GOAL USA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And it's Clint Dempsey, who's shot forces an AWFUL SPILL from Robert Gree. WOW. USA 1, England 1.

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40th Minute– Cherundolo gets a yellow. He's got to be careful with SWP now.

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39th Minute– Donovan goes JUST WIDE with a shot. Good look from him.

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38th Minute– Cherundolo has to know that Wright-Phillips is no threat to cross with his left. He needs to defend against the run and the cut-back.

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36th Minute– Findley with a promising run that ends 20 yards from goal. He's really been no factor so far.

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35th Minute– England corner. Wright-Phillips speed is already presenting problems.

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34th Minute– Howard is in pain. He will try to gut it out.

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33rd Minute– Altidore has a go from distance, easy for Green to collect. At least it's a shot from the kid, who hasn't been involved much.

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32nd Minute– You all can wipe the vomit off your keyboards now.

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32nd Minute– Howard stays on. He's lucky, Heskey could have broken his arm on that challenge.

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31st Minute-  Marcus Hahnemann is warming up.

And Fabio Capello has seen enough, he takes out Milner and inserts Shaun Wright-Phillips.

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30th Minute– Heskey came in with his cleats and kicked Howard in the left arm. It looked serious.

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29th Minute– Tim Howard is hurt. Whoa.

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28th Minute– Englandcorner earned by Lennon.

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27th Minute– ONYEWU GOES CLOSE, sending a header wide of goal, great ball in from Donovan.

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26th Minute– Milner takes down Cherundolo a second time and gets the yellow card for his trouble. USA with a free kick from long range, on the right flank.

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25th Minute– Nice attempt at a combination play between Bradley and Altidore, but Altidore's quick pass to Findley is blocked.

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23rd Minute– England is dealing with the U.S. team's possession pretty easily. The Americans need to be crisper with their passing.

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21st Minute– For all the stick Heskey is given, he's been very effective tonight.

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20th Minute– Great stop by Cherundolo to halt an England break. He saved a sure goal by blocking a dangerous centering pass.

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19th Minute– ALTIDORE SO CLOSE. Donovan with a beautiful pass, but Altidore can't put it on net from close.

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17th Minute– Dempsey has had some good touches and passes, but nothing dangerous yet really. Donovan has yet to really get involved.

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16th Minute– Gerrard with a nice tackle and he's putting in serious work. Best player on the field right now.

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15th Minute– Corner taken short but the square pass from Cherundolo can't find anybody.

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14th Minute– USA has its second corner headed away by england. Another corner.

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13th Minute– USA corner.

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11th Minute– Dempsey header is saved easily by Green. Good service, but the Americans need to attack from closer.

Fabio Capello is going nuts on the England sideline. You would think England was down 1-0.

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10th Minute– Clark misses a header on an England corner and nearly sets up a Johnson shot in the area.

Tim Howard is pissed, and he should be.

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9th Minute– Heskey backs into DeMerit and earns a foul call when DeMerit jumps for a header. Heskey is cagey with the physical play.

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7th Minute– Milner hacks down Cherundolo. Could have seen a yellow there.

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7th Minute– How will the Americans respond?

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5th Minute– Clark loses Gerrard on a run into the area as Heskey delivers a great pass to spring him. Terrible from Clark there.

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4th Minute– GOAL ENGLAND!!! And it's Gerrard with the finish!! England 1, USA 0

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3rd Minute– Clark and Bradley are sticking tight to Lampard and Gerrard early. Looks like Clark is staying close to Gerrard.

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2nd Minute– Dempsey is on the left tonight, with Donovan on the right.

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1st Minute– And we're off.

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PRE-GAME– Americans look confident and eager to get this match going.

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PRE-GAME– The anthems were just played and we are ready for the action.

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PRE-GAME– The first U-S-A chant breaks out, but is drowned out by the music as the teams come out.

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PRE-GAME– Serious faces in the tunnel, with the only handshake I see being between goalkeepers Tim Howard and Robert Green.

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PRE-GAME– I'm pumped for this match. Can't remember being this excited for a match since USA-Mexico in the 2002 World Cup. Just a great night for soccer and for the lovers of the sport.

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PRE-GAME– Sounds like the most concern among American fans is the decision to start Clark. I don't think I need to remind people that it was Clark in central midfield in the win vs. Spain. He also played well enough to become a starter late in the year for Eintracht Frankfurt. He can play, the question is how well will he play tonight.

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PRE-GAME– The teams are about to come on the field.

If you are following along with the commentary, please let me know and let me know where you are following from.

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PRE-GAME– Some Bob Marley is playing in the stadium now. Setting a nice and mellow mood in the place.

I have to say that it's a party atmosphere, doesn't feel hostile at all. Great environment.

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PRE-GAME– Had the following conversation with an English reporter:

BRIT- I've seen Jozy Altidore play and if he's one of America's best strikers then you're talking about a serious gap in quality compared to the United States.

ME- Yeah, but England is starting Emile Heskey.

BRIT- Fair Point. So much for that.

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PRE-GAME– Just saw Muchael Bradley giving words of encouragement to Jozy Altidore, clearly trying to pump him up. Altidore looks relaxed, almost sleepy. Not really looking too affected by the incredible pressure of this high-profile match.

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PRE-GAME– As far as the lineup goes, I don't see too much of a problem with it, though Clark's form in recent matches hasn't been stellar. That said, we don't know how he and the other central midfielders have looked in training and with defending in central midfield such a priority you can see why Bradley would want to start Clark.

Second half subs that make sense include Edson Buddle for Altidore, Jose Torres for Ricardo Clark (if the USA is losing) and Stuart Holden in for Robbie Findley.

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PRE-GAME– How about Robbie Findley? He goes from the surprise player to make the team, to a starter vs. England. He will be called on to put pressure on England's defenders and provide an outlet for pressure.

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PRE-GAME– England fans are seriously outnumbering Americans today, the England starters were announced and you heard loud cheers for all. The Americans will feel like the road team today, it's something they're used to.

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PRE-GAME– I'm inside the stadium and it's like a mini-Wembley Stadium, with England flags circling the stadium. Not sure how many England fans are here, but they sure brought a ton of flags.

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PRE-GAME– Oguchi Onyewu is in the lineup and he is key to the U.S. team's chances today. If he can play well, the U.S. defense has a chance to hold off an England attack that will come in waves, both with Lampard and Gerrard centrally, and the speedy Lennon and Milner on the flanks.

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PRE-GAME– Fabio Capello goes with Emile Heskey over Peter Crouch, much to the chagrin of England fans. Robert Green gets the call in goal, while James Milner shakes off an illness to start.

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PRE-GAME– Bob Bradley goes with the speedy Robbie Findley up top to try and put pressure on England's back-line. Ricardo Clark gets the nod in central midfield, where he must try to contain the combination of Lampard and Gerrard. With the help of Bradley of course.

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PRE-GAME– Here is the USA lineup

—————Altidore——–Findley—————-

Dempsey————————————–Donovan

—————–Bradley——Clark——————–

Bocanegra—-Onyewu—-DeMerit——Cherundolo

———————–Howard————————–

Here is the England lineup:

————-Rooney———–Heskey————–

Milner——-Gerrard———-Lampard—-Lennon

Cole———-Terry————-King——–Johnson

————————-Green————————

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