Does The U.S. Have A Shot Against England?

June 3, 2010 – 10:34 pm by Matthew Glenesk

Well, do they? Hey, it’s sports – anything can happen. Who would have thunk we’d beat Portugal and Luis Figo in 2002? 

Sure England is better at every position except for two (goalkeeper – Tim Howard vs. who knows right now; right midfield – Landon Donovan vs. Aaron Lennon), but it could happen. We whipped their ass in the 1770s, and again in 1812.

Unfortunately, the hyperbolic jinx that is ESPN/ABC basketball analyst Jeff Van Gundy weighed in on the June 12th matchup between the two nations during Thursday’s NBA Finals Game 1.

“The U.S. is going to beat England. I guarantee it,” Van Gundy said.

Natural American arrogance or genius clairvoyance?

Well considering this is the same man, who five minutes earlier promised Nate Robinson would get the better of Pau Gasol during a jump ball, I’m doubting Van Gundy’s psychic powers.

Robinson generously listed at 5-foot-9. Gasol is a 7-footer. Predictably, Gasol won. 

“Ooh, that was close. Just not right,” Van Gundy explained his wrong prediction.

And you know what, that’s probably what the U.S. is to England. Nate Robinson vs. Pau Gasol in a jump ball.

I love hearing all these non-soccer fan Americans predict U.S. glory come June 12, as if beating a top-six team in the world at the game’s largest stage is a piece of cake. I mean let’s totally forget the fact the U.S. is 3-12-3 in World Cups since 1990, and that includes the 2002 run to the quarterfinals.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ll be pulling for the U.S. as hard as the most ardent American fan (unless of course my playoff kickball game provides a scheduling conflict and the DVR is called into service), but with so many guys dinged up, either coming off injury or picking them up in training, a more realistic positive result against England would be a draw.

Though Pau Gasol is pretty damn soft.

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