POSTGAME (USA 1 - 1 ENGLAND): In the end, the much-anticipated showdown between the US and England was an entertaining game, but not a great one. Both sides definitely showed some weaknesses: US at the back, England in the final third. Hard to believe England have a shot at winning the World Cup based on their play tonight. And the US would do well to thank England keeper Robert Green for gifting them a goal with an absolutely spectacular blunder (which you can relive here) off Clint Dempsey's modest shot from distance in the 40th minute that will no doubt haunt him for some time to come. The US got lucky there, but were also unlucky not to have scored in the second half when Jozy Altidore powered past the English defense only to see his shot pushed against the post by Green.
All in all, the US should be proud to walk away with a point after a nightmare start that saw Steven Gerrard float through the box with his defender trailing to tuck one past Howard in just the 4th minute. Instead of falling apart, the US regrouped and played England even in the second half. Next up for the US, Slovenia.
Today's full live blog is archived below. Thanks for tuning in.
Preview: Today is the day we on this side of the Atlantic have been waiting for: the United States of America taking on England in the opening game of Group C. Judging from some of the hype leading up to the game, this could be the most meaningful encounter between the two nations since the Revolutionary War. Indeed, a loss for England today may well prove every bit as devastating to that nation's well being.
Ever since this fixture emerged from the draw last December, anticipation for the game has been slowly building toward what amounts to a fever pitch for soccer in the States. George Vecsey suggested in the New York Times that this game might just be "the most anticipated American sports event in many years, perhaps decades." That may be overselling it slightly; however if the cover of today's New York Post is any indication, the sense of excitement over this showdown -- as well as the enduring appeal of war analogies -- is palpable.
This week Vice President Joe Biden talked some nice pre-game trash over in South Africa by saying "we're going to beat England." (Shame he also didn't note that this game is a 'big fucking deal.') US Coach Bob Bradley was slightly more circumspect, saying that a win over England wouldn't be a surprise for the U.S.
Can we win? A victory would be tremendous, both for the U.S.'s chance of advancing as well as for the seismic soul-searching that England would have to undertake in the wake of such a result. The real question for the U.S. is how will our defense -- the team's indisputable weak link -- hold up against the likes of a world class striker like Wayne Rooney, not to mention England's other talented attacking players. Oguchi Onyewu still probably isn't match fit at center back, which is reason to worry. At the same time, having Jozy Altidore among the starting 11 is a huge relief, and both Clint Dempsey and Landon Donovan are playing at the top of their games, which is reason to believe the U.S. will be able to create chances against England. We are the underdogs, to be sure, but an upset is well within our reach. A draw, perhaps our best bet, would certainly do us proud.
Vote below for who you think is going to win.