england 2, usa 1
well, right here in chicago, i got to witness some of the most pathetic soccer i have ever seen by the u.s. squad play that still showed just how far we still have to go in mastering this sport, against an england team pretty much playing their second string, no less.
you can see from the picture above that brits from all around came to see this game, and easily outnumbered those rooting for the u.s. you normally don't get to see the english flag around these parts (most americans would only recognize the union jack) - and i myself didn't know until yesterday that that song they made us sing in grade school every day called "our country 'tis of thee" is just a re-penning of the english national anthem. don't beleive me, go sing these words to it. eery enough was listening to "the star spangled banner" in this environment, at a "friendly", when you realize the whole reason this song was written was to celebrate the separation from england. it didn't quite hit me until right then. all that aside, these people take their football seriously. the guy sitting next to me was wearing the english flag as a skirt, and the number of authentic england kits i saw at $70 apiece would be enough to support a small nation.
back to the game... the u.s. sure had their chances, but just couldn't capitalize. landon donovan missed a couple goals that seemed to have been automatic, and brian mc bride was pretty much a non factor - passing the ball out of bounds on a few occaisions.
england's kieran richardson of manu showed some finesse with two goals - but the clear standout on the field was joe cole of chelsea. he pretty much schooled everyone one-on-one and pretty much controlled the midfield when he needed to.
it was out of pure luck that we even scored at all, but it made the game interesting enough to ignore the missing stars who had to stay home to play for their clubs and otherwise.