Pre-game: England vs. United States

Quite possibly the most hyped group game in World Cup history, the U.S. and England square off Saturday (CBC,, 2 pm ET) in Rustenburg, South Africa.


England vs. United States, Group C  

Date and Location

June 12, Royal Bafokeng Stadium, Rustenburg   

Broadcast details

Live on CBC and (2 p.m. ET). Consult CBC's full broadcast schedule.

What's at stake

Quite possibly the most hyped group game in World Cup history, but it is the most important match in Group C since England and the United States are logical choices to advance. The early evening game in Rustenburg will illuminate much about both countries (Can England appease a glory-starved nation? Is the U.S. ready to conquer the world?). But, above all else, with the largest American viewership for a soccer game expected, will all of North America finally embrace the world's game?

Rogers Pre-game Show

Watch the Rogers Pre-game show  30 minutes before kick-off as our panel of soccer experts provide up-to-the-minute news from South Africa on this match.

Injuries and suspensions

England central defender Ledley King is battling an ongoing knee injury, but he still might play against the U.S. American forward Jozy Altidore, who is himself questionable with a sprained ankle.

Player to watch for England

James Milner — He may only appear in this tournament as a substitute, but Milner proved he is a club and international star on the rise. With Aston Villa, the 24-year-old distinguished himself all season with his unbelievable work rate and constantly improving abilities: his crisp passes, his dynamic strikes and his enviable strength.  

Player to watch for the U.S.

Robbie Findley — Findley has watched Freddy Johnson, Jozy Altidore and Eddie Johnson all cross the Atlantic, but South Africa is the stage for him to swoon the world's big clubs. By comparison, none of the aforementioned possess the pure skill that Findley does. What all three do possess is focus and determination that elevate above the usually lethargic Findley. But Real Salt Lake's improbable run to an MLS Cup last year was impelled by the 24-year-old's newfound vigour and conviction. 

Key matchup

Wayne Rooney vs. Carlos Bocanegra — The U.S. captain will be the first to get a chance to stop England star Wayne Rooney. Wherever Bocanegra plays — centre back, left back or defensive midfielder — head coach Bob Bradley will surely depend on the 31-year-old to organize the defence and skew Rooney's crosshairs. But if he can't, then the Manchester United striker will certainly delight in deflating U.S. expectations 

English perspective

"It'll be a tough game — the first one always is. Considering we're playing the strongest team in our group, other than us hopefully, then I think it'll make for a tight game." — midfielder Frank Lampard 

American perspective

"The entire England team will feel the pressure. There's certainly more pressure on the England players than us." — midfielder Landon Donovan 

World Cup head-to-head

The sole World Cup meeting between these two nations — a 1-0 win for the Stars and Stripes at the 1950 World Cup — is still considered one of the greatest upsets in sports history.

  • Series: U.S. leads 1-0
  • Games played: 1
  • U.S.: 1 win, 0 losses, 0 draws
  • England: 0 wins, 1 loss, 0 draws
  • Goals: U.S. 1, England 0 
  • Last match: Joe Gaetjens wrote himself into soccer lore when his 38th-minute goal proved to the winner against England.  

All time head-to-head

  • Series: England leads 7-2
  • Games played: 9
  • U.S.: 2 wins, 7 losses, 0 draws
  • England: 7 wins, 2 losses, 0 draws
  • Goals: U.S. 8, England 35 
  • Last match: The Three Lions have spent the last 60 years making up for that historic defeat and notched their seventh victory in eight friendlies against the U.S. with a 2-0 win at Wembley in 2008.