Friendly

May 28, 2005

Full-time

United States

1 - 2

England

Friendly

19:06 +00:00, May 28, 2005

Soldier Field, Chicago, United States

Referee: Armando Archundia (MEX)

  • 91'

    FULL-TIME: England were made to work very hard for their victory by a competitive USA outfit. Richardson enjoyed a dream debut before being taken off injured mid-way through the second half.

  • 90'

    James spills a routine catch but he quickly recovers. He sees the funny side, and has a little chuckle to himself.

  • 89'

    Smith wins a free-kick when Donovan fouls him as they contested a header. The spunky young England striker has been playing in midfield for most of the second half, though he hasn't been particularly influential.

  • 88'

    England are trying to take the sting out of the game by keeping the ball inside the USA half. Dempsey needs some treatment after going down in a challenge with Glen Johnson.

  • 87'

    Young does well to recover and win the ball back after he had been caught in possession by the impressive Woolfe.

  • 86'

    Oddly, the referee rules in the home side's favour when Bocanegra climbs all over him in attempting to win a header. The referee has been very inconsistent today.

  • 85'

    Bruce Arena checks his watch on the touchline. He can be proud of his team today; they have played very well and will be in good shape for their up-coming World Cup qualifiers.

  • 84'

    Neville fouls Donovan as the young playmaker darted inside the England half. The crowd have livened up since the home side got their goal, though the U-S-A! U-S-A!" chants have thankfully been kept to a minimum.

  • 83'

    It was a good chance for the substitute, who had only just entered the game. Knight and Johnson did well to clear the ball, but confusion reigned for a moment in the England defence.

  • 82'

    Oooh! Desperate defending from Knight, stabbing the ball out for a corner as Casey collected a loose ball inside the penalty area.

  • 81'

    The USA will be desperate to grab a late equaliser, and it would be nothing more than they deserve; they have been the better side, though England have improved a little in the second half.

  • 80'

    England win a corner, but Knight heads Cole's centre high over the bar. He might have done better.

  • 79'

    The USA certainly deserved that. England have defended poorly all game and the home side have been threatening to beat James for a long time.

  • 78'

    GOAL! Donovan curls the free-kick in to the crowded box, Bocanegra slides in and James makes a good save with his feet. Dempsey is the first to the rebound however, and he tucks his shot inside the post.

  • 77'

    The USA win a free-kick after a sloppy challenge 35 yards out.

  • 75'

    Glen Johnson is now playing left-back and Young right-back. I'm not sure where Neville or Smith are playing. This is making me dizzy.

  • 75'

    SUB: Andy Johnson off, Luke Young on. A strange change from Eriksson; a defender on for a striker.

  • 74'

    The USA are defending very high up the pitch; Andy Johnson has almost sprung their offside trap a few times in this second half.

  • 73'

    Andy Johnson is down on the grass, clutching his head. Perhaps he was thinking too hard and his brain started to hurt. Anyway, he's back on his feet in a moment or two, and everyone's smiling again.

  • 73'

    Defoe's pace and trickery almost earns himself a shooting chance, though the USA defence does well to pressure him off the ball.

  • 72'

    SUB: Pope off, Bocanegra on. There are now three Fulham players on the pitch. Remember, this is an international...

  • 71'

    Knight brings down Woolfe on the edge of the area. The Woolfe-man hits the set-piece straight at the England wall, though the USA win a corner.

  • 70'

    Carrick does well to track Donovan's run in to the area and clear Woolfe's curling cross. Very disciplined effort from the Tottenham man.

  • 69'

    McBride heads straight at James from a tight angle at the back post. A header back across goal towards Woolfe might have been the better option, but what do I know?

  • 68'

    The USA claim a penalty as the ball hits Glen Johnson's heand, though the referee is having none of it. The home side don't look too aggreived.

  • 67'

    Johnson surprises Keller and almost forces the keeper in to an embarrassing error, though Defoe can't quite get on the end of his hurried clearance.

  • 66'

    Oooh! Woolfe darts in to the area down the left, gets past Knight and to the by-line. He pulls the ball back to Ralson, who slices his shot well wide.

  • 65'

    Woolf's shot from the edge of the area is poorly struck and James is able to collect easily. The USA are still having most of the ball, though England look capable of scoring again on the break.

  • 64'

    Johnson, doing a very passable impression of a headless chicken, hassles and pressurises Donovan out on the USA left. The young England defender seems very angry about something.

  • 63'

    Johnson breaks down the right, though his pass in towards Defoe, unmarked in the middle, is a little strong and the USA are able to clear the danger.

  • 62'

    SUB: Ashley Cole off, Defoe on. Neville moves to left-back to fill in for the seemingly injured Arsenal star. Cole receives a comforting hug from an England team-mate on the bench.

  • 61'

    Joe Cole centres, McBride heads away for another corner. Cole puts the ball to the back post, where Pope accidentally heads straight at his own goalkeeper.

  • 60'

    Oooh! A lung-bursting run from Jenas sets up Johnson inside the area. He drives a low shot towards the near post, but Keller is down quickly to palm wide for a corner.

  • 59'

    Jermain Defoe is seen warming up for England, who look to be ready to make another change.

  • 58'

    Woolf goes close for the home side when Ralson gets in behind Cole, sends over a low cross and the USA striker flicks narrowly wide at the near post.

  • 58'

    Ashley Cole is seen limping, also. England are dropping like flies.

  • 57'

    SUB: Neville on, Richardson off. The two-goal debutant limps a little as he trudges off to warm applause, though that might just be for effect.

  • 56'

    Carrick brings down Donovan in the centre circle. The USA build slowly, but their move is ended by an offside flag.

  • 55'

    A long ball from Richardson sets Andy Johnson free down the left. The Crystal Palace man sets up Joe Cole, but his shot from the edge of the area is astoundingly poor.

  • 54'

    The USA win a corner, but Knight clears from McBride. Donovan then gifts possession back to England with a sloppy pass. He's not been at his best tonight.

  • 53'

    The England fans sing some undistinguishable, tuneless song and hold their arms like aeroplane wings. They're a crazy bunch.

  • 52'

    Richardson clips the ball in, it's flicked on at the near post and Keller does well to collect under pressure from a rabid Smith.

  • 51'

    Joe Cole wins a throw as he tries to go past Vanney on the right. Glen Johnson then wins his side a corner.

  • 50'

    Knight is in very strongly on Dempsey. It's a fair challenge, but one that left the USA man a little stunned. Knight is massive; he's as tall as a tree.

  • 50'

    Knight shows good composure as he is put under pressure after a Brown pass puts falls a little short.

  • 49'

    Brian McBride looks a little like Michael J. Fox in 'Teen Wolf'. I keep expecting him to try and take a chunk out of someone's neck. I'll be sure to let you know if he does so.

  • 49'

    A nice pass from McBridge sets Ralson free down the right, though Cole is quick to get across and make the tackle.

  • 48'

    Oooh! A quick throw in behind the USA defence finds Cole, but his volley flies across the face of goal and out for a throw. A very average effort.

  • 47'

    Oooh! A good cross from Donovan is headed out to Vanney on the edge of the box, but his first-time volley flies a couple of yards wide.

  • 46'

    Johnson chases down what seems like a lost cause and wins England a corner when he plays the ball off his marker. Cole's corner is cleared at the near post.

  • 45'

    England get the second half underway. David James has taken over the captaincy now that Campbell has been taken off injured.

  • 45'

    SUB: Campbell off, Knight on. Apparently, Campbell turned his ankle late in the first half. I didn't see the incident. Sorry.

  • 45'

    HALF-TIME: A dream first-half for Richardson as he nets twice to put England in to an undeserved two-goal lead at the break. Stay here and find out what happens next.

  • 44'

    The USA can feel very harshly done-by here; there's no way they deserve to be two goals down. They have been by far the better team in this first half.

  • 43'

    GOAL! Incredibly, 20-year-old Richardson nets his second goal of his debut, tucking home a right-foot shot from the edge of the area after a clever pass from Joe Cole.

  • 42'

    This match has been well-contested.

  • 41'

    It's getting spicy. Gibbs and Johnson clash after a bad foul from the USA defender. The two square-up and bad-mouth each other in with some colloquialisms.

  • 40'

    Woolfe is causing more problems for England. He gets in behind Johnson on the USA left, though his low centre is cut out by James.

  • 39'

    The USA win a corner. James comes a long way to try and punch clear; he gets faint touch on the cross and the ball runs clear. Another nervous moment for the England keeper.

  • 38'

    A good run and cross from Joe Cole almost finds Johnson in the middle. Moments later, he finds some more space down the right, though his cross is awful.

  • 37'

    Oooh! Great work from Woolf as he splits the two England defenders with a good cushioned header towards Donovan, who then drags his shot well wide. He should have scored. But he didn't.

  • 36'

    A nice Carrick pass through the heart of the American defence is almost reached by Richardson, who is starting to come in to the game a little more after a quite few minutes.

  • 35'

    Richardson, I sense, is going to be a pin-up boy for years to come. He looks to take great care in his appearance, and could slot in to a boy-band line-up quite easily.

  • 34'

    Ashley Cole is booked for kicking the ball away after giving away a free-kick. The referee seems particularly officious, and took great delight in weilding his yellow card. Cole gurns his frustration.

  • 33'

    Brown fouls Woolf, earning the wrath of the American fans. They hoot and holler their disapproval, and Brown trots back in to position with a flea in his ear.

  • 32'

    Jenas is soon back on the field, scampering around like a schoolboy. He's a fresh-faced sort.

  • 31'

    Pope cynically takes out Jenas as the Newcastle midfielder burst in to the USA half. He requires some treatment, though the introduction of a stretcher seems a little excessive.

  • 30'

    Cole does well to spot some danger in the penalty area and hooks the ball clear as McBride closed in.

  • 29'

    Despite the protestations, this has been a good work-out for both sides in the opening half-hour.

  • 27'

    Oooh! Jenas clips a nice cross to the back post, though Richardson completely slices his volley and the ball spins wide. A dreadful effort.

  • 26'

    Smith is caught by a blow on the head as he challenged in the air. But he's a tough Yorkshire boy, and is soon back on his feet.

  • 25'

    Cole again does well down the right, though he shows a bit too much of the ball to Dempsey and the USA defender clears.

  • 24'

    Oooh! Zavagnin crashes a left-foot shot a yard or so over the bar. It was a good effort, from around 25 yards out, though James seemed to have it covered.

  • 23'

    The England midfield are starting to come in to the game a bit more as the half progresses, though they are still being put under constant pressure.

  • 22'

    Jenas almost picks out a good run from Cole, though Pope just managed to intercept the pass at the last minute.

  • 21'

    Cole and Glen Johnson are combining well down the right hand side for England. They are, of course, Chelsea team-mates and are showing good understanding.

  • 20'

    Oooh! A good run from Joe Cole ends when he crashes a left-foot shot goalwards. Keller dives full-length to palm around the post.

  • 19'

    That was a poor effort from the England keeper; he came out too far and was beaten in the flight. He flailed at the cross and got very lucky when it hit the post.

  • 19'

    Oooh! Brown gives away a free-kick on the left-edge of the England penalty area. Donovan curls the ball in, it drifts over the top of David James and comes back off the post.

  • 18'

    The home side look to be a very hard-working and fit team; they are chasing every ball down and really making the England players work hard in possession.

  • 17'

    Ralson continues to pester the England players and wins possession for his side when he catches Sol Campbell dawdling on the ball.

  • 16'

    Carrick does well to retain possession in the midfield as he is hassled by Ralson.

  • 15'

    Again, James has to be alert after a long ball over the top of the defence is chased down by Zavagnin.

  • 14'

    Gibbs is fouled by Andy Johnson as the pair battled when chasing a long ball down the right channel. Johnson has looked very lively in the opening minutes.

  • 13'

    The home side have enjoyed much more of the ball, and have used it fairly well, too; there have been several good long passes that have caught the England defence on their heels a little.

  • 12'

    A sloppy pass from Glen Johnson allows the USA to break, though England are quick to get back in numbers.

  • 11'

    Smith flicks a header on, and Johnson shows good determination and strength as he attempts to get in behind Pope. Keller is quick to claim the loose ball, however.

  • 11'

    Woolf finds some space in behind Ashley Cole, though he can't get his cross over. A pity, because he had plenty players in the area to aim for.

  • 10'

    Brown wins an important header on the edge of the penalty area. Smith then gives away another free-kick when he is a little too enthusiastic in an aerial challenge.

  • 9'

    Smith brings down Dempsey on the USA left. The American fans aren't particularly happy with the challenge, though Smith looks unconcerned.

  • 8'

    Despite being a goal down, the USA have made a reasonable start. The pace and running of McBride has caused one or two nervous moments for the England centre-backs.

  • 7'

    Crouch will definitely not take any part in the match, despite the fact that he has been named amongst the substitutes.

  • 6'

    Donovan hits a free-kick straight at the England wall after a foul by Glen Johnson.

  • 5'

    Oooh! James is quick out of his penalty area to deny McBride after the striker sprinted on to a through ball.

  • 5'

    What a start for England and Richardson. He must be in dreamland.

  • 4'

    GOAL! From the resulting free kick, Richardson curls a superb left-foot shot in to the top corner. A goal inside four minutes of his debut.

  • 3'

    Pope decks Johnson after the England striker had got in behind the back four. Free kick in a dangerous position, just outside the box.

  • 2'

    Both sides are lining up with a 4-4-2 formation, so there is plenty width on display.

  • 1'

    Johnson bursts down the right channel, showing good pace, though the home side stay organised and the move breaks down.

  • 1'

    Smith is felled by a strong challenge in the air. The bleached-blonde Manchester United striker looks grumpy already.

  •  

    Kick off: The USA get us underway on a very pleasant afternoon. The atmosphere is one of relaxed anticipation.

  •  

    The players skake hands with each other. Keller smiles happily as he greets the England team. Kieron Richardson, meanwhile, looks very serious and sober. It's a big day for him, bless his little socks.

  •  

    The USA team put their hands on their heart as they sing along to their own anthem. A giant flag ripples away in the crowd. It's a moving scene.

  •  

    God Save the Queen belts out, and is well sung by the England team. Sol Campbell puffs out his chest and looks very proud. I think I spotted a tear in his eye.

  •  

    It's the Memorial Day Weekend in the USA, so there is something of a holiday atmosphere.

  •  

    England are well represented at Soldier Field, with several thousand fans reported to have made the trip to Chicago to watch the game.

  •  

    Eddie Johnson, scorer of eight goals in his last eight internationals, is missing for the USA.

  •  

    Team news: Eriksson has handed first starts to Glen Johnson, Kieran Richardson, Andy Johnson and Michael Carrick, though Peter Crouch misses out through injury.

  •  

    Hi, I'm Alex. Welcome to commentary on USofA v England. It's a match with little relevence to anyone, but it should be an interesting clash.