Transatlantic Rivalries: Exploring Notable Soccer Encounters Between the UK and USA Through the Lens of ESPN Golden Boots

In the UK, football is the most popular sport in comparison to any other whereas in the US where it is considered as soccer.

england vs usa soccer game

While the United States and the United Kingdom enjoy many cultural similarities due to their shared heritage, one area where they often couldn’t be more different is the world of sports.

The United States has gone its own way when it comes to popular sports leagues, putting its own spin on time honored British classics like rugby and cricket with American Football and baseball, respectively. Despite being the most popular sport in the world by far, soccer has never caught on in the United States the way that it has elsewhere.

Breaking Down the Differences: A Methodology

Because of this, Major League Soccer, the top flight of Association Football in the United States, doesn’t enjoy the same level of clout that their European counterparts do, whether it’s the English Premier League, Spain’s La Liga or Italy’s Serie A. With only a handful of intercontinental games played each year — and, unless it’s a World Cup year, most of the games that are played being little more than low stakes, friendly competitions… not to mention the fact that you can’t accurately compare the performance of two entire countries with a sample size of a handful of players from one professional team — it’s hard to make a fair comparison between the various leagues.

One method that helps is looking at the success of individual players of each nationality, including awards like the Golden Boot, awarded annually to the top scorer of their respective league, in order to see who enjoys more success. Unfortunately, no player born in America has ever won the Golden Boot of the English Premier League; conversely, no player, born in the United Kingdom, has ever won the Golden Boot in Major League Soccer.

As such, we have to rely on imperfect methods in order to sum up the friendly rivalry, whether it’s international contests or by looking at what happens when players switch leagues, heading to the other side of the pond to try their luck elsewhere: here’s a look at some of the most dramatic encounters between American and British soccer players in recent memory.

Beckham Breaks Out

Before the recent fanfare regarding superstar Lionel Messi’s decision to sign with CF Inter Miami of MLS, taking his talents to the states, perhaps the most famous example of a standout player crossing the pond took place in the late 2000s, when Manchester United heartthrob David Beckham decided to sign with the LA Galaxy.

A midfielder known for his good looks as much as his otherworldly cross kicks, Beckham never tickled the twine at the rate one might expect based on his level of fame owing to the demands of his position. He never won the Golden Boot award, but when you consider his highlight reel worthy kicks and other talents, the man is a walking headline who still sports 84.2 million Instagram followers despite having retired well before the heyday of social media. As such, any list comparing English and American soccer would be remiss without paying due respect to Becks.

Beckham helped the Galaxy win back to back titles during his last two years in Los Angeles, cementing legacy in a city known for its many stars.

In many ways, Beckham — who is a partial owner of Miami today — laid the groundwork for Messi’s showstopping move, which had bettors flock to place wagers on the then-last place club using ESPN Bet Promo Codes, hoping he could turn Miami’s fortunes around.

On the Global Stage

Now to take a look at how the two nations have faced off against one another when their best and brightest players assemble on one roster. England and the United States have seen their men’s national teams meet in 12 FIFA World Cup matches in their day, with the Union Jack enjoying a heavy advantage in those contests.

Has USA ever beaten England in soccer

England has won eight of those matches, with the United States prevailing in just two of them: the other two matches, including the most recent one last year, ended in draws. All in all, I’d give a heavy advantage to England over the United States when it comes to soccer… the men’s game, at least.

The United States has managed to punch down quite a bit in their own right, though, as those trends reverse when you look at the women’s World Cup. Anyone who follows soccer knows that the US Women’s National Team has dominated the competition for much of the past decade: it’s been more of the same when they face off against England, with the Americans winning six of ten contests, along with two losses and two draws.

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