After a hard-fought 1-1 draw with Wales in their World Cup opener on Monday, United States coach Gregg Berhalter noted that his side were on a short road before facing England with not much time to recover but they would be ready.
But with the Group B leaders up next after their 6-2 thrashing of Iran, the American coach said his team will not be needing any extra ice baths or massages to be ready.
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“You’re getting to play England, that’s the recovery right there, you get to play one of the teams that we think is a favourite of the tournament,” said Berhalter.
“Road ahead is next game … It’s a pretty short road.”
Friday’s showdown with the Three Lions at the Al Bayt stadium could go a long way to determining if the Americans will advance to the knockout stage.
Back in the World Cup for the first time in eight years, the U.S. looked ready to make it a winning return, dominating large chunks of play particularly in the first half when they took a 1-0 lead with a superb 36th minute goal from Timothy Weah.
They were unlucky not to go into the break with a bigger advantage against the flat Welsh side.
Weah, the son of Liberia president and former World Player of the Year George Weah, timed his run to perfection after a beautifully weighted pass from Christian Pulisic and slipped the ball past goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey.
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But the young Americans could not sustain the pressure after the break, with Wales grabbing the equaliser from a late Gareth Bale penalty to deny the United States three points.
“Walking into the locker room after the game you could see the disappointment in the group,” said Berhalter.
“The guys worked hard. The guys are disappointed, staff is disappointed. But again I think when you look at the effort and when you look at how we played for the majority of the game we’ll be OK. We’ll build on it.”
The U.S. have played England 11 times but managed to win just twice with one draw. The United States’ last match will be a politically-charged encounter with Iran.
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