1:15 pm CT – Coming at you live from the Man Cave section of the Bat Cave, by myself, with only the dogs, the TV, and the computer for my companions. Just saw Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg do a commercial with Russell Brand. I’m also on Skype with my buddy Jacob, who is currently in England and wearing his USA jersey proudly. Predictions so far – SI.com Live Blogger says England 3-2 or 2-1. ABC TV has one vote for a 1-1 draw, Alexi Lalas picking the U.S. at 2-1, and Steve McManahan, former England player, picking England 3-1. Jacob says 3-1 England, with England scoring first, USA equalizing, then England going back up and scoring the final goal on a counter attack late after a furious rally by the USA. Me? I’m going with England 2-0 or 1-0. Rarely do things live up to their hype, no matter what it is, and I just can’t see this game being amazing even though I want it so bad. I’ve even got my new USA game jersey on, hoping that it is lucky. I’m 1-0 in it, so that’s something.
1:21 – 60 years since the greatest upset ever when the USA beat England 1-0. Hoping for a repeat here. Stunning montage and build up and Martin Tyler just told me that my country needs me now. Yes they DO! Let’s go USA and do this!
1:23 – Showing the teams in the tunnel. USA looks loose and nervous while England looks tense and business-like. Not sure if this is a good thing or a bad thing…
1:25 – Martin Tyler just told us that the USA team was delayed on the way to training by an elephant the other day and today they have an encounter with the Three Lions (the England Soccer moniker…)
1:27 – Apparently they played the US national anthem in fast forward…fastest I’ve ever heard. Tim Howard (our goalie) has tears in his eyes. I have goosebumps.
1:29 – Brazilain ref today, who is shady as they come. Has had all kinds of scandal and the like but apparently is good enough for this huge game…we’ll see.
1:31 – Kick-off! This has been a long time coming.
1:34 -Yep, there it is. England scores on a missed defensive assignment 4 minutes in. Steven Gerrard scores and I fear the game is going to bog down as England holds and plays to keep the lead. The US is not a high scoring team that plays well from behind, so this makes me really nervous.
1:37 – US looks unsteady and keeps overhitting their passes.
1:39 – Commentator John Harkes states the obvious “It’s not good to fall behind that early”. Yes, John, thanks for that.
1:40 – Corner to England results in a handball. US still looks a little shellshocked.
1:41 – Finally, US generates a shot on goal off of Clint Dempsey’s head. He’s my wife’s favorite player.
1:42 – Corner to the US and Robbie Findley’s speed pays off. He can’t score, but he’s fast. Not sure how that is going to work out.
1:44 – Third corner in a row for the US. One good cross and two wasted efforts. We have to do better.
1:47 – Great play down the flank to Donovan, just hit it too hard. If we score, I think it will come down either side from Donovan or Dempsey.
1:49 – First comment on the Vuvuzelas. the annoying bee sounding horns that are the background of each game. Those things are giving me a headache and it’s only the third game.
1:50 – Jozy Altidore misses a great header in front of the goal! I yelled so loud the dogs got up. England counter attacks and has a great chance but nothing comes of it. Aaron Lennon probably should have scored there for England…
1:54 – USA is bunched in the middle too much…need to get it out wide. Also, I just ordered some boneless buffalo wings from Chili’s for halftime curbside pickup…
1:55 – US defense is giving up too much to the England players. They’re playing so far off the ball they look scared and are giving up ground. Tighten that up.
1:56 – Yellow card to James Millner for repeated fouls on Cherundulo. Free kick for the US…
1:57 – …played in and Oguchi Onyewu heads it over the goal.
1:58 – Corner to England…Tim Howard will have no voice after this game…
1:59 – Huge save by Howard by he looks hurt…ooh, got kicked in the wrist and this could be really, really bad. If he’s hurt, USA is out of luck. Our backup goalkeepers are supposed to be good, but I’ve not been impressed by them at all in the warm-up matches.
2:01 – First sub for England as Wright-Phillips comes in for Milner. Early sub for them, but Milner’s been sick and has a card already. Close-ups of Howard look like he’s in a lot of pain. He’s staying in, but hopefully this does not come back to bite us.
2:03 – Shot from Jozy but way too far out for a weak ground shot. No threat at all.
2:04 – US lets the ball bounce all the way through to Howard as Gooch and DeMerrit can’t seem to get things right back there.
2:06 – Great chance for England that was denied by the US diving all over the place. Corner to England…foul on them in the box.
2:08 – England seems to be much more aggressive, both on offense and defense. Despite all the bravado, I think that the US is a little intimidated.
2:09 – Wow, great shot from Donovan but not enough on it or on target. Counter attack results in a yellow card for Cherundulo.
2:10 – Rob Green, the England Keeper, is wearing a green shirt, which statistically is… THE WORST GOAL DEMPSEY!!!!!
2:11 – DEMPSEY DEMPSEY DEMPSEY! Softest goal from Green but it counts!
2:11 – Glen Johnson almost retakes the lead but Howard makes a great save.
2:12 – That goal was absolutely terrible. Ugly, but I’ll take it. 1-1 and now we’ve got all to play for here. Rob Green should go ahead and buy a place and stay in South Africa because he’s going to get killed in the media in England.
2:13 – Martin Tyler on the goal – “If you buy a ticket, sometimes you get a raffle.” Injury stoppage from Hesky from England and I screamed so loud when the ball went in the dogs both got up and ran out of the room.
2:15 – Martin Tyler is killing Rob Green right now…”that never happens, not even in school boy play…” – Just Skyped with Jacob and he’s fired up across the pond too!
2:16 – Corner to England. A goal here would be devastating. But it’s cleared out.
2:18 – Goal kick out to US – should end the half. Yep, that’s it. I’ll be back for the second.