What’s at stake as Team USA takes on England in World Cup clash on Black Friday

Alex Zietlow/azietlow@charlotteobserver.com

The U.S. Men’s National Team’s World Cup journey continues Friday with a match against England, and the stakes are high for the Americans.

The team — playing in its first World Cup in eight years after failing to qualify for the previous tournament — had to settle for a draw in its opening match against Wales after giving up a late equalizer. That leaves the Americans in need of points as they face a powerful British squad if they want to survive and advance to the “knockout” stage.

Here’s what to know about what Team USA is playing for against England and how to keep up with the World Cup:

US vs England World Cup match stakes

The World Cup is currently in the “group” stage: where teams, The Athletic explains, are sorted into groups of four and play every one in their group. Teams earn different amounts of points based on whether they win, lose or draw.

The two teams with the most points in each group at the end of group play advance to the next round. If there is a tie, it will be broken based on goal differential.

Team USA is playing in “Group B” this year, which also includes England, Iran and Wales. The Americans are in third place, with one point, in their group headed into Friday’s match.

Beating the Brits, which would garner the USMNT three points, would go a long way toward improving the team’s standing.

To lose and get no points Friday, or even draw again and get only one point, would put them in a deeper hole and make the squad’s final group stage match against Iran virtually do-or-die.

The men would also be happy to increase their goal differential with strong offensive showings in their next two matches in order to improve their chances of winning a tiebreaker situation.

Team USA World Cup schedule

Team USA will take on England at 2 p.m. Eastern time Friday.

The team is also scheduled to play Iran in group play at 2 p.m. Eastern time Tuesday.

How to watch World Cup 2022

Every World Cup match is available on TV and via streaming in both English and Spanish.

Get more details about how to watch here.