'The greatest sporting upset of all time': When the US beat the 'giants' of England at 1950 World Cup

November 24, 2022 at 12:58

CNN —On one side of the pitch was a team made up some of the biggest names in world soccer.
Described as a “real bunch of ragamuffins” by the author Geoffrey Douglas, the US beat a star-studded England side 1-0 at the 1950 World Cup.
I mean, a plucky group of underdogs just beat what was generally universally recognized as the best team in the world,” Holroyd told CNN Sport.
The US line up before the game against England in 1950.
PA Images/ReutersAnd so when the 1950 World Cup approached, there was little national interest or coverage of the US’ participation.
To reach the finals of the World Cup in 1950, the US had to progress through a three-team qualification group, alongside Mexico and Cuba.
On the other side of the pond, hopes were sky high for a star-studded England team.
The team was making its first appearance at a World Cup having chosen not to appear in the previous three.
The teams had played each other earlier in the year, with an England reserve team still comfortably beating the Americans.
But they didn’t even play (their best players) because they thought America would be such an easy game,” Douglas said.
“The World Cup in 1950 was not a blip on the American sports radar,” Holroyd said.
There was huge shame in England about the result at being toppled by the upstart US team.