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Kasey's notes

Former Spurs keeper and USA international legend Kasey Keller speaks exclusively to us about tonight's World Cup opener between England and the US.

Kasey Keller admits through gritted teeth that England should win tonight's World Cup showdown against the USA - but as you'd expect, he refuses to rule out his country's chances.

With 12 years in England including four at the Lane and 102 caps over 17 years for the USA - including selections for four World Cups in 1990, 1998, 2002 and 2006 - Kasey is perfectly placed to run the rule over the respective teams' opening match in Rustenburg this evening.

And the goalkeeper - who made 99 appearances for us between 2001-05 - is caught between ‘the heart and the head' as he weighs up the two countries he knows so well.

"It's a tricky one," said Kasey, now in his second year in the MLS and still going strong at 40 after ‘going home' to play for Seattle Sounders.

"For the US it's a bit of a change from the last two World Cups.

"In this squad, we've only got six players with World Cup experience whereas in the last World Cups I think it was probably closer to the middle-teens.

"Aside from that, we've had a string of injuries this season which has either limited the amount of playing time certain players have had at their clubs or just kept them out.

"We don't have the biggest squad to begin with so when we start losing key players to fitness, form or lack of game time, then it can be a little tricky for us.

"On paper, you look at it and say England should comfortably win this game but as we all know, the game isn't played on paper and the US is always capable of that big result.

"The team was pretty much written off before the Confederations Cup last summer but got that big result and beat Spain and then went 2-0 up against Brazil in the final.


"We went into the first game in Germany in 2006, didn't play particularly badly but at the same time, not too well either and lost 3-0 to the Czech Republic.

"That's not necessarily the end of the world but we then got a great 1-1 draw playing half the game with 10 men against the future-champions Italy. So the results are always there and the US is capable of doing that.

"We showed that in South Korea in 2002 as well, when we beat a highly-rated Portugal team 3-2 in the first game and that set us on the way to the quarter-finals.

"We're capable, we know that. But we also know playing England in the first game is a difficult task.

"Speaking analytically as opposed to from the heart, I really think that England should win this game, but don't count out the US's chances too quickly."