U.S. To Play England In Their First 2010 World Cup Game

Match pits Galaxy teammates Beckham and Donovan against each other

By Edward J. Carr
|  Friday, Dec 4, 2009  |  Updated 1:15 PM PDT
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U.S. To Play England In Their First 2010 World Cup Game

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David Beckham and Landon Donovan are teammates on the Los Angeles Galaxy, but they'll be opponents in the World Cup.

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The U.S. national soccer team will play England in the opening match of the 2010 World Cup, a match that will pit current L.A. Galaxy stars David Beckham and Landon Donovan against each other.

The matchup was picked at a drawing in South Africa attended by actress Charlize Theron and other international stars. The games officially start on June 11, with the U.S. going against England on June 12 in the first contest between the teams since 1950.

"This is going to be awesome," Donovan told the AP. "I can't wait. This is going to be great."

Soccer fans on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean are breathing a sigh of relief as they could have been facing much tougher opponents.

"This is the best draw we've ever had in any World Cup," said former U.S. forward Eric Wynalda, now an analyst for the Fox Soccer Channel. "No disrespect to England, but this is an ideal group for us."

Terry Venables, former coach of England, said the two teams are pretty evenly matched.

"It's a tough game," he said. "They will be very well organized and very fit. They won't outplay us but they could out-strength us."

The drawing ceremony goes hand-in-hand with Sony's announcement that it will broadcast 25 World Cup games using 3D technology. It's not perfected, however, and you still need to use dorky-looking 3D goggles to get the full effect.

FIFA Secretary General Jérôme Valcke lauded the company's decision, saying, "This propels the football fan into a whole new viewing dimension and marks the dawning of a new era in the broadcasting of sport."

Sony hopes it will be able to display all the World Cup games in 3D by 2014.

The ceremony wasn't all fun and games, though, as several bomb threats were made in the area.

A journalist, whose nationality is unknown at this time, was arrested for a bizarre bomb threat he made, according to Goal.com.

“A foreign journalist made a verbal threat that he had a bomb in his bag," said Vish Naidoo, a spokesperson for the South African Police Services. "He then dropped the bag and attempted to flee, but was arrested by our officers and is currently in one of our local police stations being questioned."

Two other bomb threats were phoned in to the Cape Town International Airport but Naidoo said the area was searched by police and declared safe.

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