Send us victorious
Chicago has had the cross of St George draped over it this weekend with fans from home and ex-pats from all around the US descending on the windy city. Despite its size you don't often hear English accents around Downtown but even this afternoon wandering down Michigan Avenue English voices and football kits of all denominations joined the tourists peering up at the skyscrapers.
On Saturday Soldier Field became home-field as the Americans call it for the afternoon as English fans made themselves seen and heard.
The obligatory flags hung from every corner apart from one side of the pitch where ESPN had them removed before the start of the game. The locals hugely disappointed by last years awful Man U v Bayern Munich friendly this time saw what a football game was all about, with English fans making up the majority in the impressive stadium.
Both national anthems were sung with gusto, and pleasingly there was not one boo of the 'Star Spangled Banner'
. English fans were in fine voice giving fine renditions of songs like: "Are you Scotland in disguise?"
The Chicagoans looked confused and shocked by the amount of English supporters in the stadium but they also played their part in what was a good natured party atmosphere.
It was a thoroughly enjoyable day with the added bonus in the 76th minute of seeing the introduction of Luke Young for his debut in an England shirt. With the injury situation not good for Sven, we have to be hopeful that the player of the year starts against Colombia in New York on Tuesday.
I admit to bias but I don't see Glen Johnson being a better option at right back than Young, Josh Wolff was a constant menace to the Chelsea full back. Despite one mistake when he gave the ball away, he did get back to make amends mind, Luke did what he had to do confidently and well for the time he was on.
As for the game itself, Kieran Richardson had a dream debut scoring from a free kick in 4 minutes and again just before half-time finishing off a sweeping move. Disappointingly the hard playing surface ended his game early as it did for Sol Campbell, who looked very rusty in his first game back after injury.
I thought Carrick and Jenas were both disappointing but Joe Cole was a livewire throughout until he was replaced by Defoe. With Alan Smith often playing deep Andy Johnson was often left up front chasing shadows and didn't get a chance to take a tumble in the box to earn himself a penalty.
Calamity James was once again a disaster zone, he flapped at a free kick in the first half from America's most well known player Landon Donovan and even with the late consolation he made a hash of Fulham's Chicago born Bocanegra's effort knocking it into Dempsey's path to score. That lost me a bet that did!
I've not seen England play live for years and it was good to feel that sense of belonging again as I'm sure many of the other ex-pats did too. I have even today been thinking about a trip to Germany next year.
Finally, if you are reading this, hello to the Charlton fan, originally from Eltham but now living in Ann Arbor
in Michigan who was as thrilled as I was to meet another Charlton fan 4,000 miles from home. Oh and David, nice flag.
Others that were there: USSoccer.com
; The Fire Alarm
; Chicago Tribune
; Chicago Sun Times
.Click on pictures to enlarge.