Steven Gerrard of England and Clint Dempsey of USA
The United States soccer team wasn't the only ones to get a nice bounce on Saturday. ABC drew an impressive 12.96 million viewers for Saturday's World Cup match between the Americans and England. Including the pre-game show (1:30/12:30c), ABC's average audience was 10.76 million. That makes it the fifth most-watched World Cup game in American television history (the iconic 1999 Women's World Cup final, with 18 million viewers, remains as the record), and just behind the 2006 men's championship, a victory for Italy over France (12 million).
Saturday's game, a 1-1 tie, featured a solid if unspectacular performance by the Americans. Clint Dempsey's equalizing goal in the 40th minute benefited from a lucky bounce and a colossal blunder by English goalkeeper Robert Green, who briefly grabbed Dempsey's moderately paced strike before losing control and letting it bounce into the net.
The U.S.'s next game is Friday against Slovenia (June 18, 9:30am/8:30c, ESPN) and the Yanks finish the group stage a week from Wednesday with Algeria (June 23, 9:30am/8:30c, ESPN). The top two teams in each group advance to the knockout stage, which begins with the Round of 16 on June 26.
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