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club or country? Chicago’s Premier League fans face a dilemma when the United States faces England in the World Cup.

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When the US men’s national soccer team faces England in the World Cup on Friday, soccer fan Danny Jodorowsky may be faced with a dilemma that could plague the most patriotic at heart.

Picture this: England captain Harry Kane, who usually plays for Premier League club Tottenham Hotspur, steps up to the penalty spot with a chance to score for his country. Twelve yards away stands American goalkeeper Matt Turner, who plays for Tottenham’s hated London rivals Arsenal.

United States goalkeeper Matt Turner clears the ball with a header during a World Cup Group B soccer match at Ahmad bin Ali Stadium in Doha, Qatar, November 21, 2022.

A native of Aurora, Jodorowsky roots for the US national team.but he For real Tottenham has been the club American forward Clint Dempsey has followed since a brief stint ten years ago.

So when a Spurs star like Kane leads an English side, which would Jodorowsky choose? Club or country?

“I am torn,” he said. “It’s hard not to be loyal to a club that I put a lot of time and support into each year. USA have a chance to go to the World Cup every four years and I wish them well.” But I wish the Spurs players the best of luck.”

Confusions like this became commonplace on Friday, showing just how deeply rooted the Premier League fandom is in the Chicago area. On weekend mornings when the event begins, supporters flock to designated bars.

Joe Davies, who has witnessed explosive growth since becoming a Manchester City fan in the 1990s, says attending a game meant finding a rare bar on satellite. . “I’m really happy to see the spread. The pubs are full and sometimes people turn them down.”

All but one member of the 26-man England team will play in the Premier League (with the exception of 19-year-old Jude Bellingham, who plays for Germany, who is widely expected to be robbed by the English giants next summer). are available). Many are stars of the most famous clubs.

Seven players from the American team also make their living in the Premier League, but they either play for lesser-known teams such as Fulham, Leeds United and Norwich City, or they play for the likes of Turner and Chelsea winger Christian Pulisic. I work as a backup for a large team.

Brian Wolff, head of Chelsea’s supporters group, said he would no longer support the United States, citing Pulisic’s club pedigree.

“I’m not rooting for any particular player,” he said. “The top priority is players who are active in the United States.”

Not all fans feel that way.

North London-based Arsenal have a three-man England squad, including Bukayo Saka, who scored twice against Iran on Monday. Saka is one of Arsenal’s most beloved players and Chicago Gooners head of supporters club Dili Yang says he’s against Saka even if he wants to see the US team do well said it was difficult to

“I love hills,” she said. “It’s a player-by-player feeling. If he scored a goal against Matt Turner, I’d be thrilled for him.

Her fellow gooner Matt Williams has a different attitude. Saka’s only hope against the U.S. and Great Britain is that the young forward doesn’t get hurt.

“When it comes to international matches, I’m America first,” he said.

Seth Smith, who is rooting for Manchester United, said he is excited about the young talent on the US team and is helping them win, but his mood could change depending on the situation.

“If[Manchester United forward]Marcus Rashford scored a hat-trick against the United States, it would be disappointing at the national level, but I would be happy for him.” If I cross the finish line, I will laugh out loud.”

For Ben Foster, an avid Tottenham fan and former board member of the Chicago Supporters’ Group, there are no hardships. The country comes before the club.

“America isn’t perfect as a country, but it’s my country and it’s my team,” he wrote in an email. Let’s fly and hope America gets the best possible result.”

Fellow Spurs fan Andy Juvan is also pulling for the United States, but not at the expense of a Tottenham player.

“I wish Kane and[Spurs defender Eric Dier]well, especially when the Premier League resumes, which can have psychological implications,” he said.

A class in the Premier League for the past decade, Manchester City have five players in their English squad, more than any other club. But Davis, who travels to England twice a year to watch the Citizens play, said he’s still committed to his USA team.

“After all, this is where I was born and raised,” he said. ‘We never want to lose to England’

World Cup fan Joshua Houlihan in his borough front yard. Houlihan has no problem supporting England over the US national team.

Joshua Houlihan might be the calmest Premier League fan waiting for the USA vs. England game. Originally from Volo, the eight-year-old is also rooting for mighty Manchester City. He wore an England jersey to school on Monday to show he’s a fan, and when he predicted a 3-2 victory over the United States on Friday, he drew the much-loved team back together. increase.

“They have a better team and I’m already following them,” he said.

jkeilman@chicagotribun.com

Twitter @JohnKeilman

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Written by Natalia Chi

Chicago Popular; Chicago breaking news, weather and live video. Covering local politics, health, traffic and sports for Chicago, the suburbs and northwest Indiana.

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