US team forsake Thanksgiving to focus on England

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US team forsake Thanksgiving to focus on England
US team forsake Thanksgiving to focus on England
US team forsake Thanksgiving to focus on England
Reuters
Matt Turner's (28) Thanksgiving usually involves turkey dinner and all the trimmings with his family back in Park Ridge, New Jersey but this year will be a little different.

While the United States shuts down on Thursday, goalkeeper Turner and his US teammates will be busy preparing for their showdown with England at the World Cup in Qatar.

The 'keeper, who joined Arsenal from MLS side New England Revolution in June, will certainly be in no mood for gifts as he tries to shut out Gareth Southgate's side.

A daunting prospect, compared to tucking into a seasonal feast, but Turner is more than happy to skip the routine as the US attempt to repeat their famous World Cup win over England 72 years ago in Belo Horizonte.

"Yeah, every Thanksgiving, probably 30 or 40 of my family and friends all gather at my mom and dad's house back in Park Ridge," Turner told reporters on Wednesday.

"So yeah, we're gonna miss out on that but mom and dad are here in Qatar. It'll be a little bit different for the people back home this time around, but look forward to the future many more times with them."

Londoner Cameron Carter-Vickers, who qualifies to play for the US because of his Louisiana-born father, said Thanksgiving for him was "not such a big deal".

But if the US do pull of another shock at a tournament already shaken up by some big ones, the belated celebrations planned for the team on Saturday will be sweet indeed.

"All our families are here so on Saturday we'll have a nice little Thanksgiving gathering, so I'll enjoy that," he said.

It is not just the players, either, who will forsake their usual Thanksgiving rituals. The U.S. Soccer Federation said it had sold almost 4,000 tickets for Friday's game, with many making the 8,000-mile trip to the Gulf state.