Tim Howard's game guide 

June, 10, 2010

You've heard the words breathlessly uttered countless times this week: Saturday's World Cup tilt between the U.S. and England is the most anticipated match in American soccer history. The game will be broadcast live on network TV (coverage begins at 1:30 p.m. ET on ABC), and record-setting ratings are expected. With so many casual fans tuning in to this game and, indeed, the entire month-long futbol fest, we thought it would be fun to ask U.S. goalkeeper Tim Howard how to watch the game. Turns out Howard had so much insight that there's plenty of stuff to love for both newbies and die-hards alike. So let Howard guide you through each phase of a game, from start to finish:

Q: What goes through your mind during the singing of the national anthem?

Howard: It's always a very cool time. For me it's a very peaceful time. It's the calm before the storm. Either the crowd is quiet or singing their anthem. In some cases you can't hear your own anthem because it's getting booed. Regardless, it's a peaceful time for me. All of my personal preparations have been done at that point, so there is nothing I'm anxious about or intense about, I'm just looking forward to knowing that the whistle is imminent. I don't do anything to prepare.

Luke Cyphers is a former senior writer for ESPN The Magazine.
Doug McIntyre is a staff writer for ESPN The Magazine. He has covered American and international soccer since 2002.