The United States faces Belgium at 3 p.m. in the World Cup round of 16. You probably knew that.
A slightly more interesting fact that you might have known but quite possibly didn’t know: the U.S. has only defeated Belgium once in World Cup play — a 3-0 victory in 1930, the very first World Cup.
And here’s something you almost certainly didn’t know: the goalkeeper on that team was James E. Douglas, a 1953 U.S. Soccer Hall of Fame inductee. And as luck would have it, Douglas’ great grandson, Jim Douglas, was named after him — and also lives in the Twin Cities, working in downtown Minneapolis.
Jim Douglas reached out to us yesterday with that fantastic picture you see above of the 1930 Cup team (the players aren’t labeled, but we imagine his great-grandfather, the keeper, is in black); he also sent along a document detailing the matches and insights from the 1930 Cup from the perspective of the U.S. squad . We’ve downloaded it into a handy file for all of you to read as a nice bit of lead-up to the match this afternoon.
A sample: “Saturday, the 26th, was the day of our semi-final with the robust, well-trained Argentinian team.”
Please do enjoy!
Trip report from the 1930 World Cup