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Kelly Smith says England on par with USA

Kelly Smith says English women's soccer is on par with the United States.

Kelly Smith says English women’s soccer is on par with the United States.

Legendary England forward Kelly Smith says England is on par with the United States and, in some ways, even ahead of their American counterparts. Smith says she would encourage English players to stay in the FAWSL instead of going to the NWSL.

“In terms of the actual football that is on offer, if an English player asked me 10, 15 years ago whether they should go to the States, I would have said ‘yes,’ because the product was so much better,” Smith told

“But not anymore. The game has changed so much in England over the last few years that I really do believe we are on a par with what is happening in America – and in some instances things are even better over here.”

[MORE: USWNT announces full pre-World Cup schedule]

Her comments come ahead of England’s Feb. 13 home match against the United States, a key World Cup tune-up match for both teams. But her remarks also come two months after a 3-0 thrashing at home at the hands of now world No. 1 Germany.

England defeated the United States 2-1 at home in a World Cup tune-up game in 2011. Next month, Smith & Co. hope to replicate that result.

“Hopefully we can show how much that gap has closed,” she said.


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