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Howard says U.S. vs. England is special

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IRENE, South Africa (Reuters) -- The United States' World Cup opener against England on Saturday promises to be such a monumental clash that goalkeeper Tim Howard doesn't know if he wants to play in it or watch it on television.

Howard said his country would come to a standstill to watch the Group C cracker and predicted fans back home would be "kicking every ball".

"It's going to be pretty incredible," Howard told reporters. "I don't know what's going to be better -- at the bar back home with my friends watching it, or actually playing in it.

"I think our country is going to stop, I really do. Everyone is going to stop and be watching."

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The unprecedented hype and interest in the game has put major pressure on the U.S. players' shoulders, and the hardest thing has been the waiting, Howard said. All they wanted to do wastake to the field in Rustenburg and face England, he explained.

"We get tired of kicking each other, we get tired of training ... this is everything we've dreamed of," he said.

The New Jersey native will win his 52nd cap against England and the 31-year-old says he has already experienced the type of pressure that will undoubtedly come on Saturday.

"For any U.S. player to play in Mexico City against Mexico, nothing can match it," said Howard, who won the Golden Glove award at last year's Confederations Cup when the United States reached the final.

"It's one of the most amazing experiences you'll ever have as a player. And so you go into those games backs against the wall, underdogs, crowd against you, all that type of stuff, so hopefully we can draw on that."