Potts panning for England

He might have been born in Hartford, Connecticut, but Steve Potts insists he will have no split loyalties when England and the United States clash in the FIFA World Cup.

Potts was born in the city known as 'The Insurance Capital of the World' in May 1967 before moving to England at the age of one.

The full-back was even asked to play for the country of his birth at the 1994 World Cup - held, of course, in the US - but the former England youth international told WHUTV he would be cheering firmly for Fabio Capello's side come Saturday evening.

"I've always considered myself to be English, without a doubt, as I was only a year old when I moved back to England," said the 43-year-old who, alongside John Harkes, Ian Feuer and current US national team full-back Jonathan Spector, is one of four American-born players to wear the claret and blue.

"They did enquire when they held the World Cup in 1994 in America, but I'd already played England youth and the rules were then that it ruled you out of playing for another country, so it was a dead end from that point of view."

Potts, whose son Danny will join the Hammers Academy as a full-time scholar next month, now pursues a very English occupation as a London taxi driver.

However, he still keeps close tabs on the progress of the US squad and is predicting a close game in Rustenburg this weekend.

The defender pointed to the Americans' impressive showing at the FIFA Confederations Cup last summer, where they beat European champions Spain and Africa Cup of Nations holders Egypt on their way to the final, where they took a 2-0 lead against Brazil before being edged out 3-2.

"On paper, we're definitely too strong for them but it obviously doesn't always work out like that," said Potts, who ranks joint-seventh on the all-time West Ham appearance list with 505.

"They're going to be dogged, they're going to be organised and they're going to work hard.

"Last year they did very well in the Confederations Cup and beat Spain in that tournament as well, so they're not going to be a pushover, that's for sure."