THOUSAND OAKS — Rams kicker Matt Gay is likely to storm into the dressing room after Friday afternoon’s practice session and ask to be shown the TVs at the US men’s World Cup match against England.
Gay has a rooted interest in the Group B game as an American, a former soccer star and as a husband. Gay’s wife Millie and her family are from the UK.
The Pro Bowl kicker is likely to miss the first half of the second game of Qatar’s USMNT because of practice, but he’s expecting a lively text from the family group to provide him with updates.
“They’re going to get scrappy for England,” said Matt Gay, who played two seasons at Utah Valley University before transferring to the University of Utah. “The game is going to be big. … you’ll talk something smacks. I’m holding it for the Americans.”
The World Series is often held every four years in the summer, but this is one of those rare times when it overlaps with the NFL regular season.
Rams wide receiver Jacob Harris also plans to watch the USA vs. England game from the dressing room. Harris’ first sport was soccer and received a few Division I scholarships before deciding to play soccer as a walk-on in western Kentucky and later transferred to the University of Central Florida.
Primarily a forward, the 6-foot-9 Harris played football through high school, having picked up the sport at the age of 8.
“That helped my transition,” said Harris, who first played soccer when he was 17. “The footwork is completely different from football to football, but being able to lift your feet, put them down quickly, be able to change direction. All of that translated and just done differently.”
Harris will be rooting for his American compatriots but he also wants Brazil to do well because Neymar is his favorite player. Harris doesn’t watch football as much as Gay does, but neither does he plan to wake up in the early hours to watch early World Cup games, especially during football season.
However, Gay has done his research on the USMNT roster and expects Christian Pulisic, Josh Sargent and Kellyn Acosta to be productive at the World Cup. Gay played in the same U-17 national team as LAFC midfielder Acosta.
Gay said he wanted to see England do well for his wife and in-laws, but just not against the Stars and Stripes on Friday afternoon.
“I want the US to do really well,” Gay said. “I want them to go as far as they can.”
Rams cornerback David Long and defenseman Michael Hoecht helped distribute turkeys to 2,500 Inglewood residents Tuesday during the city’s eighth annual turkey giveaway at SoFi Stadium.
Rams tight end Tyler Higbee helped provide meals to families in Oxnard during a Thanksgiving drive-through food distribution. Also, the Rams and their rookies hosted 60 Watts Rams youth football players at their practice facility Tuesday for a “Ramsgiving” meal.
Center Brian Allen (thumb) and left tackle Ty Nsekhe (ankle) did not participate in the Rams’ jog-through practice Thursday.
Both starting offensive linemen tend to be unavailable for Sunday’s game against the Kansas City Chiefs, which will lead to more offensive line shuffling and potentially give the unit an 11th starting combination in as many games this season.
Matt Skura, who started at left against the New Orleans Saints last week, was a limited participant for the second straight day because of a knee injury. Wide receiver Allen Robinson (ankle) was also a limited participant for the second straight day.
Backup quarterback John Wolford (neck) was upgraded to a full participant. He’s being considered for Sunday’s starting quarterback role with Matthew Stafford in the concussion protocol, but the team will likely give the job to Bryce Perkins.