Today, USA defeated Algeria 1-0. Today, USA also defeated all the doubters, naysayers, and nonbelievers. All the English fans who weren’t worried about us, all the national pundits who slammed the US team, all the referees who blew calls against us: Defeated. And it was so sweet.
Landon Donovan’s 92nd minute strike was the best moment I’ve had as a US Soccer fan, and I’ve been alive for some great ones. Up until now, that honor went to John O’Brien for his early strike against Portugal in the 2002 World Cup. Today blew that away.
I was at Tigin Irish Pubs (the official US Soccer bar in St. Louis) for the match and there was red, white, and blue everywhere.
I don’t think I’m going to spend much time breaking down the match. You saw it, you heard about it, whatever. We should have won 5-0, but none of that matters now.
The point is that we won Group C. A group that consisted of super-power England, up and comer Slovenia, and better than expected Algeria. We put a horrific refereeing decision us at the end Slovenia game behind us and worked through another one at the beginning of the Algeria game. Seriously, I don’t like conspiracy theories, but this is getting ridiculous. Remember the Ghana game in 2006? That horrible call for a penalty that eventually won the game for the Africans? How about the 2002 no-call in the Germany game? Yeah…I hate to think something’s up.
Now we get our shot at revenge against Ghana in the Round of 16 and quite honestly, I like our chances. They’re missing their best player, Michael Essien, and have been streaky so far in this Cup. Their attack has been lacking but the defense has been fairly stout. We’ll see what happens on Saturday.
For now, though, I’m just going to celebrate the greatness of today. Maybe this will be the match that finally brings the US to that next level in the world of international soccer. Hopefully this is just the tip of the iceberg.