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USA 1 - Algeria 0: US Wins on a Fastbreak

I love this photo. I think it says it all about this game. Feilhaber's face is the best. Just so happy and elated after such a hard fought game. The whole team played so well and there was so much pressure to win. Yet despite playing quality football and playing their hearts out, they couldn't put the ball into the back of the net. That is, until Landon Donovan scored in the 91st minute. Fitting that Donovan scored one of the most important goals in US soccer history since he has been the player that has received the most criticism (including from yours truly) in the past.

But hats off to the US. They were once again robbed by the referee. Dempsey scored in the first half but the goal was called back because the ref said that Dempsey was offside, even though he wasn't. It was actually close so it's more forgivable than the Slovenia game where the ref didn't even give a reason for calling back the goal.

There is definitely more to this US team than what shows up on paper, or even what you see when they are warming up before the game. Sure they had a lucky break against England. But they have had lots of adversity since then and had their backs pinned against the wall twice and they have clawed their way back to not only advance, but win their group. England, Italy and France are all testaments this year that individual talent can only get you so far in the World Cup. You need lots of team chemistry. Brazil has pretty much always been a testament to that. Of course, they always have individual talent, but they play great team soccer. I think the US had the chemistry before, but overcoming these obstacles as a team only magnifies that chemistry and gives them all confidence that they can overcome anything and beat anyone. I don't want to get too far ahead of myself and say they have won anything because they haven't come close yet. But they have definitely proven that all of the pieces are there.

Here is the video of the goal. I could watch it over and over. Right when they get the ball they are all running to goal. Just fantastic.

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  1. I loved the dog-pile in the corner and the pure excitement and relief. Such an intense match.

  2. How can you not love soccer after that game?

  3. Tanner -
    I listened to the first half on spanish radio then got caught up on highlights and I still was freaking out. Can't wait until Saturday.

  4. I'm hoping it's a "where were you when" moment for US Soccer.


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