June 23, 2010
U2 has done the "One Game Changes Everything" ads for the last two World Cups.
Well, the US can re-do that ad with a twist as one goal changed everything for the USMNT yesterday versus Algeria.
For well over an hour, the US was not advancing out of the group stage with England leading Slovenia 1-0 and the US and Algeria in a scoreless deadlock.
The US also had the misfortune to have a goal that looked good called back as Clint Dempsey's finish from inside the six was called back on an offside call.
Then the US had chance after chance after chance that they failed to convert.
Time was getting late. Bob Bradley made three attack minded subs.
The fourth official signalled for four minutes of stoppage time.
Then the goal came from a counterattack with Landon Donovan slotting home a rebound of a Clint Dempsey shot.
And with that one goal, the US went from going home to winning Group C.
The goal meant a few firsts for the USMNT at the World Cup: the first win in the final group stage match, the first time the USMNT had gone undefeated in group play, and the first time the USMNT won their group at the World Cup.
Also, it may be the first time that American sports fans, who normally look down on soccer, have been moved by a USMNT victory.
One question that many want to ponder now is will the win change where soccer stands in the US?
Personally, now is not the time for that. Now is time to let an epic victory to soak in. Now is time to plan to watch Saturday's Round of 16 game versus the last African team standing: Ghana. Now is time to up the stakes and expect the US team to advance to the Quarterfinals, like they were able to do eight years ago in Japan/South Korea.
Whether Landon Donovan's goal changes soccer's place in the US sports landscape won't be able to be measured for years. Will more kids stick with soccer like a lot of American kids did with hockey after the 1980 Miracle on Ice? Only time will tell.
Now if this team can have a few more firsts......
A first semifinal.......a first final.........a first World Cup title............
Now to the USMNT Link-o-rama:
- If you just want to replay the Donovan goal over and over again, here you go.
- Here is the post-game interview with Donovan.
- MLS Insider looks at the nice bump in bonuses the US players will get thanks to Donovan's goal.
- Grant Wahl's 5 takes from the game.
- Here are some of the post-game reactions.
- MLS Talk talks about the 90 minutes of agony and 5 seconds of ecstasy.
- Perhaps the fact that internet traffic was nuts for the game means that soccer has arrived?
- Devo calls this the Miracle II. I won't go that far simply because before the tournament started, I thought that the US should beat Algeria in this match.
- MLS Insider wonders if anyone isn't a soccer fan today.
- SBI.net ponders the question of how far can the US go now?
- The Final Third looks at Landon Donovan's endign four years of hurt.
- Steve Davis tries to put a bow on a crazy day.
- Was the mission truly accomplished by winning Group C? Personally, the mission will be accomplished if the US has another first: a semifinal berth.
- The USA 10 Kit wonders where this Bob Bradley came from.
- Bob Bradley talks about this team's never say die attitude.
- Nike's Inside the Pro on Tuesday was Landon Donovan. That's pretty good timing, huh?
2010 Lamar Hunt US Open Cup
- The Rhinos took care of business against Pittsburgh on Tuesday night in the 2nd round of the US Open Cup. Two goals in the first 15 minutes from Tyler Rosenlund & Aaron Pitchkolan had Rochester on cruise control. Up next, the Columbus Crew in Columbus on Tuesday.
- There were a few tight games in the 2nd round , including Miami FC winning in AET for the second straight round.
- The bidding for the Quarterfinals is complete and should the Rhinos make it past Columbus, they will host the winner of the Charleston Battery/Chicago Fire match at MAS on Tuesday July 6th.
The views and opinions expressed in this column are those of the author, and not necessarily those of the Rochester Rhinos or SoccerSam.com. Feel free to send any comments or complaints to email@example.com. James promises to read (but not to respond) to all of them.