USA vs. Algeria

Landon Donovan of the United States celebrates victory that sends the USA through to the second round in the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa Group C match between USA and Algeria at the Loftus Versfeld Stadium on June 23. (Photo by Martin Rose/Getty Images)

The United States was mere minutes away from one of it's most bitter defeats.

They had already been robbed once of a win by referee Koman Coulibaly, on a goal by Maurice Edu that should have given the U.S.A. a victory over Slovenia. Seemingly, déjà vu struck again when Clint Dempsey's goal against Algeria was called off due to an unjust offsides call. The United States stayed at 0-0 into the 92nd minute while England held a 1-0 lead over Slovenia. As the seconds ticked, one of the biggest controversies in World Cup history seemed to be coming to a head.

The United States, robbed of two victories by bad calls, was about to be eliminated from the World Cup. Then, suddenly a vicious counter attack started by an incredible throw from keeper Tim Howard to Landon Donovan sparked a mighty run. Jozy Altidore shot the ball which tipped off Clint Dempsey into the Algerian keeper Rais Bolihi. Donovan, still pursuing the play and possibly helped by guardian angels, sprinted in and nailed the rebound for possibly the greatest goal in the history of United States soccer.

Try to contemplate how much changed in mere seconds. There would have been protests and drama which would have led to further action by FIFA against the seemingly incompetent (or possibly biased) World Cup referees. Outrage would have ensued and legitimate accusations of rigging games would have been placed on FIFA's referees. Instead, the U.S. wins it's group for the first time since 1930.

America should have two victories and now seem to be in position to make a run in the 2010 World Cup.

Landon Donovan has no problem carrying this team; he has ice flowing through his veins. Clint Dempsey is a man on a mission and Jozy Altidore seems to overpower every defender that gets in his way. Michael Bradley already has a fantastic goal while anchoring the midfield. Tim Howard is arguably the best keeper in the World Cup and Coach Bob Bradley knows how to inspire his squad. The United States has finally found it's identity. They win with grit and determination. They go for every loose ball while sacrificing their bodies to maintain possession. At least, this is how the United States has played when they play well.

This team cannot ever relax; that is when they get in trouble. There are times when the U.S. seems to second guess themselves. From this game, their confidence should grow which will lead to more aggressive play. When representing the United States of America play like an American: take risks, don't be afraid of mistakes, play as a team, and go for it all. Will this be the defining moment of the United States World Cup? I don't think so.

Maybe I'm still on an adrenaline rush from Donovan's spectacularly miraculous goal, but I think this team will make some noise in the knockout round. Consider that the United States should have seven points (2 wins, one draw) which would make them one of the more successful teams of the group stage.

The United Sates should have beat Algeria by five goals with an endless amount of attempts that just could not find the back of the net. Nerves stymied both teams in the opening match against England and of course a robbery occurred in the Slovenia game. So, who is to say the United States can't make a run?

Only Argentina has singled itself out so far as a powerhouse in the World's greatest tournament with respect to Brazil, Netherlands, and Uruguay who have played well. Maybe this is the year for the United States to break through. Maybe they just needed a miracle. Well, they got a miracle and now it's up to the men on the pitch to sprint, dive, kick, push, and head their way into the next round.