“I think this team has shown that it keeps fighting until the end and we have now had the experience of pushing games when we’re behind. It’s a credit to the mentality of the players and to the fact that they’re going to fight for 90 minutes every game. We have a third match where we still have the chance to determine our ability to move into the final round.” U.S. head coach Bob Bradley.
Thanks to a scoreless draw between England and Algeria, Team USA is in control of its soccer destiny heading into Tuesday's final match with Algeria.
Thanks to being robbed by referee Koman Couilibaly of a Maurice Edu game winning goal that would have capped a World Cup comeback for the ages, Slovenia sits atop Group C with 4 standings points instead of the US. The 2-2 tie ensured we salvaged at least a point out of the mess.
The USA is tied for second in the Group C standings with England's Three Lions with Algeria at the bottom with one. Top two teams in the group advance to the knockout round and so far the USA has a 3-1 goal scoring advantage over England in that critical tiebreaker.
The Group C winner will take on the second place squad in Group D while the second place Group C team would get the Group D winner.
In Group D that looks like it will be either Germany or Ghana, with Ghana playing a crucial match against Australia later today that will break the three way logjam created by Serbia's surprising 1-0 upset of the three time world champion Germans yesterday.
It comes down to Team USA handling its business when they face Algeria's Desert Foxes on Wednesday, June 23 in Pretoria. They win, and they automatically qualify for the knockout round with 5 points.
They can potentially win Group C with a win, the English wake up and knock off Slovenia, and they maintain their plus 2 goal differential over the Three Lions.
If they draw against Algeria, they'd have 3 points, and would need a Slovenian win or a draw in the England-Slovenia match to advance provided they maintain their goal differential advantage over England.
At any rate, Team USA needs to do two things. Job One is play 90 damn minutes of soccer the way they played in the second half against Slovenia from now on.
The second thing they need to do is adopt the famous maxim of Oakland Raider owner Al Davis: Just win, baby.