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USA-ALG Review: Hollywood Ending

The most sensational scribes in the southern California town known as Hollywood couldn’t have scripted a more dramatic ending to the US vs. Algeria game. By winning 1-0, the US fulfilled their nation’s expectations, and Landon Donovan forever etched his name in the history books as the greatest player ever born in the States. We are moving on in the World Cup ladies and gentleman. Thank the Lord.

Don’t thank the referees, who tried to steal our thunder after every creative bolt of lightning on the pitch. Dempsey’s first half goal should not have been disallowed. But, c’est la vie. It happened. We couldn’t change it. Yet, we came back and won anyway. If there has ever been a team that believes in itself, it is this one. No one can stop us. I think we can go all the way. You know who agrees with me?

Skeletor himself, Bob Bradley. His second half changes again produced the desired result. I hope we retain him after the Cup as he understands his team. He knows to go with gritty defenseman like Boca and DeMerit, and he can spot mercurial playmakers like Altidore, Dempsey, Donovan, and – of course – the best player for the US at this World Cup so far, box-to-box Energizer Bunny, Mr. Michael Bradley.

His son is helping us rise, and the question now is how far can we go? I think we really can win it all, but it will only get tougher from here. I have reason to be optimistic though. We have just won our group for the first time since 1930, and we have just put up our first clean sheet in a baker’s dozen World Cup matches. Our defense is stingy, our offense is opportunistic and the refs really, really owe us some calls.

We scored our goal today on a classic counter-attack. That is our team’s style. If we stick to it, we will have success. We just need to keep believing in ourselves and saving our best for last. After all, we have scored more than two times as many goals as any other team in qualifying and the Cup in the last five minutes of the game. We like to make things dramatic, I suppose. And that’s fine with the US. After all…

We love Hollywood endings.

But, this Yank is hoping what we just saw was really just a Hollywood beginning.