It's really quite simple: If Koman Coulibaly hadn't screwed up and if the USA's central defenders hadn't fallen asleep in the first half, the United States wouldn't be in this situation.
But they are. It all comes down to one game. Again. With their backs against the wall, the USA men's soccer team only has to beat Algeria, and they'll qualify for the knock-out stage of the World Cup for the first time since 2002. (If they get to that point, it's wide open as to who they'll play. Serbia? Ghana? Germany? Australia? Don't know, that group is just as wide open as this one.)
Here are the scenarios as they stand tonight.USA advances if...
• They win.
• They win, England loses.
• They tie Algeria, England and Slovenia tie, and the U.S. maintains its +2 goals scored advantage (right now the USA has scored three to England's one).USA is eliminated if...
• They tie Algeria, England beats Slovenia
• They lose.USA advances and wins the group if...
• They win by a greater goal difference than England wins by.
• They win and England wins by the same goal differential AND the U.S. maintains its +2 goals scored advantage.
• They win by two or more goals and England/Slovenia tie.
• They win by one goal and England/Slovenia tie while scoring more goals than Slovenia.
• They win by SEVEN goals and John Terry stages a walkout and is joined by everyone but Wayne Rooney and Steve Gerrard before the opening coin flip of the England/Slovenia game, thus giving Slovenia 1-0 forfeit victory.**This is my dream scenario. Sorry, it shouldn't have found it's way into this completely legit analysis.
With an appearance on Wednesday, Landon Donovan will earn his 11th FIFA World Cup cap, tying Cobi Jones and Earnie Stewart for most by a U.S. player.
I'll be down at the Power Light District inside Johnny's Tavern watching it with a couple hundred other American fans. I'm sure there are other watch parties. I'm sure that, if you are reading this far into this post, you already know where you're going to watch this game. If you wanna post one, do it in the comments.
Come on you Yanks!
If you don't believe, maybe this will help.
Interesting sidebar that you probably never wanted to know but now I'm gonna make you know: The guy who sang that song, Joe Esposito, originally wrote it for "Rocky III." But, of course, "Rocky III" famously used Survivor's "Eye of the Tiger" instead. The director of "Karate Kid" loved it and used it as it was written. Which explains the completely inexplicable line "History repeats itself." This was Daniel-San's first time in the All-Valley Tournament. HOW COULD HISTORY REPEAT ITSELF? Well, obviously, if it was written for Rocky, history WAS repeating itself! See, you've learned something today. For the record, I know this "information" because Esposito called into the Adam Carolla Show a few years ago and it's been stuck in my brain ever since.