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USA USA USA !!!

They did it.  The US Men’s National team, suffering from the whims of officials’ calls over their last two games. came back in the 91st minute of play to beat Algeria, 1-0, on a perfectly emphatic goal by Landon Donovan.  The US reversed the bad hand dealt them and, and instead of being unjustly denied, took matters into their own hands and won Group C over England and will play Ghana in the knockout round of the World Cup Saturday afternoon at 1:00 pm CDT.  The game will be televised on ABC. 

Incredible.  Algeria proved to be a very worthy foe, playing good defense and creating chances with counterattacks.  But the US triumphed.  Poise.  Calm.  Determination.  The US has pushed, scrapped and demanded to be taken seriously by the soccer world.  Today’s dramatic win gave them that respect, both at home and internationally.    US coach Bob Bradley has done a great job of managing this team through the group stage, adjusting his lineups, making substitutions that could easily be second guessed. He has stood tall, as his team has.  And gone through.

Congratulations to all 23 US players, Coach Bradley and his assistants for their well-earned victory today.   Their never say die attitude is everything we hope our country to be.  This team demonstrates what can happen when a group pulls together, checks their egos at the door and refuses to be beaten., Great things can be accomplished with unity like that.

America has some new heroes.  Twenty-three, to be exact. 

I was fortunate to be at Tigin’s Irish Pub in downtown St. Louis for this historic game.  What a wonderful communal experience to share with other die-hard soccer fans.  The chants of “USA  USA  USA” after Donovan’s goal are still ringing in my ears.  Smiles, high-fives, backslaps, hugs abounded.  Do yourself a favor Saturday and get to Tigin’s or another establishment that supports soccer and enjoy the intensity, atmosphere and camaraderie.

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