What an exhausting win against Algeria … just when it seemed that no matter what – Dempsey’s best efforts, consistently anti-US errant refs, balls bouncing off cross bars – the USA wasn’t going to score and the game was all but over … Landon Donovan to the rescue. Phew.
2pm Saturday – USA v Ghana. Will be a difficult fight. Repeat or revenge? Ghana knocked USA out of the last World Cup. If we advance, particularly if we were to make it to the quarter finals, it would be a huge step forward for soccer in the USA. It’s a long shot, but worth dreaming. If we advance and the NFL strikes in 2011, professional soccer just might catch on here.
While Donovan to the rescue might not be anything new or unusual, this has already been a tournament of firsts for USA. Michael Bradley’s game tying goal against Slovenia was the first by a player to score a World Cup goal for a team coached by his father. Today was the first time USA scored in the third round of World Cup group, and accordingly the first time we’ve won a third round in group. USA’s finishing first in their group is a first since the first World Cup in 1930, which was played by only 13 nations, with no Germany, Italy or British teams, and no teams from Africa.
In related news, the French team returns home ignominiously. From the Finals in 2006 to winless group play. It makes me wonder whether Zinedine Zidane paid French coach Raymond Domenech to possibly eclipse Zidane as the biggest French arse in World Cup history. The French team was a world-class catastrophe with Domenech being at the center of the team’s meltdown and also utterly lacking class in France’s closing loss to the host nation. Good riddance.
It was also an incredible day at Wimbledon … and it’s not done yet! Ironman tennis?