That. Was. Close.
For sure, while I was watching this match I thought we were just destined to not score today. Chance after chance went wide, over, blocked, scuffed, muffed, and missed. It’s happened before, where a team does everything right, and the ball just won’t go in the net. I thought we would be one of those teams. Then miraculously, we scored. Just like that. Bang bang Bang.
USA vs Algeria, Goal Celebration at Lucky Bar in DC (watch this video!)
Donovan, who for me was mostly invisible during the second half came up BIG TIME, for the second time in this tournament (the first being his crushing goal against Slovenia). That’s what this team needs is somebody to grab the game by the scruff of the neck, shake the sh*t out of it, and drag it off to victory. And honestly, while I’m not sure Donovan is always up to the task, he’s the best chance we have.
So, a few quick notes.
As I mentioned already, Donovan disappeared for a while but he showed up when mattered.
As I suspected, there was room in the corners for US attackers to flow into against Algeria’s 352. The downside was the US didn’t quite know what to do with that space. Algeria was more than content to NOT follow players out there, knowing the space in front of goal was densely packed with green jerseys.
I thought Gomez did a decent job, but he’s definitely more suited to a reserve role. His high energy against tired legs is where he’ll be most effective. He’s definitely got a knack for being around the goal though. In my mind, he’s a guy you must bring in with about 20-30mins left.
Buddle looked a little… befuddled out there. Not real sharp. Was he sick? Hurt? I don’t know but his exclusion from the starting lineup makes more sense now.
Altidore is a lock to start at forward, but his partner is totally up for grabs.
Top notch game by the whole defense. There were a few moments, especially early, that were VERY shaky. But on the whole, they contained, were organized, and started the attack well. DeMerit was a stud in the air, Cherundolo was everywhere.
Ghana? That’s gonna be tough. But frankly I’m glad it wasn’t Germany.