It's Not Over, Until It's Over

A game that is 90 minutes long, wasn't quite long enough for a goal to be scored in the U.S.A. vs: Algeria match. In fact, the U.S. needed 91 minutes to score only the second goal against the Algerians stifling defense. The game ended 3 minutes later with the final score U.S.A. 1, Algeria 0. The goal scored by none other than Landon Donovan, the man who was responsible for igniting a fiery comeback against Slovenia just days earlier. What more could you ask for in any sporting match. Both teams need to win to move on to the round of 16. Each team getting very good chanced time and time again. Clint Dempsey almost knocking in shot off the post, then getting a second chance that misses high. Dempsey was also called for offsides earlier in the match, which after seeing it on instant replay, was not offsides. So there was controversy. (And this nation LOVES to talk about controversy) Then Landon Donovan played the role of the hero after delivering a beautiful crossing pass, Donovan followed the play and put in the rebound to score the only goal in the match. And what better a player to score the game winning goal than Landon Donovan, an all around class act. After winning the game for the Americans, ESPN's Jeremy Schap went on to ask Donovan about the disallowed goal by Clint Dempsey earlier in the match and Donovan simply replied, "You know, we embody everything America stands for. We could either sit there and dwell on it, or we could come back and keep fighting". Landon Donovan, the only soccer player ever to appear on the David Letterman show, is setting an example for all athletes on the biggest stage for the whole world to see. So, the script is ready for whoever wants to go ahead and do the movie about the 2010 U.S. World Cup Soccer team. Everything is set up for them: Drama, Controversy, Anxiety, Excitement, and a Hero to lead his team to victory.
What That Goal Really Meant
So let's go into an alternate reality for a minute here and think about how different it would be if the scoring opportunity didn't happen, and the U.S. stayed at 0-0 and ended up in a draw against Algeria. Instead of the feeling of euphoria the Americans experienced after scoring that goal, and winning Group C, there would be a feeling of disappointment, and a sense of failure. The World Cup has a commercial out that surrounds around the point that one second changes everything. The second Landon Donovan put that goal into the back of the net it changed the whole outlook of things just a few seconds earlier. 10 seconds before that goal was scored Algeria had a great chance to score, but Tim Howard caught the ball and launched it up field to Landon Donovan. Already playing in Extra Time, It seemed like this would be the last chance for the Americans, the next 5 seconds would determine if they would experience the euphoria of success, or if all of their hard word would get lost in the ether, in the sense of having failed. In just 10 seconds the U.S. World Cup Soccer team took a giant step into putting soccer on the map for all of America. People who tuned in to see if the U.S. could pull it out were certainly not disappointed, and if they were like me, they were on the edge of their seat watching the whole 2nd half, waiting for something to happen. The emotions for anyone watching had to be on a roller coaster, with seemingly every opportunity having a bad break for America, it didn't seem as if fate was on their side, but when Donovan scored that goal, the U.S. didn't just defeat Algeria, but it is going to send shock waves throughout all of America in excitement in a time where it seems like nothing can go right in this country politically. That goal also just made all of soccer that much popular throughout the entire nation. Chances are there will be many, many more people watching the U.S. as they move onto the round of 16. It is hard to soak in the importance of every second in a game that 90+ minutes long, but every second counts and that + in the 90+ was all the Americans needed to lift themselves to the round of 16, and to lift a nation that was begging to hear some good news, to get its mind off of all problems facing it today. The story has been written for the United States Soccer Team, who have proven that it is not over until it is over, to never give up, and most importantly to believe. It has been a great story so far for the American World Cup Soccer Team, but the ending hasn't been written yet, and the Americans get another chance on Saturday to send shock waves throughout the United States, but throughout the entire world.


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