Oh what a difference one run down the field can make.
After wasting opportunity after opportunity to score goals vs. Algeria in their World Cup match today, "The Yanks" finally put one in at the VERY end of the game.
And what a goal.
Scoring it means that they advance on to the next round of the tournament.
Scoring it means they win Group C...the first time USA has won a group since 1930s.
Scoring it means they get an easier draw for their next opponent as they will play the runner up in Group D rather than the group's winner.
Scoring it means USA soccer can hold its head high rather than slink home a la France or some other nations who turned in less than impressive showings.
Scoring it means more Americans will get to see USA soccer.
So, great job Yanks!
But now things get even more difficult, and from this point forward it's "loser out."
And lets face it, as much as we all will be rooting for a win for Team USA, the odds are not good. Why you may ask? Well, in three group games the trends are disturbing. Too many breakdowns on defense. Too many misses on easy open net goal opportunities. Too many times US players were a step to late or too slow. Too many sloppy turnovers in midfield. Too much possession time by opponents.
Sure, they were criminally robbed of two goals by referees, but overall the type of play on display will very likely get you beat at the next level.
But hey, for now let the celebration commence. USA is through to the next round and that's a BIG deal. It's exciting and a major accomplishment for the nation's soccer team.
And you never know. Sports are the ultimate "reality TV." Who knows how we'll do in the next game. Maybe we'll work the magic once again.