2010 FIFA World Cup Preview: Slovenia Brings One New Thing to U.S. Game

Ron FurlongAnalyst IIJune 15, 2010

POLOKWANE, SOUTH AFRICA - JUNE 13:  The Slovenian team celebrates after victory in the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa Group C match between Algeria and Slovenia at the Peter Mokaba Stadium on June 13, 2010 in Polokwane, South Africa.  (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)
Clive Mason/Getty Images

Slovenia is going to bring one thing to their meeting with the United States on Friday that they didn't have last week.

That one thing is confidence. Confidence cannot be understated at this—or any, for that matter—World Cup.

After beating Algeria 1-0 on Sunday, Slovenia not only has confidence, but they also have the Group C lead with three points.

The best result for both England and the U.S. would have been a draw between Slovenia and Algeria. With that one goal, Slovenia has managed to put a little fear into both the U.S. and England.

The red card to Algeria's Abdelkader Ghezzal led to the Slovenia winner. Robert Koren scored in the 79th minute to give the victory to Slovenia. The goal was a soft one let in by Algeria's keeper Faouzi Chaouchi.

Slovenia's coach Matjaz Kek realizes what the mental aspect of the goal and the victory for Slovenia mean for his team.

"We wanted to win so much," he said. "So it's great for our confidence to get that win."

There's that word again: confidence.

It was Slovenia's first ever win at the World Cup. In their previous two appearances they had lost all three group games each time.

Bob Bradley is not underestimating the Eastern European team.

"They are a hard working team," he said in his press conference on Sunday. "They're organized...The Slovenia game will be a little more of a chess match [than the game against England]."

And they have, of course, that darn confidence thing.