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FIFA World Cup 2010: Why the USA Must Root for Slovenia Against England

JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA - JUNE 18:  Referee Koman Coulibaly look on during the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa Group C match between Slovenia and USA at Ellis Park Stadium on June 18, 2010 in Johannesburg, South Africa.  (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)
David Cannon/Getty Images
Adam MatthewsContributor IMay 31, 2016

While it would be easy to dwell on referee Koman Coulibaly's catastrophic error, the Slovenia match is done and the U.S. must prepare for Algeria. If the U.S. wins, we're on to the next round. Simple as that.

But, there are a variety of other scenarios that would put us through as well. The common thread is that we must now root for Slovenia. If they lose to England, we are less likely to see the Round of 16.

Here's the breakdown:


A . Slovenia wins, the U.S. loses: Bad.

1. Slovenia 7
2. Algeria 4
3. USA 2
4. England 2

This situation would be a sad day for both the U.S. and England.


B . Slovenia wins, the U.S. ties: Good.

1. Slovenia 7
2. USA 3
3. England 2
4. Algeria 2

We'll gladly take it.


C . Slovenia wins, the U.S. wins: Good.

1. Slovenia 7
2. USA 5
3. England 2
4. Algeria 1

That would put us through with style.


D . Slovenia ties, the U.S. loses: Bad.

1. Slovenia 5
2. Algeria 4
3. England 3
4. USA 2

Another reason to cry for the Queen and Uncle Sam.


E . Slovenia ties, the U.S. ties: Good.

1. Slovenia 5
2. USA 3
2. England 3
4. Algeria 2

The tie would get us through, but only if we remain ahead on goals scored. We have two more goals than England does at the moment.


F . Slovenia ties, the U.S. wins: Good.

1. USA 5
1. Slovenia 5
3. England 3
4. Algeria 1

We get through, but winning the group would depend on goal difference.


G . Slovenia loses, the U.S. loses: Bad.

1. England 5
2. Slovenia 4
3. Algeria 4
4. USA 2

England saves their skins and Slovenia sneaks through, since they beat Algeria head-to-head. The US collapses.


H . Slovenia loses, the U.S. ties: Bad.

1. England 5
2. Slovenia 4
3. USA 3
4. Algeria 2

This scenario would be tough for the US to stomach. Another tie might not be enough.


I . Slovenia loses, the U.S. wins: Good.

1. USA 5
1. England 5
3. Slovenia 4
4. Algeria 1

This is the most dangerous scenario. If Slovenia loses, the US could win group C with a win over Algeria, depending on goal difference. But with a loss or a tie, the U.S. would be out.

If Slovenia wins or ties, we move on with a win or a tie. But if Slovenia loses, the U.S. can only move on with a win.

Whatever happens, the U.S. must remember that the only sure thing is a win.

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