Welcome to the Bleacher Report's Live Blog for the U.S. versus Algeria match. They'll be live updates about every five minutes during the match, and I'll be responding to comments from time to time. Pre-game comments to come.
The big announcement: Oguchi Onyewu will not start against Algeria. I haven't heard any of explanation.
Onyewu has not had a strong World Cup so far. However, Jonathan Bornstein has had trouble playing for the National team with major mistakes at the worst time possible, especially inside the eighteen yard box.
Look at the Bornstein matchup as one of the key matchups in the game.
Edu will start in the middle with Bradley, so we'll see if that pairing works. Wrote an article on that pairing before the Algeria game.
Bradley chose Hercules Gomez over Edson Buddle, interesting choice. Buddle had a great game against Australia...one of the worst teams at the World Cup.
Gomez is a gritty player that has done well with his limited chances.
In the end, here's the easiest way to evaluate advancement: If the U.S. wins, then the team's through.
Other than that, if the teams are level, say both teams tie, then the U.S. cannot have England score three more goals than them.
The U.S. cannot lose and advance.
Man of the Match: Clint Dempsey
Others would say Donovan for the goal, but over ninety minutes Dempsey was the best player.
Donovan wasn't a presence for most of the match again. When will he be influential for ninety minutes?
The United States is through on a late goal.
I disagree with Harkes' praise of Altidore. Other than the goal, he struggled with his touch, being involved in the offense, controlling the ball, and being an offensive presence.
Donovan was also missing for most of the game.
However, they did enough to win.
Dempsey was very strong in the game.
Bornstein did his job.
Which defenders do you play? It will be an interesting story-line.
Lalas' analysis: Praise for Jay Demerit and Jozy Altidore.
Again, I'm surprised. Besides my questions about Altidore's play, Demerit had trouble with handling the ball out of the air. He had one timely header, but Bocanegra had a great sliding challenge as well.
Very strange analyis, at least to me.
GOOOOOOAAAALLLLL!!!!!!! Landon Donovan.
Every single player that needed to show up for the United States finally did on one of the last plays of the game.
Altidore, Donovan and Dempsey all involved.
Also, it was on the counter, and it started from Howard distributing out of the back.
Buddle with a ball on the end line, and he can't get it to Altidore. Best opportunity in a while.
Dying moments of the game.
I wish there was more to say, but that sums up the game.
The United States cannot find the net. Algeria seems to be playing for the draw.
Free kick for the United States. Bradley, Donovan and Feilhaber in the set play. Good shot from Bradley, no follow up.
A corner comes to nothing and a bad long ball from Cherundolo.
On the other side of things, Algeria doesn't seem to be playing to win. They look comfortable to draw, which is strange as they won't go through.
Beasley on for the United States. Three backs now. This looks to be it for the United States.
The announcer used the word "Frantic." It looks to be turning that way; Dempsey is sent off bloody. Elbow in the box. No red for the first time in the tournament. In the box, would have been a penalty.
U.S. playing way too direct, trying to kick the ball straight to the forwards. It isn't a good sign. The team is losing possession when it needs it the most by the long balls and bad passes.
Edson Buddle with a missed headball on the six yard line.
Then a counter for Algeria.
It doesn't look like the U.S. can buy a goal. The team has had every opportunity to score. They've had a chance to score in every way possible so far.
Wayne Rooney was just substituted in the England game. Amazing that one of the top five best strikers in the world has been substituted.
Edson Buddle for Maurice Edu?
A clear change of formation for the United States. I don't know if the change was warranted. The team is getting opportunities, and the change may open up the midfield for the Algerians. It seems a little early.
However, adding another forward may put the needed pressure on Algeria.
The replay of the Dempsey shot is amazing. I can't believe he didn't get any curl on that ball.
Substitution time approaches, but I doubt we'll see any subs for the U.S. any time soon.
Altidore with a bad foul on the Algerian defender. I hate to get on Altidore, but he needs to do more to earn the time he's getting on the field.
The American defense is missing headballs. There will be a training session on technique if the team can get through this round.
The first real chance for Algeria, again on the counter.
Algeria should look to make a sub and change their formation if they want a chance to advance. They need more opportunities.
Bornstein seems to be staying home. It seems to be the major alteration.
I have to disagree with the Gomez substitution. Altidore is having trouble controlling the ball or helping out the attack.
Algeria is having a good amount of possession outwide, but the team seems to have adapted to the Algerian attack.
Off the post off of a missed clear. Dempsey cannot score a goal.
Again, more crosses from the United States to no avail.
I wish there was some humor to the game or the play or the players, but the feel of the game is tense. Both teams realize they're one break away from going ahead in the game.
Feilhaber for Gomez?!
Interesting call as Gomez was one of the best players for the U.S.
Harkes believes its for possession, passing, and keeping the team calm. I have to agree, but taking off Gomez is questionable. He clearly had a better half than Altidore.
Algeria should have scored early. Their early chance predicted the Algerian attack: counter with numbers.
The United States pushes their defense high, but what advantage has that given the team? Bornstein did little with the ball at his feet. Cherundolo has been more available and a needed outlet when he was at home.
Instead of being an asset to the offense, the outside defenders are crowding the space for the midfielders. Should the team turn to a more possession, patient style?
The team might get desperate as the game gets later. Forcing the team to pass rather cross may result in some better play. There are bench players that can support this style of play.
Altidore and Donovan have not been much of a presence so far in the game.
Gomez and Dempsey have been the best players for the United States.
Another goal being called back is completely disheartening.
There probably won't be any changes because the team is playing the best it has so far (by not getting scored on in the first half).
Clint Dempsey has gotten involved, taking shots from outside.
Algeria willing to shoot from outside. If they see daylight, the midfield shoots.
The U.S. is getting their best chances down the middle. They need to press the attack in the middle. They need a couple of short passes and get a decent opportunity right outside the eighteen or a pass behind the defense.
Algeria is pushing three forwards. They're playing players into the spots where the U.S. defense has pushed forward. It's a good tactic.
Dempsey with a great chance! Once again it's through the middle of the field on the ground. This is the key to the U.S. play. They can't choose the cross that opens up the team to the counter attack with the defense out of position.
Algeria is choosing to play directly to the forwards.
Another miss for the United States!
Altidore crushes the ball into the stands with a wide open goal. Donovan was going for the same ball. A lot of wasted chances for the United States right now.
First real opportunity for Landon Donovan. It's not good that he hasn't been involved.
England has scored. If England wins, the U.S. must win.
Now the U.S. must push.
John Harkes is livid about the offsides call. He's referencing every bad call ever given to the U.S. in World Cup ever.
Goal Disallowed!!! Dempsey's offside. Replay shows that Dempsey was onside.
Gomez with a huge shot. Could he have gone with finesse and not power? He probably shouldn't have missed, but again, Gomez is proving his worth.
Bradley did well to get forward, and Dempsey with good instincts back door.
The U.S. needs more attacks like that and not look for the crosses they've been comfortable doing for the last ten minutes. It's too easy to counter.
The game has settled down. The aggressive approach from the United States back could very well decide the game.
Gomez is playiing well and showing why Bradley played him.
Shots are coming from outside for both teams. It's either furstration, nerves, or excitement.
Expect Algeria to keep shooting as their best players seem to be in the midfield.
Dempsey chooses to shoot. Interesting that Landon Donovan is not opting to shoot the free kicks. Will Donovan find a way into the game?
The defense is struggling with simple skills, trapping, etc.
Will Algeria play more direct?
The outside backs are pushed WAAAAAYYY up the field for the U.S. It's putting a lot of pressure on the center backs. Bornstein was next to Altidore!
Algeria has adapted and is pushing one of their attackers behind Cherundolo. How this plays out will be interesting.
Neon green is an interesting choice for Algeria.
Bornstein is pushed way up the field on the left hand side. Is this a coaching choice? A scouting issue? Did they see something in the Algerian side?
Edu is active early, defensively.
Algeria off the crossbar! Cherundolo not covering and Demerit with a bad trap.
Gomez counters with a great shot.
Presentation of teams/Anthems:
The United States looks focused and relaxed during the anthem. They have a much better collective body language.
Algeria spends much more time on their hair (reference to the last blog). If their shirts are as tight as they've been in their last games, then they can head straight to the club after the final whistle.
This isn't a knock on Algerian players. It's interesting that they're more continental than the U.S.
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