You hear often in sports that a certain team is a “team of destiny”.
These teams find a way to win despite all the odds being stacked up against them. Or after playing miserably, they find a way to get the win at the very last second.
The Boston Red Sox in 2004 and the Philadelphia Flyers in 2010 were examples of teams of destiny.
After watching the US against Algeria, I’m now convinced that the Americans are a team of destiny.
For 90 minutes, millions of Americans watched their team blow chance after chance. Clint Dempsey hits the post, Jozy Altidore skyrockets a shot, Michael Bradley’s free kick is stopped.
It appeared that the US was cursed.
And then it came. The moment US fans had been waiting for all match.
In the 91st minute Landon Donovan crushed a ball into the net and the US were on their way to the knockout round.
There was no reason for US fans to believe that the team was going to score in stoppage time. The team had failed to score in the 90 minutes before. What would make you believe they would score in the additional four minutes?
But it did happen and now the US has a date Saturday with Ghana.
I almost feel bad for the African nation.
The United States is favored in every important matchup , but even if they weren’t I would still bet on them.
Because I believe that the Americans are destined for greatness.
I’m not saying this team is going to win the World Cup, but I wouldn’t want to play the Yanks.
The two biggest questions coming into the Algeria match seem to have been answered.
1. What to do with a struggling Oguchi Onyewu?
Manager Bob Bradley made the call to sit the big man and move Carlos Bocanegra to center back and moved fan-favorite (sarcasm) Jonathan Bornstein to left back. The move looked rocky at the beginning of the match, but by the end Bob Bradley looked like a genius.
2. Who will be the other center midfielder with Michael Bradley?
It appears that Maurice Edu has won the spot and did fine against Algeria. Edu also does not have to be “the guy”. If Edu struggles, Bob Bradley has a stable of capable players who can be slotted next to his son Michael: Ricardo Clark, Jose Torres, and Benny Feilhaber.
Ghana was a sexy pick to make a deep run when the draw happened, but that was before Chelsea midfielder Michael Essien was ruled out for the tournament with a knee injury.
Many experts since then picked Germany and Serbia to make it out of Group D but Ghana proved them wrong.
Ghana in all likelihood will be the only African nation to make it to the knockout round of this year’s World Cup. The rest of the continent will rally behind the Black Stars and try to see that they make a deep run.
Unfortunately for Africa, I think the run stops here.
The United States is frankly a better team than Ghana, and with the addition of how the Yanks got to the knockout round, I don't think Ghana has a chance.