US Faces Decisive Match Against Algeria

It's probably a win-or-go-home scenario
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jun 23, 2010 6:49 AM CDT
U.S. national soccer forward Jozy Altidore sits on the bench and watches his teammates jog during training at Eersterust Stadium in Pretoria, South Africa Tuesday, June 22, 2010.   (Elise Amendola)
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(Newser) – One more game, one last chance to make their reputation. When the Americans play Algeria at the World Cup today (10am Eastern), they'll either live up to all the hype and earn a spot among the final 16 teams—or lose a watershed opportunity. "It's important for us because we had that disappointment in '06," captain Carlos Bocanegra said yesterday. "It's not really extra motivation, but it's just in the back of our minds. You work so hard and you train for so long for the World Cup, and it can be over so quickly if you don't advance."

A victory would send the US into the knockout rounds on a high that will set off midday celebrations back home. A draw might do the trick as well, depending on the outcome of the England-Slovenia match being played simultaneously. The US has never faced Algeria, but will be heavily favored in the match—the Desert Foxes have yet to score a goal this tournament. But the US has a potential problem: Jozy Altidore sat out training yesterday with an upset stomach. With Robbie Findley suspended after a pair of yellow cards, the US is counting on the young striker.

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