So I love the win, I love the last minute drama, and it is clear that for a moment it was the biggest thing going as far as new in the United States (at least online).
Will people start naming their kids Landon? Sure people will jump on the bandwagon, and I welcome them as there is plenty of room on the soccer bandwagon in the US. Will this become one of those "where were you when" moments?
I do think the US getting into the round of 16 and now playing again another Saturday afternoon match (12:30 MT) will likely get numbers close to (and maybe) better than the US vs England match, I do believe this win will help reach the "eurosnob" soccer fans who turn their nose up at MLS (that is where Landon does his thing and most of the US got their start).
It should lead to a good number of people signing up to support the USA 2018/22 bid, and it should lead to at least a short term "pop" for MLS. Will this lead to RSL being able to sell out their Friday night match against San Jose because people want to watch live soccer? (oh tickets are being offered at half price online by using the promo code: JUNE25).
We have made the round of 16 before, so I tend to roll my eyes a bit when you see things like this:
It's the most important win in the history of U.S. soccer"--Sunil Gulati, US Soccer Federation president
So time for you to step up and use the comment section to tell me how important this win was?
There are some great posts about the win, check the SB Nation World Cup page for links to many of them
After the jump some post match quotes from Landon and Bob:
U.S. Men's National Team Head Coach BOB BRADLEY
On the multiple scoring opportunities for both teams:
"It's a match where both teams need to win, so it turns into a very wide open game. Algeria is a very good team, skillful and well-organized, but the game now takes on a different tone just because of the need for both teams to win."
On the frustration at missing so many good scoring chances:
"You think two things: when you're in the game long enough, there are times when that happens and you just say ‘it's not our night.' But the real thing that you do as a coach is you keep trying to think of what's going on in the game, are we still creating chances, how many changes do we have left, what else can we do to keep giving ourselves a chance to get the goal? In the end, it's just the efforts of the players that make the difference."
On what makes this team so special:
"It's a lot of things. In this last cycle, guys have grown, taken leadership roles, as a team we've grown stronger, we've had experiences where we've been hardened. Landon said the expression ‘the part you can control.' We believe that in soccer sometimes you can't always control a call or a bounce, but you can control what you're all about as a team, what you put into it, how committed you are to giving everything in the game. I think that has become the special quality of this group."
On the team's motivation coming back to South Africa:
"The experience at the Confederations Cup was important for us. We played very good teams and we had to fight through the group, ultimately we had a great victory against a team like Spain. But at the end of the day, we remember that we had a 2-0 lead at halftime against Brazil and we didn't come away as champions. So there's a disappointment, but that disappointment comes also with the belief and the hope that we're coming back in a year and we're going to try and take it a bit further. It's those experiences that help us grow."
On the impact of this win in the U.S.:
"Soccer continues to grow in the U.S. Some of the sports, like football, basketball and baseball have long histories and great traditions, but soccer is developing history and tradition. One of the nicest things tonight was when we were coming to the stadium, the street was lined with U.S. supporters-waving flags, dressed up, chanting USA, knocking on the bus and we don't always have that. To have that happen at the World Cup, in South Africa, I think that was a really special feeling tonight. To finish the night with a great win to go hand-in-hand with the kind of support we do have, that shows we're making big steps."
On what's made Landon Donovan the player he's become in the past year:
"Without a doubt Landon has grown in so many different ways. From the soccer end, he mentions the low after the World Cup in 2006. But there was also the challenge of taking a bigger role, being more responsible as a leader. I think these kinds of challenges came at a good time for him and he's never shied away from challenges. If you look back to 2002, he's young and being in your first World Cup is pretty exciting. 2006 now is, for him, one where he learned a lot. But to have the chance then to come back in the prime of your career, there's a special feeling when you play on a team where you know people are really counting on you. Your character, your personality is really at the core of how that team does. Some players play their whole careers and never experience that. When you have that, it takes time to get a feel for what that's all about. But over these years, both on and off the field, I think the fact that he's grown and matured and accepted these types of challenges has made a huge difference."
U.S. MNT Midfielder LANDON DONOVAN
On the game as a whole:
"Sometimes in soccer you have games like that, where you get a lot of chances and they don't go in. To be fair to them, they had a few chances as well, especially early on. But the only thing you can control is if you keep going. We knew that they were pushing and we had to take some chances, and the guys in the back did an unbelievable job of stopping counter after counter from them and giving us a chance to score so we could finally get it."
On his feelings upon scoring the game-winning goal:
"I've been through a lot in the last four years, and I'm so glad it culminated this way. It makes me believe in good in the world, and when you try to do things the right way it's good to see them get rewarded."
On the goal:
"I have to look at it. I knew that they had pushed a lot of numbers forward so when the ball broke, a lot of us had almost cheated, for lack of a better word. Like I said, we had to rely on our back four and Michael, really, to do a good job of stopping their counter attacks. When the ball came I wanted to take a good touch forward and be aggressive right away, and I had a lot of options. At the moment I chose Jozy, and he did a good job of putting a dangerous ball in to Clint, who did a great job of making an effort to get in front of the goalie and then it just bounced there."
On the lowest point of the past four years that has served to motivate him:
"There were two really. Soccer-related was immediately after the 2006 World Cup, personally was in July of last year. But those experiences can harden you and help you grow if you learn from them and if you look at them the right way. I've spent a lot of time and done a lot of work to get something out of those experiences, and I think it all came together tonight."
On anticipating their opponent in the Second Round:
"Depending on when we get back to the hotel, we'll watch as much of the games as we can. We'll take whatever's there. Obviously, there's the chance I think to play any of the four teams, and the goal now is to recover physically and emotionally and get ready for whoever comes."