Like every other fan of the United States, I have gone through a wide range of emotions over the past day. It started out with disbelief, moving to rage, transitioning to depression, and then finally back to a smoldering anger. Through all of that I knew, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that we were robbed.
While watching the Ghana vs. Australia match, though, I realized that this wasn't as horrible as I had first thought. Don't get me wrong, I still think that it was a terrible decision, but think about what the consequences really are.
Bob Bradley and company still hold their destiny in their hands. A win against Algeria, and the US qualifies for the knock-out round. It is true that had the US beaten Slovenia, a draw would have also assured them of a place in the next round, but if the US can't beat Algeria, they don't deserve to advance.
Now, just imagine how the players must feel. I'm sure that for awhile they'll be down and feel a little sorry for themselves. But what about when that wears off? Can you imagine having any greater motivation than knowing - not believing, but actually knowing - that you have gotten screwed? Each and every American player will have a chip on his shoulder the size of the moon.
Bob Bradley won't even need to give a pre-game pep talk. All he has to do is remind his team of how they were wronged and they'll run through a brick wall to win the match.
At the highest level, where the difference in skill level is not great. What determines the outcome of matches is who is more motivated. Go back and watch Landon Donovan's post-match interview. You could see in his eyes just how furious he was. If the US can harvest that anger and direct it into every match they play from here on, they will be a very difficult team to beat.
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