Like much of the rest of the nation, captivated by the U.S. men's soccer team's riveting 1-0 victory over Algeria today, former President Bill Clinton was cheering on the U.S. side. And he was doing it in person. In the final minutes, like the entire U.S. fan base, he was on the edge of his seat.
Vice President Biden attended the opening ceremony, met with the team, cheered it on during its 1-1 England tie and returned to Washington soon after. Biden certainly has more pressing matters to deal with today with the president's ouster of Gen. McChrystal and replacing him with CENTCOM Commander David Petraeus. McChrystal and his team ridiculed Biden, who voiced his opposition to McChrystal's operation. Biden preferred the war be narrower in scope and more focused on Pakistan.
The U.S.'s win secures the top spot in Group C. The top two teams qualify from each group for a round-robin, one-loss knockout tournament field of 16.
The team was minutes from not qualifying before -- in the 91st minute -- midfielder Landon Donovan took a rebound and put it in the back of the net with a low, hard strike. This came after a barrage of offense from the U.S. in a wide-open match that pitted two teams, who needed a win to move through. In a parallel match, England defeated Slovenia 1-0 to also secure a place in the tournament.
The U.S. will find out its next opponent some time after 4:00 pm ET after the results of the final Group D matches between Germany-Ghana and Serbia-Australia. The U.S., by virtue of its top group finish, would face the second-place team from Group D. Ghana currently leads it, but with a tenuous one-point edge over both Germany and Serbia.
Wins by Germany and Serbia would send those two through with the U.S. taking on Serbia. A Germany-Ghana tie plus a Serbia win would send Serbia to the top of the group, eliminate Germany and put Ghana in second -- to face the U.S. If Germany wins and Serbia ties, Germany wins the group, Ghana and Serbia would have four points each, and it would come down to goal differential. Currently Ghana is +1 and Serbia is even.
The winner of that first round U.S. tournament match would face the winner of Uruguay-South Korea.