World Cup Preview — who gets out?

Today, two of the great underachievers of the World Cup attempt to slouch themselves into the knockout round.

The U.S. gets Algeria, and this match is hardly a foregone conclusion. Algeria looked pretty stout against England, but exactly how good is England?

Not very, so far.

I’ve got a feeling one of these will end in a tie, and I’m going to say it’s Slovenia that earns it against England. I felt like they were dangerous from the start, having had to beat Russia to move on.

I have no feel for how the U.S. will do. We should find out in the first 20 minutes. Algeria will start an extra striker in this game — so you can see what the Desert Foxes (one of the great team nicknames) think of the American defenses. Can’t say I blame them at this point.

On the U.S. side, Oguchi Onyewu has been replaced in the starting lineup by Jonathan Bornstein. Not a huge fan of the move, but it is interesting, and geared toward getting Carlos Bocanegra into the center. Can’t really blame coach Bob Bradley for wanting to shake things up defensively.

I’m going to say the U.S. advances, but not impressively. If they can duplicate the urgency they showed in the second half against Slovenia, maybe they’ll prove me wrong.

Should be exciting. Simultaneous games may be the fair thing competitively, but hardly makes it easy on fans.

Enjoy.

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