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World Cup 2010: Landon Donovan - The USA Are As Prepared As We Can Be

PRETORIA, South Africa -- On Wednesday afternoon, the United States Men's National Team meets Algeria at Loftus Versfeld Stadium in a match that will determine both squad's World Cup future.

The American side is ready.

"I think we're as prepared as we can be for what's ahead of us on Wednesday," Landon Donovan said at a Monday afternoon press conference.

The U.S. don't need to win the match -- they can advance into the second round with a draw and a favorable result in the England-Slovenia tilt -- but the squad won't leave anything to chance.

"We're obviously aware of what each result means," Donovan said. "Clearly if we lose, we're done, and if we win, we're through. There are scenarios where if we tie we can still advance, but at this point our objective is very clear: to win the game and take all of the other stuff out of the question."

A victory against the Desert Foxes means the Stars and Stripes would reach the knockout phrase for the second time in three World Cups. Before the tournament began, the team talked about needing to make the Round of 16 to consider the '10 competition a success. After inspired comebacks against the Three Lions and the Eastern European side that goal is within reach.

Both the U.S.-Algeria match and the England-Slovenia fixture will kick off at the same time, and the American coaching staff will keep informed about progress in the other game. The scoreline will affect the strategic choices made by Bob Bradley, but Donovan knows focusing on his match remains the most important goal.

"You have to be a little careful because you want to just play," he said. "You don't want to at the end of the game think that if we hold on to this result, we're going to get through, and then you get a goal scored on you and you're out of it. So you have to play, but you also have to be aware of what the other result is so you know how you continue the game, how you finish the game. You have to be smart about all those things and it's just a communication thing."



Although Algeria enter the tilt on just one point, they played both Slovenia and England extremely tough. The U.S. won't overlook the foe.

"They are a team that as much as we can watch tape and know a lot about their players -- a lot of our guys play with or have played with and against their players -- as a team, they can be unpredictable," Donovan said. "On their day, they are a very, very good team so we have to kind of see what the game presents early, but our clear objective is to go out and win the game."

After giving up two first-half goals to Slovenia, the Americans were 45 minutes away from effectively being out of the World Cup. They responded, showing their strength of character by turning in one of the better three-quarters of an hour of football they have played in recent years.

"In the second half the other night, we simply refused to let our World Cup end," Donovan said.

"I would say the second half the other night was a collection of 11, 12, 13 guys who wanted to do something special."

Michael Bradley, who netted the game-tying tally, agreed with the man who scored the U.S.'s first goal.

"We looked at each other at halftime and said this wasn't going to be how our tournament was going to end," he said.

If the Americans are as ready as Donovan, Bradley, and the rest of the players say they are, their part in the '10 tournament won't end Wednesday night either.

Noah Davis (@noahedavis) covers the United States Men's National Team for Goal.com and is reporting from the World Cup in South Africa.

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