IRENE, South Africa — Landon Donovan thinks the controversial decision by a referee to disallow a U.S. goal will serve to increase interest when the United States plays Algeria on Wednesday.
The Americans would advance to the second round with a victory over the Desert Foxes and they could advance with a tie, depending on what England does.
The decision was made by referee Koman Coulibaly of Mali to call off a Maurice Edu goal left the U.S. with a 2-2 tie against Slovenia on Friday, sparking outrage in the United States.
"I think we've all been pretty well informed as to response back home via text, e-mail, phone calls, Facebook etc., Internet," Donovan said Monday. "In some ways, it's really heartening to see how much people care. And the one thing we do know is that Wednesday night, or Wednesday morning in the States, is going to a be a really big occasion and we relish that because we don't get that very often. We know people are talking about it and people care."
Donovan said players were frustrated with the decision, but are now looking ahead to the Algerians. The Americans had rallied from a 2-0 halftime deficit.
"If you can put yourself in that moment and how much energy we put in to getting ourselves back in the game and how emotional it is to go from the realization your World Cup might be over to had that goal been allowed, we would have been very close to advancing," he said. "We all understand the reality of it. We've all played in enough games where those things happen and through the course of your career they tend to even out. So a lot of us have been on the good side of something like that, and unfortunately this time we were on the bad side of something like that. It happens. You get on with it. There's absolutely nothing we can do about it right now, so we focus on Wednesday."
Donovan thinks adversity will help the team come together even more for its first-round finale.
"Being down 2-0 with your World Cup on the line is a difficult and daunting task to overcome," he said, "but the way we've been hardened in a lot of ways over the years has made that possible and I think we're extremely excited for Wednesday."