Landon Donovan, who will soon become a household name, pumped a shot of optimism into the country at a time when an oil disaster and a disgraced general led the news.
You didn't need to be a soccer fan to get caught up in the excitement of an extraordinary moment that saved the Americans from elimination at the World Cup competition in South Africa. Ninety minutes into the frustrating game with Algeria, it was scoreless.
A draw would have sent the U.S. team home. Then, in the 91st minute, it happened. All the perseverance paid off when the team captain stabbed a rebound into an open-net victory. The 1-0 win over Algeria was arguably the most dramatic ever achieved by the U.S. soccer team. Every player made it possible by not giving up.
The team's resilience in the face of adversity resonated with even those who never heard of Landon Donovan before Wednesday. Now the United States advances to the second round for a game today at 2:30 p.m. against Ghana.
The newfound pride of their country will cheer them on to success.