Now that the England/Algeria game is concluded, the scenarios for U.S. advancement in the 2010 FIFA World Cup are very clear. The current standings (points in parenthesis) are:
United States (2)
If the United States beats Algeria, then they finish as one of the top two teams and ADVANCE regardless of the outcome (W/L/T) of the England/Slovenia game by virtue of points.
If the United States loses to Algeria, then they finish outside the top two and DO NOT ADVANCE regardless of teh outcome (W/L/T) of the England/Slovenia game by virtue of points.
If the United States ties Algeria, then things get interesting.
*If this happens and England beats Slovenia, we DO NOT ADVANCE.
*If this happens and Slovenia beats England, we ADVANCE.
*If this happens and England and Slovenia tie, we go to TIEBREAKERS WITH ENGLAND to see who the 2nd team to advance is.
FIFA Tiebreakers: http://fredericiana.com/2010/06/16/fifa-world-cup-tie-breaker-rules/
1st tiebreaker: goal differential (tied 0 to 0)
2nd tiebreaker: goals scored. The U.S. currently has 3 goals scored while England has 1; thus, England needs their game to be tied at a number of at least 2, increasing one for each goal the U.S. scores on Wednesday. If England scores 3 more than the U.S. on Wednesday, they're in. If England scores 1 more goal or less than the U.S. on Wednesday, the U.S. is in. If it's exactly two more, then...
3rd tiebreaker: points against each other (tied)
4th tiebreaker: goal differential against each other (tied)
5th tiebreaker: goals scored against each other (tied)
6th tiebreaker: FIFA DRAWS STRAWS.
So to summarize:
1. If the U.S. wins, we're in.
2. If the U.S. draws and Slovenia beats England, we're in.
3. If the U.S. draws and Slovenia ties England and their tie is at less than two goals more than our tie, we're in.
4. If the U.S. draws and Slovenia ties England at a score two goals more than our tie, FIFA draws straws between the U.S. and England.
In all other scenarios we're out.
If you assume all teams are equal, that gives us a 50% chance to advance. If you assume the U.S. is at least equal to Algeria, it gives us a 75% chance.
GO (Red, White and) BLUE, BEAT ALGERIA!