World Cup 2014

World Cup Memories: Jesse Marsch takes you on US bench for Landon Donovan's epic goal vs. Algeria

Eight days are going to go by so fast. Before you know it Brazil vs. Croatia will be on your TV screen and the 2014 World Cup will be underway.

Yet it only seems like yesterday that Landon Donovan scored in stoppage time against Algeria -- one of the greatest moments in US Soccer history. Jesse Marsch, who was an assistant coach on the bench for that epic moment, gives you a behind-the-scenes look at what was happening inside the US squad.

And for more of Marsch's insight and analysis, he's breaking down the entire World Cup on MLSsoccer.com:


In the first half, they called back Clint Dempsey's goal that's clearly onside. Like the previous two games [vs. England and vs. Slovenia], there was some drama in the match. But I thought the focus of the guys was good and you still felt, even in the latter moments, like we could still procure one more chance and hopefully make a goal out of it.

For the game against England, we were stationed next to a wild reserve and they had a little stand selling different trinkets outside. And the guy who had the trinkets handed me a little wooden elephant and gave it to me and said, "This is good luck." And so I put that in my pocket and I had it in my pocket for every match. I think I whittled it down with my thumb in my pocket to a splinter. I was rubbing it and saying, "Come on. One more time."

There was discussion on the bench of how to use our reserves and which player to put into the game that could make a play. We put in Edson Buddle in that game. We put DaMarcus [Beasley] on the left. We were hoping that in an open game he could take advantage of some plays. But in the end it was the two guys that you count on most for attacking plays in Landon [Donovan] and Clint [Dempsey] to pull off a play.

I started to head for the dogpile [after the Donovan goal], and then I remembered we had to talk about how we were going to handle the last couple of minutes. I was part of the dogpile in the Slovenia match and I sort of remembered I had some coaching responsibilities.

The next day I showed up at lunch and we showed the YouTube reaction to Landon's goal on the big screen [watch it above]. Somebody from back in the States might have sent me the link. I showed it to the whole team. It was hard, because we were all excited but we had another game coming so quickly that we had to shift the focus to the next one.

What's your lucky trinket when your national team plays? Anything out of the ordinary? Share your superstitions in the comments section below:

WORLD CUP MEMORIES:

Alexi Lalas: Legend's all-time favorite moment was a hand ball

Clint Dempsey: Childhood dreams come true with a single goal

Bruce Arena: First World Cup game? Only one of the biggest upsets in history

Landon Donovan: Baggio's missed PK in '94 leaves profound impact on US great

Kyle Beckerman: The Saudi Arabian who inspired RSL's World Cup hopeful

Jason deVos: 1986ers pave the way for future Canadian national team star

Will Johnson: Timbers captain experiences agony and ecstasy in 120 minutes in 1998

Michael Bradley: The miracle comeback that he helped author in South Africa 2010

Carlos Valderrama: The goal that brings goosebumps to every Colombian

Clint Mathis: The Mohawk and the Red Sea in South Korea

Robbie Keane: Lady Luck shines on Republic of Ireland in 2002

Tim Cahill: RBNY star goes down in the history books in 2006

Grant Wahl: How the 1998 final shaped a Sports Illustrated writer's career

Jermain Defoe: Consolation for not making it to Brazil? His goal in 2010

Nick Rimando: RSL 'keeper fulfills a dream hatched in Pasadena in 1994

Peter Vermes: Sporting KC boss lived the greatest World Cup atmosphere

Matt Besler: The chills and thrill of Landon Donovan's Algeria goal

Mike Magee: Best World Cup PK ever taken? Of course, it was Zizou

Gregg Berhalter: The greatest goal you've probably never seen

Javier Morales: The World Cup-winning goal he couldn't bare to watch

Julio Cesar: Can Toronto FC 'keeper emulate his childhood hero in Brazil?

Brian McBride: Awkward excitment -- the flying hug between Reyna and McBride

Thierry Henry: When breaking things was permitted in the Henry household