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

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:


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