World Cup 2010: The Phantom Menace

America has a new enemy. And his name is Koman Coulibaly. He's like Lex Luthor, because he's bald and because he could be responsible for America's downfall in the World Cup. But mostly, because he's bald. By now the whole world knows had badly team USA got hosed on Friday when Maurice Edu's goal that would've given the U.S. a 3-2 victory after being down 0-2, was nullified when Coulibaly called a foul on - somebody - during a U.S. corner kick. So, instead of a magnificent come-from-behind victory against Slovenia, the U.S. had to settle for a 2-2 tie, nullifying the all-important 3 points in Group C, as well as the eventual Disney movie about the game starring Mark Walberg.

It's been three days now, and FIFA has yet to release an official statement on which US player the foul was called on, or even why there was a call, or if the call was a foul or an offsides. FIFA did state prior to the World Cup that any grabbing or physical contact during corner kicks was forbidden. But replays of Friday's phantom-foul show pretty convincingly that both the Americans and Slovenians displayed an equal amount of grab-ass with each other during that particular kick. FIFA is expected to release a comment today. But don't expect to hear from Coulibaly himself. Unlike the NFL, MLB or NBA, where refs are held accountable and even granted access to the media to ask why they screwed up so bad (i.e. Jim Joyce), FIFA doesn't roll like that. Instead, they've quietly left Coulibaly's name off the list of referees who will officiate the remaining games of the Cup.

So while FIFA is protecting their referees like the Vatican protects their pedo-priests, the U.S. is left with having to accept and move on from this travesty if they're going to advance to the knock-out round. This was made slightly easier when England played to a nil-nil tie with Algeria on Friday. Which means all the U.S. needs to do is defeat Algeria on Wednesday, and they're in. Or tie Algeria, and hope England loses to Slovenia. Or tie with Algeria and have England tie with Slovenia without scoring too much because the US has more goals than England, and the first round is all about goal-differentials.

Confused? GOOD. It was all part of Koman Coulibaly's sinister plan!

The U.S. plays Algeria in a must-win on Wednesday at 10 a.m.

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