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World Cup: U.S. players feel fans' support

June 23, 2010 |  5:41 pm

When Landon Donovan broke down after scoring the game-winning goal to beat Algeria on Wednesday, sending the U.S. on to the second round of the World Cup for just the third time, Coach Bob Bradley, placed his arm gently around Donovan's shoulder to console him.

WorldCuplogo Then a few minutes later it was Bradley's voice that appeared to catch as he described the scene as the team bus made the final turn into aging Loftus Versfeld Stadium in Pretoria.

"One of the nicest things tonight was when we were coming to the stadium, the street was lined with U.S. supporters, waving flags, dressed up, chanting 'U-S-A', knocking on the bus," he said. "We don't always have that. To have that in the World Cup in South Africa, I think I can speak on behalf of all the players, that was a really special feeling."

Four years ago U.S. soccer received approximately 40,000 requests for World Cup tickets -- more than than they got for the 2002, 1998 and 1990 tournaments combined. This year they sold 136,500 World Cup tickets, according to FIFA.

"To finish tonight with a great win to go hand in hand with the kind of support we do have, that shows that we are making big steps," Bradley said.

-- Kevin Baxter reporting from Pretoria, South Africa