World Cup Soccer: USA vs. Algeria

Today's stakes couldn't be higher, and the objective couldn't be more straightforward: win and move on; lose and go home. That's the scenario facing the two favorites in Group C. The U.S. is coming off a controversial 2-2 draw with Slovenia, when a potential winning goal was disallowed by the ref. Their opponent is Algeria, which held England to a scoreless draw last Friday. The so-far hapless Brits face Slovenia, the surprising group leader. The U.S. holds the tie-breaker (goals scored) for now. The matches kick off simultaneously, at 7 a.m. Where to watch? There's a new community gathering place in Columbia City that's become a great scene to watch soccer. Open less than a year, the Empire Espresso Bar is showing all matches live on a 47-inch flat-screen TV, and it's been drawing large, enthusiastic crowds. There's a small but strong menu (with beer and wine!), specializing in locally sourced foods: baked goods from Macrina, coffee from Seattle Coffee Works, and chocolate from Chocolati. And don't pass on the panini. Do you need an added incentive for dropping by this weekend for the Round of 16 matches? How about buttermilk brown-sugar waffles. Owner Tino Ganacias, a Garfield High School and Starbucks alum, knows his neighborhood, knows his coffee, and knows his soccer. (Also see our ever-expanding list of worthwhile soccer bars all during the Cup.) MICHAEL MAHONEY

Wed., June 23, 7 a.m.-9 p.m., 2010

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