Aug 7, 2014, 3:33 PM EDT
A USMNT and American soccer legend, Landon Donovan got his start in a US uniform when he was just a teenager, back in 2000, and saw his international career stretch from that point until his World Cup exclusion a couple months ago.
After the MLS year is over, he’s done for good, retired from both club and presumably country, so let’s take a look back at some of his most fantastic moments representing the Stars and Stripes.
5. 2009 Confederations Cup Final–Donovan Goal Give U.S. 2-0 Lead Over Brazil
Facing a mighty Brazilian squad in the 2009 Confederations Cup final, Donovan spearheaded a counter attack, and gathering the ball near the edge of the box, he made an excellent cut to bury a left-footed finish past Julio Cesar. Brazil stormed back, and the U.S. ended up losing this game, 3-2, but nevertheless, Donovan was effective.
4. 2010 World Cup–Donovan Mounts Comeback vs. Slovenia
Down 2-0 to Slovenia in the 2010 World Cup group stage, Donovan struck a spectacular finish top-shelf, with legitimately no angle available to him. Michael Bradley scored a second goal, and the United States fought their way back for a 2-2 tie to avoid what would have been a disheartening loss.
3. 2002 World Cup–Young Donovan Blasts a Header for 2-0 Lead
Eddie Lewis delivered a great cross to Landon Donovan, who met it with his header for a textbook goal, and the U.S. beat 2-0 in the USMNT star’s first World Cup appearance when he was still basically a kid. There were special expectations for Donovan, even then.
2. 2014 World Cup Qualifiers–Mexico Winner
This moment was so special because it marked Landon Donovan’s last impact on the United States, since he wasn’t included in the World Cup roster. Donovan’s sliding, close-range shot iced the 2-0 victory over Mexico and qualified the U.S. for Brazil.
1. 2010 World Cup–Donovan Stoppage-Time Goal vs. Algeria
It was a great, fast counter attack against the tired legs of Algeria, and a good play to get the ball on net by Clint Dempsey. Donovan helped lead the development, trailed perfectly and sat in perfect position for the tap-in score, sending the U.S. past the group stage in dramatic fashion. It was vintage, clutch Donovan.
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