Landon Donovan is undoubtably the greatest soccer player to ever put on a United States jersey. He will do just that one final time on October 10, when the Yanks take on Ecuador in an international friendly. The match will be played in East Hartford, Connecticut.
Sure, this will be an important fixture for the young Americans that coach Jurgen Klinsmann brings into the squad, but more importantly, the day will be about the US’ number 10. For 14 years, Landon Timothy Donovan has provided Americans with some of the greatest thrills that one can possibly experience when watching football.
The Los Angeles Galaxy forward has scored more goals than any other American, tallying 57 in his 156 appearances. Besides his time in the US, Donovan has played in both Germany and England. Germany is actually where he began his professional career, after signing with Bayer Leverkusen at the age of 17.
His accolades are endless, hoisting the MLS Cup trophy five times with two different California clubs, where he was born and still lives. Donovan has helped the United States win four CONCACAF Gold Cups, North America’s biggest competition for football. He was on the squad that shocked Spain in 2009, en route to second place in the Confederations Cup.
Most importantly, Landon Donovan provided us with the greatest moment in United States football history. When he scored the goal that sent the Americans through to the Round of 16 in 2010, I’m almost certain that there were chills running through everyone’s bodies. I know there were for me. Legendary soccer commentator Ian Darke call absolutely encapsulated the sheer joy in which every American watching the game was feeling.
When Donovan steps out onto Rentschler Field for the last time, he will hear the roar of the sell-out crowd. His stint with the national team will finally be over, but certainly not forgotten. The Yanks have a bright future, full of young talented players, but there will never be another Landon Donovan.