Landon Donovan: Still America’s Very Best
In a game the USA felt they absolutely had to win after a 3-1 road loss to Costa Rica four nights prior, the USA managed to defeat Mexico 2-0 for the fourth straight Hexagonal from Columbus, Ohio.
One man played with a severe case of pink eye and still managed to score the second goal on the night. He wears the no. 10 and is about to participate in his fourth straight World Cup next summer: Landon Donovan. He was considered an American hero before last night, but now, he should be considered a superhero.
That long sabbatical he took really brought back his love for the beautiful game. Whether he has scored and earned victories for his L.A. Galaxy or if he has been ruling the field internationally, Donovan has made his case as the very best American player … possibly in history.
In 2009, he led the United States to the Confederation’s Cup Final against Brazil. In 2002, he led the nation to the quarter-finals of the World Cup. In 2010, he scored the game-winning goal against Algeria to cement their place in the Round of 16.
Donovan makes the right choices on and off the ball, which makes him a leader on the field. He never tries to overdo it with the ball at his feet. If he loses it, he runs back trying to regain possession. If he is pressured, he will either perform the right skill move or pass the ball to the open teammate. He somehow inspires the rest of his teammates to play at their very best level, which is why this team is winning games.
Next summer, Donovan should be considered captain of the team as he is one of two players (the other being Michael Beasley) who will play in his fourth WC tournament. No other American will be able to say that in the near future besides them.