CARSON, Calif. – There will be no fourth World Cup for U.S. Soccer’s leading goal scorer Landon Donovan.
Donovan, 32, was not named to U.S. National Team head coach Jurgen Klinsmann’s 23-man roster for the upcoming 2014 FIFA World Cup. However, the forward will have an opportunity to join his Galaxy teammate after being named as a stand-by list. The announcement will deny Donovan, who currently leads U.S. Soccer in goals scored (57), assists (58), the chance at adding to his tally of five World Cup goals.
But before we wonder what is next for Donovan, let’s look back at some of Donovan’s greatest accomplishments as the face of U.S. Soccer.
FIVE GOALS IN THE FIFA WORLD CUP
There’s no secret that Landon Donovan has always shined brightest on the biggest stages.
In the World Cup, the striker from Redlands, California has starred by tallying five goals which is more than international superstars Cristiano Ronaldo, Robin van Persie and Lionel Messi combined. The goals all came in the most important moments as Donovan tallied goals in World Cup goals against Poland and Portugal in the 2002 FIFA World Cup as well as three goals in the 2010 FIFA World Cup against Slovenia, Algeria and Portugal.
ICONIC MOMENT: ALGERIA
But who can forget his epic last minute stoppage time goal against Algeria, a goal that remains a true watershed moment for American soccer and the American public as a whole.
The goal came with the U.S. teetering on the brink of elimination as the U.S. heaved numbers forward in hopes of breaking the scoreless deadlock. The moment appeared to come slowly for Donovan who was able to smash home a deflection in the penalty area to send the Americans through to the knockout stages for the first time since 2002.
Who could forget where they were when that moment came? As national attention swirled around Donovan, MLS and U.S. Soccer. Some even going as far to say that the event could have been the biggest moment in the history of American soccer.
Now what's next for Donovan?
Share your thoughts below.
In 2014, the world class talents of Robbie Keane are clearly apparent, after all, just look at his stunning goal against FC Dallas on Wednesday, but in 2002, the Irish striker was still a young up-and-coming talent before he truly burst onto the global scene with a goal in the 2002 FIFA World Cup against eventual finalist Germany.
In the latest edition of MLSsoccer.com's World Cup Memories segment, Robbie Keane reflects upon his goal.
Down 1-0 to Germany in stoppage time, Irish outside back Steve Finnan fired a long-ball forward into the penalty area that Niall Quinn headed onto the path of the chagring Keane, who chested the ball down, evaded a German defender, and then fired a right-footed shot past legendary goalkeeper Oliver Kahn.
Ireland would advance to the knockout stages in second place of Group E before falling to Spain in penalties. Germany charged toward the final -- defeating Bruce Arena, Landon Donovan and the United States in the quarterfinals -- before falling to eventual champions Brazil. Prior to Ronaldo's brace in the final, Keane's goal was the only other goal that Kahn conceded during the entire tournament.
As Keane reflects on his memorable goal, the legacy that it leaves is not lost on the Irish striker.
"As a kid growing up, collecting sticker books and watching the team [Republic of Ireland], I remember the 1994 World Cup in America when Ray Houghton scored that goal against Italy when he lobbed the goalkeeper," Keane told MLSsoccer.com. "That moment was special, certainly a moment you'll never forget. And for me now, as a player, in years to come hopefully the other players say they remember that goal Robbie Keane scored in 2002."
Watch the video of Keane below and check out that familiar cartwheel celebration.
LA Galaxy forward Landon Donovan is currently away on international duty but before he departed for U.S. National Team, he spoke with SB Nation in an interesting interview about his hopes to make the U.S. World Cup roster.
LA Galaxy center back Omar Gonzalez is expected to be among the 30 players named to U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann for his preliminary World Cupr roster and in the latest episode of the "brazuca Around the World" series by adidas, he discusses the team's motivation heading into Brazil.
Check out the short video below.
Mexico unveiled their 23-man roster for the 2014 FIFA World Cup and headlining the squad is former New York Red Bulls defender and frequent nemesis of the U.S. National Team Rafael Marquez.
El Tri head coach Miguel Herrera named his squad on Friday which includes Manchester United forward Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez, Villarreal attacker Giovani Dos Santos, Ajaccio goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa, California-born Toluca midfielder Isaac Brizuela, and of course, Marquez. The 2014 World Cup will be the fourth for the Mexico captain, who is expected to become the first player to captain a nation at four World Cups.
Although Marquez is no longer the player who was a star at FC Barcelona years ago, LA Galaxy head coach and former U.S. national team boss Bruce Arena believes that he’s still vital for Mexico.
“At his age, they’re highly dependent on his experience more than anything. He’s not no-longer a great one-on-one defender, but he has experience so if he can fit in their system and communicate and organize a team then he’s extremely important. They’ve gotten surprisingly good play out of him in the last year and he’s a competitive and fiery player.
“It’s hard for me to say this, but I wish him the best," Arena added. "He’s been good for the rivalry between the U.S. and Mexico because without him, we wouldn’t have had some of the excitement that we’ve had."
Another one of Marquez’s traditional adversaries Landon Donovan agreed with Arena’s assessment about the former Red Bulls man’s importance to El Tri.
“They’ve been a better team with him. I think a big problem for them last year when they went through their struggles was their lack of leadership. They didn’t have guys on the field that you could really lean on. He’s been very helpful them,” said Donovan. “He’s not nasty. Like a lot of players, sometimes he loses his head a little bit, but he’s always been relatively respectful after the whistle, but he has moments like all of us.”
Mexico’s full squad is below.
GOALKEEPERS: Jesus Corona (Cruz Azul), Guillermo Ochoa (Ajaccio), Alfredo Talavera (Toluca)
DEFENDERS: Rafa Marquez (Leon), Diego Reyes (Porto), Miguel Layun (America), Paul Aguilar (America), Andres Guardado (Leverkusen), Hector Moreno (Espanyol), Francisco Rodriguez (America), Carlos Salcido (Tigres UANL)
MIDFIELDERS: Carlos Pena (Leon), Hector Herrera (Porto), Isaac Brizuela (Toluca), Marco Fabian (Cruz Azul), Juan Carlos Medina (America), Luis Montes (Leon), Jose Juan Vazquez (Leon)
FORWARDS: Javier Hernandez (Manchester United), Giovani dos Santos (Villarreal), Raul Jimenez (America), Alan Pulido (Tigres), Oribe Peralta (Santos Laguna)
ESPN's award-winning series 30 for 30 took an inside look at the U.S. National Team's road to Brazil in their upcoming feature series that looks into the team's 100 days of preparation before the 2014 FIFA World Cup.
Check out the ESPN trailer, which features Landon Donovan and Omar Gonzalez below.
By this time next week, the U.S. National Team's preparations for the 2014 FIFA World Cup will truly begin in earnest as the 30-man preliminary squad descends on Stanford, Calif. for a two-week training camp.
In an interview with MLSsoccer.com, head coach Jurgen Klinsmann discusses how he will select his squad for the camp at Stanford University. Watch below.
I'll have my very own 23 man roster projection later today.
CARSON, Calif. – The LA Galaxy are still awaiting an update on the injury status of Omar Gonzalez, but head coach Bruce Arena told reporters on Tuesday that he feels strongly that the left knee issue will be short-term and not cost him a chance to suit up for the U.S. at the 2014 FIFA World Cup.
Gonzalez suffered the injury in the closing moments of the first half of LA’s 1-0 defeat to the Colorado Rapids last Saturday and was substituted at the half due to precautionary measures. When asked by reporters on Tuesday if the team had an update on Gonzalez, Arena stated that the team did not have one at the moment.
“We’re going to talk to the doctors today and find out a little bit more,” said the Galaxy manager. “It’s a very short term issue and he’s going to be fine.
“We’re doing everything to be safe with Omar and if we have anything to say, we’ll say it at the proper time. I feel very strongly that this is a short term issue and he’ll be fine,” Arena added.
“Mentally, a player with a full calendar of things ahead is very precautious. He’s going to be fine. There is nothing long term with this injury, I can promise you that.”
Whether or not Gonzalez will suit up for the Galaxy for their match against the Portland Timbers on May 11 at Providence Park remains to be seen. The match is expected to be the final game for Gonzalez and LA teammate Landon Donovan before they depart for the U.S. National Team pre-World Cup camp in Stanford, Calif. on May 14.
However, Arena admitted that it was unlikely that the turf conditions at Providence Park will play a role on whether or not he suits up for the Galaxy on Saturday.
“If Omar is good to go to go then he’ll go. If he’s not then he won’t, it’s that simple,” said Arena. “I don’t think that it’s the turf. All things being equal, maybe [the turf] would play a role, but right now, we’ll take it day by day and we’re going to talk to the doctors to make sure that we’re moving along in the right way.”
The Copa America is coming to the United States.
CONCACAF and their South American counterparts CONMEBOL announced at a press conference in Miami on Thursday that the “2016 Copa America Centenario” which is the 100th edition of tournament will take place at venues across the United States from June 3-26. The “Centenario” will include 10 countries from South America and six nations from CONCACAF.
The U.S. and Mexico will both be entered in the tournament and be joined by the 2014 Central American Cup and 2014 Caribbean Cup champions as well as two of the four semifinalists in the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup. Although the matches will not take place on official FIFA dates, CONMEBOL president Eugenio Figueredo told reporters that both organizations are attempting to work with FIFA for the dates to be recognized by the global soccer body by the time the tournament starts.
No venues have been announced yet with interested cities encouraged to bid to host matches, but according to a report by the Miami Herald’s Michelle Kaufmann, the Rose Bowl in Pasadena is one of the venues that is being considered to host matches.
Thoughts on the tournament?
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In the latest ad for the 2014 FIFA World Cup, LA Galaxy forward Landon Donovan is featured among other titans of world soccer in a new commercial by Gatorade that has a bit of a Disney feel to it.
Check it out below but preferably before midnight so you don't turn into a pumpkin.