CARSON, Calif. – There will be no fourth World Cup for the U.S. National Team’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. The forward will be on Klinsmann’s standby list but will be expected to join his LA Galaxy teammates shortly. The announcement will deny Donovan, who currently leads U.S. Soccer in goals scored (57) and 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 stage.
In the World Cup, the striker from Redlands, California has tallied five goals which is more than international superstars Cristiano Ronaldo, Robin van Persie and Lionel Messi combined. These goals came in some of the most important moments as Donovan scored against Poland and Portugal in the 2002 FIFA World Cup and notched three goals in the 2010 FIFA World Cup against Slovenia, Algeria and Portugal.
But there was one goal was far bigger than all the rest.
ICONIC MOMENT: GOAL AGAINST ALGERIA IN THE 2010 FIFA WORLD CUP
Who can forget Donovan’s epic last minute stoppage time goal against Algeria? His goal remains a true watershed moment for American soccer and the American public as a whole.
The goal came with the U.S. National Team teetering on the brink of elimination from the 2010 World Cup. 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? Celebrations of the goal around the country became viral and ESPN’s Ian Darke’s “Go, Go USA” call drew global acclaim. As national attention swirled around Donovan, MLS and U.S. Soccer, many in the American soccer community went so far as to say that the event was the biggest moment in the history of the sport in this country.
U.S. SOCCER’S ALL-TIME LEADING GOAL SCORER
Simply put there is no player in U.S. Soccer’s 101 year history who put the ball in the back of the net more times than Landon Donovan.
With 57 goals and 58 assists, Donovan led the USMNT time and time again scoring memorable goals in the World Cup, CONCACAF Gold Cup and World Cup qualifying. Whether it was his five goals in the 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup or his two tallies in the Americans’ march to the 2009 Confederations Cup final or countless other matches, Donovan repeatedly lifted the U.S. National Team throughout countless matches.
Now that Donovan will be missing out on the World Cup, we’re left to wonder whether he’ll ever score a goal in a U.S. shirt again.