Landon Donovan Quick Facts
International Appearances – 122
International Goals – 42
Donovan has played for clubs in three different countries
Born in Ontario, California (Currently 28 years old)
Plays from the Forward position
Height = 5′ 8″, Weight = 158 Lbs.
Landon Donovan’s Youth Career
Landon Donovan has been a prominent force on the American soccer scene (or football, for any of you reading this from across the pond) since his inception into the US soccer system. In 1999 while playing in the FIFA U-17 Championships, he earned the Gold Ball award as the tournament’s most valuable player, and ultimately led the US team to a 4th place finish in the tournament. He finished his USA youth career with a stellar 35 goals and 16 assists in 41 CAPs.
Landon Donovan’s International Career
From the time Donovan came onto the scene on the adult stage, America knew it had quite a talented player. In his very first career game with the US men’s national team on October 25, 2000 he scored a goal against Mexico to further solidify everyone’s assumptions of his talent.
Perhaps the first real example of his brilliance on a large stage came in a 2-1 World Cup qualifying win over Jamaica where he hooked up with teammate Claudio Reyna on a key pass which lead to a penalty kick. The penalty kick cemented America’s place in the 2002 World Cup.
In 2004 he got his first opportunity to wear the USA captain’s armband, and with good reason. Until that match against El Salvador, he had tallied four goals and four assists in eight World Cup qualifying matches, along with the most minutes played out of anyone else on the squad – 1,243.
In 2006 he got his second taste of the World Cup at the age of 24, but along with the USA as a team didn’t perform to expectations. In 2007 and 2008 he started to shine once again. In the CONCACAF Gold Cup in 2007, he was named to the Best XI (or the “all-star” team for anyone who is still learning the accolades of soccer) and tied US soccer legend Eric Wynalda as the leading goal scorer in USA history with 34 goals. In 2008 he would eclipse that mark with a penalty kick goal against Sweden. Also in 2008, he earned his 100th career CAP in a 0-0 draw against one of the best teams in the world, a fabulous Argentinean team.
Landon Donovan’s 2009 international career included the most minutes played (1,350 minutes in 15 games), and a 2010 World Cup berth with a win over Honduras. The 2009 Confederations Cup, held in South Africa showed promise from Donovan as well as the American team. Donovan scored against Italy and Brazil, and the US squad was beating heavily favored Brazil until late in the match.
Landon Donovan’s Club Career
Landon Donovan’s club career has stretched out over the course of 10 years, beginning in 1999 with German Bundesliga side Bayern Leverkusen. Although he only appeared with Bayern Leverkusen in seven matches, he was loaned out to the San Jose Earthquakes over the course of four years. Over those four seasons, he had 87 appearances with 32 goals. In 2005, he signed with MLS squad Los Angeles Galaxy. In 129 appearances, he scored 65 times all over the course of four years. Technically although he still with the LA Galaxy, he was loaned out to German Bundesliga squad Bayern Munich and English Premier side Everton. Everton was very set on keeping him in England, but the Galaxy would not have it, and he returned to the Galaxy in time for the beginning of the 2010 MLS season. His two stints in Germany have been viewed as somewhat of a failure, but his time spent in England was generally regarded fairly successful.
Landon Donovan in the Media
Although soccer in America is far from the level of importance that it is in other countries, there has been a pretty decent surge in American’s involvement and interest with soccer. In the time that soccer has become more prominent in America, Donovan has been widely regarded as the face of American soccer. He’s even appeared on a couple of well known programs in America such as Sportscenter and this pretty humorous commercial for Sportscenter.
Landon Donovan in the 2010 World Cup
We won’t know anything about the 2010 World Cup until it actually starts, but it’s no secret that Donovan’s going to have to have a good World Cup for America to have any amount of success. In 2006 America disappointed many fans and themselves with an early exit and a sub-par tournament, so in 2010 the eyes are going to be on the prize.