United States leading scorer of all time, Landon Donovan will march down to South African soil for the 2010 FIFA World Cup to redeem himself and the pride of USA after having an embarrassing stint in the 2006 edition of the most prestigious tournament in the World of Soccer.
At the young age of 28, “Captain America” has already garnered 124 caps and 42 goals. He has already bagged the US Honda Player of the Year Honor six times in his career which cemented him as one of the country’s greatest football players.
Carrying the burden of being United’s States primary player, Donovan always rises to the occasion and the scoring king of USA also became the all-time assist leader and most capped active player in USA’s history.
The Ontario native started playing in a small league in their area when he was just six years old and he was able to score six goals in his first game. That performance is somewhat a prophecy of how great he would become in the next two decades. In 1997, he was named to the US Youth Soccer Olympic Development Program. And two years later, Donovan went on to train with IMG Soccer Academy – an arm of the US Soccer’s training course.
In the latter part of 1999, he signed a deal and played for the German club Bayern Leverkusen but after two years of frustration, he was loaned to play in the Major League Soccer in 2001 for the San Jose Earthquakes. He was able to find his rhythm with that team and was cited as one of the country’s most successful young athletes after leading his team to two MLS crowns in 2001 and 2003. He tallied a total of 32 goals and 29 assists in his four-year stint with San Jose and was hailed as the US Soccer Athlete of the Year in 2003. A year later, he posted another record when he was once again named as the US Soccer Athlete of the Year to become the first ever player to bag that award for two consecutive years.
He was once again used by Bayern but he expressed his interest in going back to San Jose. Instead, he ended up playing for his hometown team, the Los Angeles Galaxy.
His first season in Galaxy proved that Donovan really deserves to be tagged as one of the greatest athletes in history after leading his team to a title conquest in Major League Soccer. However, his feat was overshadowed when Galaxy signed superstar David Beckham who was immediately named as the team captain and Donovan was relegated to the Vice Captain post.
The year 2009 was one of the brightest of his career because he was named as the MLS Most Valuable Player and also the MLS Goal of the year. He once again gave the Los Angeles Galaxy a championship title in that same year.
The USA National Football Team headed by their team captain Carlos Bocanegra kicked off their campaign against one of the tournament favorites, England. Nothing was expected for them in that game but they were able to stand toe-to-toe with England and the game ended in a 1-1 surprising draw. England’s Steven Gerrard and USA’s Clint Dempsey scored the goal of their respective teams.
After a good performance in their first game, the USA National displayed resiliency in their match against the Slovenian National Team. USA’s chances were so dim when they let Slovenia have a 2-0 lead but Landon Donovan will not be going down without a fight. He launched an incredible shot to give USA their first goal of the match and gave his team the spark they badly needs. The game ended in 2-2 draw after Michael Bradley scored another goal in the 82nd minute of the game. USA’s two outings in the World Cup both ended in a draw but they will still one of the dark horses in this year’s tournament because they have such talented players like “Captain America” Landon Donovan.