His name will go down in the history books as the first true leader of the American soccer revolution. He is the one that made it stick, made the skeptics believe that a country once thought of as so “anti-soccer” (anti-football – ed) could become a soccer nation. Not just a soccer nation, but eventually a footballing power house, one that makes the giants of the sport take notice. He not only legitimized the mens national team, but also the domestic league.
Please don’t misunderstand, there are many great men and women who maybe made more substantial contributions to the growth of the sport in America. He certainly wasn’t the first to make a domestic and global impact on the pitch, maybe not even the best, but he made the skeptics believe. His name is Landon Donovan, and he is an American soccer hero.
Team of the Weekend
Game of the Weekend
LA Galaxy 2-2 San Jose Earthquakes- A run-n-gun match that would have made Paul Westphal proud, the Galaxy took the most shots; 24, with nine on target, but San Jose were more clinical with a 100% shot accuracy. Los Angeles also dominated possession, a massive 70%, yet the Quakes countered with a bend not break defense that intercepted the ball 14 times, made a whopping 53 clearances and blocked nine of LA’s shots towards goal. This was also, of course, the Golden Boy’s first match since announcing his impending retirement from pro ball. Was it a fitting result to compare with Donovan’s career?
Surprise of the Weekend
Real Salt Lake 3-0 DC United- This is ranked as a surprise result because of the way Real dominated DC United from beginning to end of the ninety minutes. Real had 18 shot attempts to DC’s seven, a passing success rate of 87%, and held Eddie Johnson and company to only two legitimate shots on net. Real was on top from the off scoring in the 11th minute with Joao Plata heading in a neat cross from Luke Mulholland. DC United’s defense seemed uninterested in defending the cross, and that was a theme that carried on throughout their match. Real’s second goal came only two minutes later when United’s defense was once again caught snoozing. A quick witted nutmeg pass from Javier Morales met the side foot of Chris Schuler. The Real Salt Lake defender also scored the third and final goal of the night, this time with his head from a corner that DC’s defense seemed bored with trying to defend.
His name will go down in the history books as the first true leader of the American soccer revolution, Landon Donovan, announced his retirement from professional soccer and the end of this MLS season.
Saturday afternoon’s Real Salt Lake and Seattle six pointer should be a fine one pitting teams one and two in the Western conference against each other. In America it can be watched on NBCSN at 2:30pm EST. Viewers can also watch a late night affair on Friday night as the Dynamo welcome the Union to their home, but will be less than hospitable no doubt. This can also be watched in America on NBCSN, kick-off is at 9pm EST.