Kevin Fixler
    Sport Matters

10 October 2014

Landon Donovan’s Lasting Legacy

A legacy often boils down to numbers.

Let’s start with 10. That’s the number Landon Donovan, arguably America’s greatest soccer player of all time, will be wearing when he suits up for the U.S. men’s national team for the last time on Friday in a friendly against Ecuador. Coach Jürgen Klinsmann already said he would captain the squad, start the match and probably play about 30 minutes.

Whether Donovan is the best player to come out of the U.S. is a debate you can have with your friends, but his overall impact on the sport in the country is difficult to deny. National interest in soccer has risen dramatically since he guided the team to deep runs at the World Cup in both 2002 and 2010, and was also the chief figure of the 2006 side that successfully qualified. Yes, Donovan was contentiously left off the 2014 roster by Klinsmann, but his influence has been so great that that decision was the story surrounding the team in most of the buildup to the tournament.

Backing up though for a moment, there’s the No. 3, the single digit on Donovan’s mind on a temperate Wednesday night in late August. It’s the number of points he helped secure for his MLS team the Los Angeles Galaxy after an improbable, come-from-behind victory at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Denver, the soccer-specific home of the Colorado Rapids.

It was vintage Donovan.

Read more about Landon Donovan’s swan song at Sports On Earth.

Follow me on Twitter: @kfixler

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