Landon Donovan’s fact sheet is as long as it is impressive.
The American legend began his soccer career at the age of six, and was later accepted into the U.S. Youth Soccer’s Olympic Development Program at the age of 15. He made his debut for the U.S. Men’s National Team in 2002 where he scored his first international goal against Poland in the 83rd minute. In the same tournament he scored a header against Mexico in the Round of 16. He also won the Best Young Player Award for his appearance in the tournament.
Donovan is the all time leader in scoring and assists for the USMNT and is the only American player to reach a 50/50 mark for assists and goals in international play. He’s scored a total of 57 international goals, only coming in third to Didier Drogba of the Ivory Coast and Miroslav Klose of Germany. His three goals in the 2010 World Cup made him the highest scoring American player in World Cup history.
With five goals in the World Cup, he’s scored more than international stars Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Robin van Persie combined. He’s also had a total of 156 caps, the highest going into the 2014 World Cup. It’ll be interesting to see if Donovan’s omission from the USMNT squad will impact the World Cup Odds on FC Bodog or not.
He helped the United States win the Gold Cup four times and also won the U.S. Soccer Athlete of the Year four times, along with the U.S. Soccer Young Athlete of the Year in 2000. He also won the Honda Player of the Year a record-setting seven times. Donovan won the MVP for the CONCACAF Gold Cup in USMNT’s most recent win in 2013 and was the top Gold Cup scorer in three separate years.
This will be the first World Cup Donovan has missed in 12 years.