Men’s national team coach Jurgen Klinsmann made waves last month by keeping Landon Donovan off the roster for the World Cup qualifying games in June. Klinsmann wanted Donovan to prove he’s still interested in soccer and has the physical tools to play at a high level. Yesterday, the greatest player in USMNT history single-handedly dominated the quarterfinal game against El Salvador and silenced his critics like a boss.
The 31-year-old midfielder recorded three assists and a goal to lead the USMNT to a dominant 5-1 win. He helped get the U.S. on the board in the 28th minute with this excellent pass through traffic to a wide-open Clarence Goodson.
Donovan also had a gorgeous cross to Eddie Johnson which gave the U.S. the lead for good, and netted this goal for himself in the 78th minute.
Donovan’s status for the 2014 World Cup has been up in air due to his own half-hearted attitude. But it seems Donovan — the all-time USMNT leader in goals and assists — has turned a corner and is making it known that he still has a lot of soccer left in him. The point was made most clearly toward the end of the match as he faked out an official and donned a pair of shades that had been thrown on the field.