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Landon Donovan

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World Cup Rewind: U.S. Turns Heads on the World Stage in 2002

When the U.S. Men’s National Team clashes with Germany on Thursday, June 26 (live on ESPN, WatchESPN, ESPN Radio and Univision), memories of the nation’s 2002 World Cup match are sure to come to the surface. The two countries met with a spot in the semifinals on the line, and although the USA fell 1-0, the result was a giant step in the right direction for U.S. Soccer. ussoccer.com caught up with members of the 2002 squad to reminisce on a game that still stands as the furthest the U.S. MNT has ventured in the modern era of the FIFA World Cup.

Games of the Future Past

For its second group game, the U. S. Men’s National Team will battle Portugal in the Arena Amazonia, while immersed in the steamy, jungle conditions of Manaus. The matchup on Sunday, June 22, which is live on ESPN, WatchESPN and Univision, brings up memories of the 2002 FIFA World Cup, when these two combatants met in group play, with the United States knocking off Portugal 3-2. ussoccer.com caught up with players and coaches involved in the 2002 victory to reflect on one of the most memorable days in USMNT history.

Photo Gallery: U.S. MNT Training - May 19, 2014

Photos from the U.S. Men's National Team training camp at Stanford University.

MNT vs. Mexico: Field Level Highlights - April 2, 2014

Field level highlights from The U.S. Men's National Team's 2-2 draw against longtime rival Mexico in front of 59,066 fans at University of Phoenix Stadium.

Post-Game Quote Sheet: MNT vs. Mexico – April 2, 2014

Post-Game Quote Sheet: U.S. MNT vs. Mexico
April 2, 2014

U.S. Men’s National Team midfielder MICHAEL BRADLEY
On match:
“I thought the first half was pretty good. We talked at halftime about understanding what they were going to put in at the beginning of the second half. But obviously just because you talked about it, doesn’t mean we are able to prevent it. They’re still a team that lives off confidence; they get a goal and the crowd gets into it and they start feeling pretty good about themselves. When they get to 2-2, at that point, the game opens up and they can score or we can score. At the end, we deserve to win I think. I think Eddie Johnson’s goal was onside, the play with Julian Green was maybe inside the box, maybe right on the edge, but there was certainly contact. If you look at it from the bigger picture, good game, great atmosphere, good night for the fans, and a good test for us as we move forward toward the summer.”

On the USA’s formation:
“I think one of our strengths is that we have the ability to play in a lot different ways. I didn’t look at it differently tonight, other than you’re playing with a guy, Kyle, who does a good job at taking care of things, being disciplined. So it gives me more freedom to be mobile, to be on the move, to get forward, to get down.”

U.S. Men’s National Team midfielder GRAHAM ZUSI
On the second half:
“For one reason or another, we came out a bit flat, which I can’t tell you why. They were able to get that goal off the set piece, which gave them quite a bit of momentum. Once a team like that picks up momentum, it’s hard to stop them.”

On the team formation:
“I think it depends on who you are playing as well. I think different formations offer different things. If we are playing one forward underneath or two up top, it doesn’t matter, our mentality should stay the same. We have to figure out what the game is giving us, and what is happening as it’s happening.”

On Jurgen Klinsmann’s rotation of players:
“It’s been a pretty solid group for us for a few years now. Different games are going to bring different situations, and we have to adapt to those.”

U.S. Men’s National Team defender OMAR GONZALEZ
On the first goal the USA allowed in the second half to Rafael Marquez:
“On that play, Kyle [Beckerman] and I were talking before and I said they are going to pick me so we have to switch. We just haven’t practiced enough set pieces, and I was picked and we weren’t able to switch. It was a great header by Marquez. Once they scored that goal, they put a lot of pressure on us.”

On his performance:
“I think that overall, I did pretty well – it was just that one corner. I’m happy that this is a friendly and it’s something that I have to keep working on. The only tough part is that you don’t want to be too handsy because you get called for the PK. It’s a little bit tough to manage, but we still have to keep on working hard. Nothing is set in stone, so I have to continue with my head down and keep working hard. I am going back with the Galaxy, hopefully get some wins, and get that call to the camp.”

U.S. Men’s National Team midfielder LANDON DONOVAN
On the match: 
“I felt good tonight. It was nice to get some minutes on the field, obviously. I wanted to start the game, but the circumstances didn’t allow that. It was fun to be a part of. It was another really good game between the two teams. I enjoyed it.”

On how he feels from a health standpoint:
“When I am healthy and healthy enough to train, I train and I train well. This week was tough. I had some tendonitis, so I wasn’t able to move the way I want to. It was good to back off a little bit and still get minutes tonight. I thought was a little bit impactful and helped make a little bit of a difference.”

On how the team played:
“I thought we started well; I thought we were too cautious in the second half. I thought we needed to come out with better energy in the second half keep the pressure on them. I think when they get a goal, their confidence goes up and they’re a different team. We allowed that. We allowed them back in the game.”

U.S. Men’s National Team goalkeeper NICK RIMANDO
On the match: 
“In the first half, we got our chances and we put them away. In the second half, the coach got on them a little bit. They came after us. They got two goals, unfortunately, but we chased for the winner, gave them some opportunities in the end. But, we got a result. We have to improve on that.”

On Mexico coming back for the draw:
“You have a flow in the beginning. I think the coaches want to see some players, see what they can do on the field, so you’re going to make some subs. It takes a little bit for them to get in the rhythm with the players who are already on the field, but I thought they adjusted well. Unfortunately, we couldn’t get the winner at the end.”

On the second half:
“In the second half, toward the end, I think both teams were pushing for the game-winning goal, so there was a lot of room in the midfield. Unfortunately we didn’t get a goal, but we kept it a tie, and that’s a result.”

On Matt Besler and Omar Gonzalez playing together:
“I think they’ve been together for a while now. I think Clarence [Goodson] has played with both. They’re strong in the air; they’re starting, I think, to get really comfortable with each other. With Michael in front of them, it makes it even more comfortable. Always room to improve, and we have a couple more months until the World Cup.”

One of the elite U.S. players and a veteran of three FIFA World Cups, Donovan plays an integral role in the fortunes of the U.S. team. Possessing exceptional skills with both feet and great vision, he has a seemingly endless supply of energy and the ability to unhinge defenses with runs through the midfield. In an international career chock full of records and highlights, Donovan added to the most iconic moments in U.S sports history when he scored the game-winner against Algeria in the 2010 FIFA World Cup that sent the U.S. into the knockout phase and set off frenzied celebrations across the country. Already the top scorer in U.S. history, he is now the USA’s all-time leader in World Cup games played and goals scored. Captaining the LA Galaxy to two consecutive Supporters Shields and the 2011 MLS Cup title, Donovan will complete a second loan spell at Everton in early 2012 before the league season.

  • Holds the all-time record for both U.S. goals scored (46) and assists (47)
  • Scored the last-minute goal against Algeria that gave the U.S. a 1-0 victory and instantly became the most iconic moment in U.S. Soccer history
  • The three-time World Cup veteran is the U.S. leader in World Cup games played (12) and goals scored (five) 
  • A four-time U.S. Soccer Male Athlete of the Year Award winner 
  • In the final round of qualifying, his talents were on full display, where he contributed to 12 of the USA’s 19 goals 
  • Earned his 100th cap against Argentina in June of 2008, becoming the fastest American to ever accomplish that feat and the fourth fastest player in history to reach the century mark for his country
  • Honored as the 2011 MLS Cup MVP in leading the Galaxy to a 1-0 win against Houston, his fourth league title

2012: Scored his third-career hat trick when he potted three in the 5-1 win against Scotland on May 26, earning Budweiser Man of the Match honors ... Felled his archrival Mexico, playing 45 minutes in teh historic 1-0 win on Aug. 15 at Estadio Azteca ... Started the first two qualifiers of the Semifinal Round oagainst Antigua & Barbuda and Guatemala, increasing his team record to 37 caps in World cup Qualifying ... His six appearances were the fewest in a calendar year since 2000 ... 2011: Made an appearance in all six CONCACAF Gold Cup games as the U.S. reached the final for the fourth consecutive time … During the tournament, Donovan reinforced his place at the top of the U.S. goal-scoring and assist records … Notched an assist in the opening game against Canada, setting up Jozy Altidore, then set up Clint Dempsey for the game-winner against Panama that sent the USA to the final … Scored the USA’s second goal in the loss against Mexico and his second goal against Mexico in a Gold Cup Final (2007); at the same time became the U.S. and CONCACAF’s record goal scorer with 13 tallies in the tournament … 2010: Played every minute of every game in the 2010 FIFA World Cup, scoring three times … Became the USA’s all-time leader in World Cup games played (12) and goals scored (five), and is the only U.S. player to score in multiple games in the same World Cup … Delivered the USA’s first goal in the two-goal comeback against Slovenia on June 18 in Johannesburg, roofing a close-range shot from a steep angle … Scored the game-winner in the 92nd minute against Algeria on June 23 that gave the U.S. a 1-0 victory and a spot in the Round of 16 … Converted the penalty for the USA’s lone goal in the overtime loss to Ghana … 2009: Finished with the most minutes played (1,350), most goals (5), most assists (10) and tied for first in games played (15) … Recorded at least one point in eight of 10 final round qualifiers … His 10 assists in a calendar year were a U.S. record and included helping on all three of Altidore’s record-setting goals on April 1 against Trinidad & Tobago … Converted penalties in back-to-back qualifiers, in the 3-1 loss on June 3 in Costa Rica and the 2-1 victory against Honduras in Chicago three days later … His goal in the Confederations Cup final on June 28 against Brazil earned the Best Goal award for the 2009 Best of U.S. Soccer Awards …Set up Charlie Davies for a goal on Aug. 12 in Mexico City, giving the U.S. its first-ever lead at Estadio Azteca … His game-winning free kick strike in the 3-2 victory on Oct. 10 in Honduras booked the USA’s place in the 2010 World Cup …  2008: Became the all-time leading scorer for the U.S. when he converted a penalty kick against Sweden on Jan. 19 at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. … Earned his 100th cap in the memorable 0-0 draw with Argentina on June 8 at Giants Stadium … Became the fourth youngest player in history to reach 100 caps … Began his third World Cup Cycle, starting all five qualifiers he appeared in during 2008 ... Scored a cheeky free-kick against Barbados at The Home Depot Center in June, when he caught the goalkeeper setting up his wall and dumped the ball into the open net … Assisted on DaMarcus Beasley's second goal in the 6-1 rout of Cuba on Oct. 13 at RFK Stadium with a beautiful cross field pass … 2007: His nine goals tied the U.S. mark for most in a single year, and his 23 total points set the record … In his first appearance in 2007, he scored from the penalty spot against Denmark on Jan. 20, setting the pace for a blistering year in terms of scoring … Donovan was on target again against Mexico in February, scoring a fantastic goal after picking the ball up at midfield, splitting the Mexican defense, and rounding the helpless Oswaldo Sanchez before passing it into the empty net … In the next match against Ecuador, he scored one of the best hat tricks in team history, volleying home from 18 yards, scoring from a similar lengthy run just after halftime and drilling a picturesque, 20-yard drive into the top corner later in the game … A member of the 2007 CONCACAF Gold Cup squad that defeated Mexico in the final, this time by the score of 2-1 … He tallied four goals (all from penalties) in the tournament, and was named to the Best XI, along with teammate Frankie Hejduk … His penalty against Mexico took him to 34 career goals for the national team, tying him with Eric Wynalda for the all-time lead … 2006: A member of the 2006 FIFA World Cup squad, his second appearance at the tournament, Donovan started all three games for the United States in Germany … He finished the year tied for the most appearances on the team with 11 and led in minutes played (925) … For the first time in his national team career, he went the whole calendar year without scoring a goal … 2005: Led the team in goals and points for the third year running … One of the stars for the U.S. during final round qualifying, he finished with three goals and four assists in eight matches … In one of his finest performances of the year, he scored a pair in the 3-0 win against Costa Rica on June 4 in Salt Lake … Added the middle goal in the 3-0 win against Panama four days later …Twice set up Eddie Lewis for goals in qualifying, in the 2-1 win on Feb. 9 in Trinidad and the 2-1 loss to Mexico on March 27 in Mexico City … Wore the captain’s armband in the Trinidad match in Hartford … In addition to setting up the game-winner in Trinidad, he did the same June 8 in Panama when his corner kick found the head of Carlos Bocanegra … Scored three goals in the USA’s championship run in the 2005 Gold Cup, including a double off the bench on July 7 against Cuba … One of three U.S. players named to the All-Tournament Team … 2004: Emphatically demonstrating his role as the future leader of the national team, he ended the year with the most minutes played (1,243) and games started (14), and tied for the lead in goals scored (5) … Named Man of the Match four times, including the World Cup qualifying wins against Grenada on June 20, and Panama on Oct. 13 … Scored the first two goals in the Panama match, pacing the U.S. to a 6-0 victory … Totaled four goals and four assists in eight World Cup qualifiers, making him the top point-getter on the team … Recorded a goal or an assist in seven of the eight qualifiers in 2004 … Given the honor of wearing the captain’s armband in the 2-0 qualifying win in El Salvador on Oct 9, he reprised the role for the final two qualifiers against Panama and Jamaica … 2003: His star continued to rise in 2003, bagging seven goals and five assists to top the MNT scoring charts … Recorded 1,244 minutes in 15 games played, best on the team … His two-assist performance against Canada on Jan. 18 earned him the first of three Man of the Match honors … Became the fourth player in MNT history to record four goals in a game during the USA’s 5-0 dismantling of Cuba in the Gold Cup quarterfinal … A wicked, mazy run through the Venezuelan defense on Mar. 29 made Donovan a ussoccer.com Best Goal of 2003 candidate … Added goals against Wales (May 26) and Paraguay (July 6) … 2002: Scored two goals in the 2002 World Cup, including the insurance goal in the 2-0 win against Mexico in the Round of 16 … Was named to the All-World Cup Honorable Mention Team … The only U.S. player to appear in all 20 matches in 2002, he played more minutes (1,563) and started more matches (17) than any other MNT player ... Finished second on the team in scoring with 14 points (six goals, two assists) … Named to the Gold Cup All-Tournament First Team after recording one goal and one assist …Named Man of the Match four times, including the World Cup victory against Mexico … Scored two goals in the 4-0 route of Honduras in Seattle on March 2 … 2001: His first full year with the senior team produced great promise … Played in four qualifiers, starting three … Became part of U.S. Soccer history in the 2-1 qualifying win against Jamaica on Oct. 7 … After a nifty one-two with Claudio Reyna, his clever cut-back in the penalty area against Tyrone Marshall earned the penalty kick that secured the USA’s berth in the 2002 World Cup ... Played the last five matches of 2001 … 2000: Scored a goal in his first appearance in a 2-0 win against Mexico in Los Angeles on Oct. 25 ... Also set up a goal in his first full international match and was named Man of the Match ... 1999: Was called up against Argentina on June 13, 1999, but did not make an appearance in the game ... Under-23s: Was a part of the U-23 squad which missed out on qualifying for the 2004 Athens Olympics after a semifinal loss to Mexico in Guadalajara in CONCACAF qualifying … Appeared in 15 of 20 overall games for the Under-23s in 2000, starting six … Appeared in four matches at the 2000 Olympics off the bench, scoring against Kuwait in a 3-1 win... Had a whopping nine goals and one assist in those 15 games, including four goals in eight internationals ... Scored two clinching goals in the crucial 4-0 win against Guatemala to earn a berth in Sydney ... Also notched a clincher in a 3-1 win against the Armenia Men’s National Team on Jan. 16, 2000 ... Helped the U‑23 team to a bronze medal at the 1999 Pan American Games by appearing in all six matches, starting four ... His first U-23 goal was the game-winner to beat Canada 2-1 in the bronze medal game on Aug. 6, 1999 ... Made his U-23 debut in a 7-0 rout at the hands of a very experienced Brazil team in Brasilia on April 7, 1999 ... Under-20s: Due to national team and club commitments, he played only nine matches with the Under-20s, all in 2001 … Tied for third in scoring with five goals and five assists (15 points) … Scored a goal and had two assists in the USA’s 5-1 win against hosts Trinidad & Tobago at the CONCACAF qualifying tournament … Played every minute of the USA’s four matches at the World Youth Championship in Argentina … Under‑17s: Finished his U-17 career with 35 goals and 16 assists in 41 international appearances, including 12 goals and three assists in just 14 caps in 1999 ... Earned the Gold Ball as the tournament’s most valuable player after leading the U-17s to fourth place at the 1999 FIFA U-17 World Championship in New Zealand ... Scored three goals in the tournament, including the game-winning goal in the opening 2-1 win over host New Zealand (Nov. 10), the game-tying goal in a 1-1 tie with Poland (Nov. 13) and the opening goal in a 2-2 semifinal draw with Australia (Nov. 24) ... Led all goal-scorers with four goals at the 1999 CONCACAF Group B Qualifying Tournament in Montego Bay, Jamaica ... Found the back of the net twice in the USA's historic 4‑3 win against Argentina in Buenos Aires on Feb. 4, 1999 ... Led the U‑17s in goals (23), assists (13) and international appearances (27) in 1998 ... Scored his first international goal in his international debut with the U‑17s on Feb. 13, 1998, a 2-1 loss to Mexico ... First Appearance: Oct. 25, 2000, vs. Mexico ... First Goal: Oct. 25, 2000, vs. Mexico.
2012: Captained the LA Galaxy to its second consecutive MLS Cup title ... His goal in the 65th minute in the 3-1 win against Huston marked his fifth-career tally in MLS Cup, a league record ... had two goals and three assists in five playoff matches ... Finished the regular season with 14 assists, second on teh league charts ... 2011: The Galaxy captain scored a team-high 12 goals in 23 matches and added three assists, with another three goals and one assist in his four Playoffs appearances … Won the 2011 MLS Cup, scoring the game winner in the final against the Houston Dynamo and collecting MVP honors … After missing games in October with a quadriceps injury, returned as a substitute on Oct. 20, to help the Galaxy clinch a spot in the CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinals … Led the Galaxy to their second Supporters Shield in two years …  2010: Tallied 16 assists in 24 matches to lead the league in that category … Added seven goals for the Galaxy, helping them to the 2010 Supporters Shield as the team with the most points in the regular season … Spent 10 weeks at Everton of the English Premier League, making 13 appearances and earning 10 starts … Scored two goals, against Sunderland on Jan. 27 and in his farewell match at home on March 7, against Hull … Started matches against Arsenal, Manchester City, Liverpool and Manchester United … Appeared in two Europa League matches against Sporting Lisbon … 2009: Scored 12 goals while captaining the Galaxy to the playoffs for the first time since 2005 … Led a Galaxy squad that finished as the top seed in the Western Conference playoffs, after last year finishing tied for last in the conference … Named to the MLS All-Star team for the ninth time and earned his third MLS Best XI nomination … Moved on loan to Bayern Munich in a three-month deal that commenced on Jan. 1 … 2008: The Galaxy missed the playoffs for the third straight year during a tough season that saw a coaching change halfway through … Donovan stood out with a personal best 20 goals, giving him the MLS Golden Boot award … Named to the MLS Best XI, he was a finalist for the MVP award as well ... 2007: The Galaxy missed the playoffs for the second straight year in a tumultuous year that saw the arrival of David Beckham … Finished the season with a team-leading eight goals and 13 assists across 25 games … Continued his streak of being named as an MLS All-Star during each of his seven seasons in the league … 2006: Though the Galaxy failed to make the playoffs, Donovan tallied 12 goals and eight assists in 24 regular season appearances … He also scored four times and had one assist during the Galaxy’s Open Cup run where they made it all the way to the final, only to be eliminated by the Chicago Fire … The youngest player voted onto the MLS All-Time Best XI, a list generated as part of the league’s 10th anniversary season … 2005: After leading the San Jose Earthquakes to two MLS Cup titles, he played in Germany briefly before coming back in 2005 to lead the Galaxy to their second MLS Cup title … Personally, the triumph was his third MLS Cup title in five years, adding the U.S. Open Cup to the trophy case as well in 2005 … Went on a tear in the playoffs, netting four goals and one assist … Tallied both goals in the 2-0 win against Colorado on Nov. 5 in the Western Conference Finals … Had a pair in the Galaxy’s 3-1 win against San Jose in the first game of the semifinal round series on Oct. 23 in L.A. … Finished third in the league in scoring with 12 goals and 10 assists in 22 games … Second player in club history to record double-digit goals and assists in the same season … 2004-05: Began the 2005 calendar year at Bayer Leverkusen, making nine appearances that included minutes in both of their Champions League losses to Liverpool in the knockout phase … 2004: Had a somewhat muted season by his standards, posting six goals and ten assists … Voted an All-Star for the fourth straight year … 2003: Capped a remarkable season in 2003 with two goals in the MLS Cup final against Chicago, earning MVP honors … Donovan’s career high 12 goals in just 21 starts made him the Earthquakes’ leading scorer en route to his first Best XI selection … 2002: Made 20 appearances for San Jose in 2002, recording seven goals and three assists  … Played the final seven minutes against Dallas on June 22, less than 12 hours after returning from the World Cup in Korea … 2001: Returned to the U.S. to ply his trade with the Earthquakes … Played in 22 matches, recording seven goals and 10 assists … Scored five goals in six playoff matches to lead all scorers in MLS … Scored the first goal in the ‘Quakes 2-1 overtime victory against LA in MLS Cup … 2000-01: Named to Bayer Leverkusen’s first-team roster at the beginning of the 2000-01 season, but did not make any appearances before being loaned back to MLS ... 1999-2000: Signed a deal with German Bundesliga club Bayer Leverkusen in February 1999, becoming the youngest player in U.S. Soccer history to sign a professional contract overseas … Played on the reserve team in 1999-2000 with fellow American John Thorrington.
High School – Named to the 1999 Parade Magazine High School All‑American Team ... Also earned a 1998 NSCAA Youth All‑American selection ... Transferred to Redlands East Valley High School in 1998, where he tallied 16 goals ... Named the league’s Most Valuable Player in 1997, scoring 17 goals.

Personal –
Serves as an ambassador for the United Against Malaria campaign …His goal and the USA’s win against Algeria chosen as Best Sports Moment at the 2010 ESPYs … Has been featured on the cover of several magazines and made repeated appearances on late night and morning shows on national networks …  House in Manhattan Beach was featured on MTV’s Cribs in early 2006 … Has a twin sister named Tristan, with whom he is extremely close ... His father, Tim, played semi‑pro hockey ... Is a sports video games enthusiast ... Favorite cities are Buenos Aires, Argentina, and Salt Lake City.
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