Hard to think of a 34-year-old as one of the inexperienced internationals on the roster, but with his two caps Alan Gordon is just that. While his national team experience is limited, his role – and his value – as a late-game substitute and a supportive teammate is clear. And it’s one that he has used his MLS career to master.
In fact, the veteran LA Galaxy striker sits second to only Jeff Cunningham for most strikes by a substitute in MLS all-time with 20 career goals off the bench.
Every player wants to play and Gordon admits he was no different.
“I think somewhere in my career I had to change my mentality of not getting disappointed when I wasn’t part of the starting group and actually looking forward to being a sub and taking on that role wholeheartedly and being committed to it.”
The results have justified the shift in attitude. Since 2012, Gordon has scored 27 goals, 13 of which came when he substituted into at match.
Though his time on the field with the MNT has been brief, Gordon showed the ability to affect a match of the bench at the international level as well, serving up a 90th minute assist on Eddie Johnson’s game-winner in the MNT’s 2-1 World Cup Qualifying victory at Antigua & Barbuda in October 2012.
“Whatever the situation, I’ve learned to stay focused on the game and to be prepared for when I come in and hopefully make a difference.”