Monday, June 22, 2009
Landon Donovan has seen his share of the good and the bad with U.S. Soccer in the last decade with Sunday's result against Egypt one of the highlights.

With so many international matches under his belt, the veteran forward knows to guide his words wisely when describing the play of the USMNT which made his comments in the wake of Sunday's inspiring victory over Egypt all the more telling.

"We're just really proud of how we did," Donovan told YA following the 3-0 victory. "I'm a very proud American and this is one of the things Americans are capable of. We have a spirit that alot of people don't, and we showed it tonight."

The win over Egypt gave the Red, White and Blue their only points in Group B play, however the Los Angeles Galaxy man dutifully pointed that he and his teammates perhaps deserved a similar reward against Italy.

"Tonight was similar to the Italy game, but the result was different," continued the native Californian. "People will say that it was so much better, but we actually played quite well in the Italy game. We played a man down against Italy for 60 minutes and were undone by a poor decision on the referee's part."

Donovan and his teammates were in the unique position of playing while receiving updates from the sidelines on the concurrent Italy-Brazil game.

Amid the celebrations of the two U.S. second half goals, the all-time national team goalscorer was still unsure whether the 'Nats had secured a spot in the next round.

"We knew it was 3-0 at halftime of the Brazil-Italy game so after our third goal I went over and made sure it was still the same. I had just the occasional glance at the sidelines and I think that had Italy pulled a goal back, they would have let us know quickly," continued Donovan.

"Even at the final whistle, we weren't positive and weren't for sure if the games was over, but we saw everybody celebrating so we assumed it was safe to celebrate."

After polishing off one challenge, another monumental task awaits head coach Bob Bradley's team as they take on world number one Spain who has not lost an international match since 2006.

The reigning European champions squared off against the U.S. last summer on the Iberian Peninsula in a friendly which saw the hosts emerge victorious. Though the the former Bayern Munich loanee was not on the field that night in Santander, he knows a similar challenge will be in store on Wednesday.

"We played pretty well at that game. Spain is a good team and a big challenge so it's going to be fun. We're looking forward to it and we're going for it," added Donovan.

The U.S. will face off against Spanish head coach Vincente del Bosque's squad on Wednesday evening in Bloemfontein.
David R.
Monday June 22, 2009 4:17 pm
Good that Donoban is happy, but doesn't he understand that if the U.S. played its best players, he would be happy much more often in important matches?

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