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Donovans career not only quantified by numbers

He didn't have the huge send-off game performance, instead he just enjoyed his night, his moment, and the end of a career that will never be forgotten.

He didn’t have the huge send-off game performance, instead he just enjoyed his night, his moment, and the end of a career that will never be forgotten.

Landon Donovan did not have the storybook end to his international career. He did not have a night to remember scoring goals. He did not perform in such a way that his teammates carried him off the field on their shoulders. Instead Donovan enjoyed a standing ovation as he was called off the field one last time wearing the red, white and blue stripes and listened to fans chanting “Thank You Landon!”

In the fifth minute Donovan did contribute to the team’s only goal in the 1-1 draw to Ecuador. He ran down the left side line with the ball just barely still in play, cross to the far right post to Jozy Altidore, who failed to connect but he got it back a few meters to DeAndre Yedlin. The 21-year-old then went back and found Mix Diskerud 12-yards out in the middle of the field, who ripped the shot into the right side.

Ecuador was able to tie the game in the 88th minute when Enner Valencia curled a shot taken from outside the penalty area around a defender and bounced it into the net.

Donovan had a chance to get a goal in the game. In the 25th minute he ran onto a backheel pass from Jozy Altidore but the right-footed shot hit the post and could not beat Maximo Banguera, Ecuador’s goalkeeper, to the rebound.

Donovan was taken out of the game just 16 minutes later, it was the end to the career of the most-accomplished national team player ever.

With 157 international appearances Donovan ranks just behind Cobi Jones’ 164 for second place all time but his 57 career goals and 58 assists are both the best ever.

Before the game U.S. Soccer Federation President Sunil Gulati presented Donovan with a collage of 19 jersey’s from his career.

When Donovan walked off the field he handed the captain’s arm band to Altidore and exchanged a brief handshakw with Jurgen Klinsmann, who controversially left him off the World Cup roster in may, denying Donovan his fourth trip to the event.

It does not matter if Donovan’s storybook career did not have the great ending we all want. He did not need the Derek Jeter walk-off hit to say he was the best US soccer player ever.

It is very clear that the US men’s soccer team is trending up and the talent level is raising but Donovan was the beginning to it. Without him and his ability to captivate the American audience and get them interested in soccer like he has Team USA might still be the after thought it was. That sort of accomplishment could never be quantified by goals, appearances, or trips to the World Cup, it can only be remembered.

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Corey Johns

Editor in Chief
You could say Corey was born to become a sports journalist. His father won a national championship coaching college soccer. His mother is a baseball fanatic who hasn't missed seeing an Orioles game since 1983 (literally, sometimes it's annoying). His great uncle was a big-time boxing promoter and his maternal grandfather was once a department head at the Baltimore Sun. Basically, sports and journalism run through his blood. He played just about every little league sports there was when he was a kid and was a multi-sport athlete in high school; even playing in the first-ever high school sanction Rugby game in the country. Eventually he retired from sports as an undefeated Maryland state Rugby champion as a high school senior. Perhaps lack of athletic talent has more to do with the retirement, but he will tell you that it more had to do with a great desire to jump right into media. Upon his graduation from University of Maryland, Baltimore County as a triple communications major, Corey started the So Much Sports network and has continued to grow his websites and continues to work to make them premier sports media outlets.

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