USA Draw 1-1 With Ecuador in Landon Donovan Farewell
US icon Landon Donovan started the match wearing the captain's armband and played 40 minutes. The game served as his international farewell.
The United States played to a 1-1 draw with Ecuador on Friday in a friendly football match that served as US icon Landon Donovan's international farewell.
Donovan started the match wearing the captain's armband and played 40 minutes.
He started the play that saw Mix Diskerud put the Americans up 1-0 in the fifth minute. Donovan's cross across the goalmouth was collected by Jozy Altidore, who cut a short pass to DeAndre Yedlin, who put the ball into the path of Norwegian-born Diskerud. (Also read: Falcao scores as Colombia beat El Salvador 3-0)
The lead stood up until the 88th minute, when Enner Valencia grabbed the equalizer for Ecuador.
Donovan came close to scoring in the 25th minute, as Diskerud's through ball was backheeled by Altidore toward Donovan, whose attempt bounced off the inside of the post.
But when he jogged off the pitch in the 40th minute, 36,000 fans at Rentschler Field were on their feet, waving their Donovan signs and chanting his name.
"It's been an emotional week," Donovan said. "I'm going to miss this."
However, the 32-year-old said he had no doubt his plans to end his playing career when his Major League Soccer club Los Angeles Galaxy's season concludes is correct.
"Mentally and physically I'm there," he said. "I'm ready. It's been a long haul."
While the cameo offered a chance for longtime fans to say goodbye, and for Donovan to acknowledge their affection, his international career effectively ended in May when USA manager Jurgen Klinsmann left him off the squad for the World Cup in Brazil.
Donovan, whose 57 international goals make him the United States' all-time scoring leader, didn't train with the young US team in the build-up to Friday's match, and Klinsmann continued to sound no more than lukewarm when asked to assess the player who had become the face of football in America.
"I'm looking at Landon always, and I wish, in a certain way, he could have done a bit more here and a bit more there," Klinsmann said.
Donovan says he wasn't aware of tension in his relationship with Klinsmann until he failed to make the final World Cup squad, although pundits like to point at Donovan's decision to take a four-month sabbatical from football from December 2012 to March 2013 as a blow to his chances of figuring in Klinsmann's plans.
Donovan said this week he was suffering from depression when he opted to take time away.
"I was burnt out and getting up and going to training every day was really weighing on me," Donovan told ESPN.
"I never wanted it to be that way. I think a lot of players, a lot of athletes feel that way at times. I think they're scared to say it because it shows perceived weakness."