6. Landon Donovan. I was wrong. I will be the first to admit it.
In 2006, I called him a choke artist. I thought he was all hype, no finish. And then, throughout qualifying games and in every match of the 2010 World Cup, Landon Donovan snapped every insult I ever hurled about him. He was fantastic.
Against Slovenia, he aimed at the keeper’s head and drove one in the ceiling of the goal, something I can’t remember seeing before he did it. This rallied the Yanks to score [twice] one more, on our way to [win] tie against Slovenia.
I don’t even need to describe his goal against Algeria. You saw it. You know. And I will never forget that moment. Or how hard I screamed, the bruises I amassed from jumping off my seat, and the stunned feeling of going from pitiful disappointment to unbridled triumph.
It was more than just the goals, though. Donovan led this team and played relentlessly. If you watched any match for 10 minutes, you would know that Landon Donovan was the best player on the US team. And as hot as Carlos Bocanegra is (see #7), I’m not sure why the captain’s armband isn’t on my man Landon.