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Donovan will play for Team USA one last time

Donovan will play for Team USA one last time

Posted by Liliana Castaño on August 27, 2014

On October 10th, retiring American soccer legend Landon Donovan will play his final game for the United States in a friendly against Ecuador in East Hartford, Conn.

It’s a fitting send-off game for the one American player whose career warrants one.

What’s also nice is that the game isn’t just an exhibition match set up to honor Donovan — it’s an international friendly between two teams that just competed in the World Cup. The competition level will be high(ish).

 Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports

Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports

 

There are some cynical opinions about why U.S. soccer decided to honor Donovan with the match, which was scheduled two weeks before they announced Donovan would be playing in it. Some feel that lagging ticket sales might have prompted U.S. soccer to try and find a hook to get people to the stadium.

I don’t really care, to be honest. Whatever the reason, it’s an appropriate end to Donovan’s international career.

Why? Well, he doesn’t deserve to go out as an international player with the decision by head coach Jurgen Klinsmann to leave him off the World Cup roster. Donovan has had the greatest international career of any American field player (sorry, Clint Dempsey, not yet for you) and he deserves to end that career with a standing ovation from the fans who he gave so much to. Klinsmann will have to swallow his pride and put away any differences he has with Donovan, partly because U.S. Soccer demands it, but mostly because Donovan has earned it.

Donovan will have a game with the Galaxy two days later, so who knows how much he’ll play in the game, but he deserves to see the field once more in that jersey.

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