ARLINGTON, Texas – Landon Donovan has been a real pebble in the Honduran cleat lately.
I suppose we could say that about pretty much any team in the region, given the U.S. attacker’s long history of scoring goals and arranging them with a fierce consistency over a dozen years of international success. Just ask Mexico.
But the United States’ all-time leading scorer has supplied some especially important strikes against Honduras, which happens to be the opponent for Wednesday’s Gold Cup semifinal outside of Dallas.
Donovan had two critical against the Catrachos during qualifying for the last World Cup – no small feat considering Honduras, skillful, well-organized and highly motivated, eventually made its way to South Africa 2010.
Back in the summer of 2009, his penalty kick was the equalizer after the United States had fallen behind in a game the Americans could scarcely afford to lose. (The win helped Bob Bradley’s team reach the mid-point of final round qualifying with a 3-1-1 record.)
Later, Carlos Bocanegra finished off a Donovan corner kick for the second-half game-winner at Soldier Field.
Later that year in the cauldron of San Pedro Sula, a second half free kick from the program’s all-time leading scorer was the game-winner in a 3-2 U.S. win. (Trivia from that evening: Conor Casey scored the first two goals of his brief international career. If you had “Conor Casey for two goals” ahead of that one, please meet me in Las Vegas ahead of the next big game.)