A look back at Landon Donovan’s World Cup career

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As Landon Donvan’s farewell match for the United States approaches, take a look at his best World Cup moments in the Red, White and Blue.

[ RELATED: Top 5 goals | video tribute ]

2002

Donovan burst onto the scene as a bright-eyed 20-year-old at the 2002 World Cup. In the United States’ opening match, Donovan helped shock Portugal with a 3-2 win. Donovan’s World Cup debut included a cross that was deflected by Jorge Costa and in the net, giving the U.S. and early 2-0 lead.

[ RELATED: “My Donovan moment…” 

Donovan scored his first official World Cup goal two matches later, netting a consolation goal in the United States’ 3-1 loss to Poland. Despite the loss, the U.S. advanced from the group stage, taking on Mexico in the knockout round.

Against archrival Mexico, Donovan helped lead the U.S. to another surprise victory, this time scoring off a header in the 65th minute to expand the lead to 2-0.

Fast forward to 50 seconds to check out Donovan’s goal.

While the United States was eliminated by Germany in the quarterfinals, the tournament was a massive success for both the team and Landon Donovan. Donovan’s play earned him the trophy for Best Young Player of the tournament, joining the likes of Pele and Franz Beckenbauer to win the award.

2006

By 2006, Donovan was the United States’ all-time leader in assists. With high hopes after a brilliant run in 02’ Germany was a difficult World Cup for the Americans. The U.S. was the only team to earn a point against champions Italy, yet still finished last in their group. Despite the disappointing finish, Donovan led the midfield while playing every minute of the United States’ three games.

2010

South Africa played host to the 2010 World Cup, where Landon Donovan helped the U.S. win their group for the first time since 1930.

Down 2-0 in their opening match against Slovenia, Donovan started an American comeback with a blistering shot into the top of the net. The United States would come back to tie the game 2-2 and earn a much needed point.

Skip to 0:50 for Donovan’s brilliant strike.

Despite Donovan’s superb effort against Slovenia, he is remembered most for his stoppage-time winner against Algeria. In need of points to advance and with time winding down, Donovan scored arguably the most important goal in United States soccer history.

The video still brings chills.

Donovan would finish his World Cup career with a goal from the spot against Ghana, a dramatic extra-time loss for the U.S.

His five World Cup goals are the most for an American player, and he is the only American to win the tournament’s Best Young Player award. But more than his goals and awards is what he has done for American soccer as a whole.

The 2002 World Cup marked the United States’ arrival on the world soccer stage, and it’s no coincidence Landon Donovan helped lead the way. His goal against Algeria is cemented as one of the biggest moments in U.S. soccer history, just as his legacy is as this country’s greatest player.

 

Russell hat trick snaps Sporting KC’s win streak (video)

AP Photo/Charlie Riedel
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Struggling, short-handed Sporting KC needed a star show to kickstart its summer, and Johnny Russell was ready to go.

Maybe the 29-year-old Scotsman was feeding off the buzz of his old club Derby County preparing for the Championship Playoff Final, but Russell scored thrice as Sporting took care of Seattle 3-2 in Washington on Sunday.

[ MORE: USWNT wins final match before World Cup (video) ]

The right winger scored his fifth, sixth, and seventh goals of the MLS season as Sporting won its first match since March 30.

Russell scored 35 goals with 34 assists in 205 matches with the Rams, but has destroyed that mark with KC. He now has 19 and 16 in 55.

Seattle loses ground on LAFC in the race for the Supporters’ Shield, while KC is now within four points of the playoff places.

 

 

Report: Newcastle in takeover talks with UAE billionaire

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Reports out of Northeast England say Newcastle United supporters who want owner Mike Ashley out at all costs have new hope.

United Arab Emirates billionaire Sheikh Khaled bin Zayed Al Nehayan is said to be in talks with Ashley about a takeover of the St. James’ Park-based club, though there’s a lot of work to do for a deal to be complete.

[ MORE: USWNT wins final match before World Cup (video) ]

One report goes as far as to say Ashley has agreed to accept $444 million for the Premier League club.

Sheikh Khaled, 61, was educated at American colleges Boston University and Michigan State. He’s the cousin of Manchester City owner Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and was turned down with a $2.5 billion bid for Liverpool last season.

From The Chronicle:

NUFC have confirmed some talks with Sheikh Khaled. But say there is still “some way” to go on a deal. Newcastle United refusing to make any further comment at this time.

Takeover talks are nothing new at Newcastle, and there does seem to be some heat to these reports, but Ashley and his crew have spun these stories of interest in the past. And with Magpies supporters waiting for news on Rafa Benitez‘s new deal, some will be way of a smoke screen for an inability to reach an agreement with the celebrated Newcastle manager.

Wondolowski scores 149th, 150th goals; Earthquakes win

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TORONTO (AP) Chris Wondolowski scored his 149th and 150th MLS goals in the San Jose Earthquakes’ 2-1 victory over Toronto FC on Sunday night.

The MLS career goals leader scored both from close range.

[ MORE: Kante to miss Europa League final ]

Wondolowski got a yard’s separation from Drew Moor and deftly redirected in Cristian Espinoza’s cross in the 37th minute to tie it at 1. The go-ahead goal in the 81st minute was a virtual replay, with Espinoza finding Wondolowski in space.

The San Jose striker has six goals in two games. He scored all four goals in a 4-1 victory over Chicago last weekend to surpass Landon Donovan’s league record of 145 goals and up his career total to 148.

Richie Laryea opened the scoring for Toronto (5-6-2) in the 28th minute

San Jose (5-6-2) won for the first time in six road games this season.

Chairman Mubarak: Other clubs are ‘jealous’ of Man City’s success

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Manchester City chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak believes that other clubs — namely those who have fallen miles back of the back-to-back Premier League champions — are “jealous” of the club’s success.

[ MORE: Chelsea’s N’Golo Kante to miss Europa League final with new injury ]

The root of the perceived jealousy is, of course, Man City’s seemingly unlimited spending power which dwarves that of just about — if not — every other club in the PL. There’s a growing sense around the league — and around the world — that clubs like City, just to name one, are doing the game a disservice by distorting the transfer market and building an infallible super-team with the aid of unprecedented financial resources.

Mubarak believes that these feelings also stem from other clubs’ failed dealings in the transfer market: spending comparable — if not more — money on players who don’t justify that price tag the same way some of City’s big-money buys have done — quotes from the BBC:

“With success, there is a certain level of jealousy, envy, whatever you call it. That’s part of the game.

“It’s not easy for our competition, we know that. But the reality is, we didn’t buy the most expensive player in the Premier League [Paul Pogba], we didn’t buy the most expensive goalkeeper [Kepa Arrizabalaga], we didn’t buy the most expensive midfielder, we didn’t buy the most expensive striker [Romelu Lukaku].

“People make decisions, they’ve got to live by them. This is a well-run club.”

City’s financial dealings have regularly been in the headlines of late, as they are believed to have circumvented FFP rules by lying about sponsorship deals so as to balance a larger expenditure on transfer fees and player wages with revenue generated by the club.