Landon Donovan authored the American sports moment of the year just hours ago when he scored the game-winning goal in stoppage time against Algeria, leapfrogging the U.S. team from World Cup elimination to first place in Group C two minutes before the referee blew the final whistle in the last of their group play matches.
Some fans may dismiss that assertion given their proclivities for the Olympics or American sports leagues, but the international impact of Donovan’s follow-up is undeniable: with their backs against the wall, the U.S. team was facing four years of platitudes, of “tough lucks” and “too bad about the refs.” But with the victory and England’s 1-0 victory over Slovenia (useless bastards), the USA will face the second-place team from Group D this weekend, an opportunity to reach the quarterfinals of the World Cup for only the second time (the first was in 2002 following a victory over Mexico).
As for Donovan, it’s long past the time when American fans can dismiss him as “Landycakes,” the talented player who wilted on the international stage. Not only did Donovan set up the Jozy Altidore shot that led to his goal, he also sparked the U.S.’s comeback against Slovenia, finally plied his trade in the English Premiere League this year, and effectively led the U.S. attack in heroic performances in this World Cup and the Confederations Cup last year. Carlos Bocanegra may wear the captain’s arm band, but Landon Donovan has proven himself worthy of it.
Now then. Time to get this celebration started.
I don’t care if it’s hokey or overdone, let’s roll the Lee Greenwood, bitches:
See you Saturday, hopefully-not-Germany!