Weekly Soccer Column: Landon Donovan named U.S. National Team Captain for final game Friday

Read more about the conclusion of Landon Donovan’s U.S. career on Friday in this week’s column.

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Watch: Monday Major League Soccer rewind, Landon Donovan’s last U.S. game and more

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The image above was included by U.S. Soccer this morning as they announced the 21-player roster for Friday’s game against Ecuador that included the LA Galaxy’s Omar Gonzalez in addition to Landon Donovan, set to make his 157th and final U.S. appearance in the wake of Saturday’s latest Galaxy victory.

I’ll have more on Donovan in Tuesday’s column, in addition to today’s USWNT roster announcement for the beginning of World Cup qualification, which begins against a backdrop of litigation and other legal action over the turf in Canada and goalkeeper Hope Solo’s alleged domestic violence issues.

Meanwhile, the Goats are almost extinct it appears even as they finally post a win Sunday in Carson


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Weekly Soccer Column: With SuperClasico looming at weekend, U.S. Soccer announces LA Galaxy playmaker Landon Donovan to make final national team bow Oct. 10

The game in Hartford, Conn., is a friendly against Ecuador and will air live on ESPN.

“For 15 years, Landon has thrilled us with his amazing abilities on the field and impressed us with his gracious approach off the field,” said U.S. Soccer President Sunil Gulati. “We are looking forward to celebrating his legacy during our next home National Team match and allowing fans the opportunity to thank him for all the memories he’s provided over the years.”

There was no quote from Jurgen Klinsmann in the press release, BTW.

Oh, and for the actual column on the upcoming SuperClasico, click here.

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LA Galaxy’s Robbie Keane and Ireland to face U.S. National Team Nov. 18 in Dublin

The game will kickoff at 11:45 a.m. with TV information to be announced at a later date.

“We are absolutely thrilled to finish our work in 2014 with a game against Ireland,” said U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann. “They are consistently a difficult team to play against, and we welcome these types of challenges as we continue to move our team forward towards the Gold Cup next year.”

More from the U.S. Soccer press release:

Ireland has been drawn into Group D of qualifying for the 2014 European Championship, along with 2014 FIFA World Cup champion Germany. The Irish will face Scotland in qualifying action four days prior to hosting the United States. LA Galaxy striker Robbie Keane is the team’s captain and its all-time leader in appearances (134) and goals (62).

The USA holds a 2-4-2 record against Ireland in a series dating back to 1924. This is the first meeting since April 17, 2002, in Dublin, where the Irish collected a 2-1 win.

The U.S. will also play the Czech Republic Sept. 3 in Prague in its first post-World Cup game.

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Galaxy’s Omar Gonzalez: Klinsmann our biggest cheerleader

GalaxyOmar Gonzalez is back to his day job as a defender for the Galaxy, but after Tuesday’s training session, he met with the media to share is experiences with the U.S. in the World Cup,

Gonzalez said the team was not affected by Coach Jurgen Klinsmann’s pre-tournament assertion that “We cannot win this World Cup because we are not at that level yet.”

“I tried not to pay attention too much to the media and how they can take things people say and flip them and things like that,” Gonzalez said. “Would I have liked to say, ‘Yeah we can get as far as we can.’ Maybe it could have been worded differently. I think that’s all it is.

“From inside the locker room he was nothing but supportive. He was probably our biggest cheerleader. He might have said that, but when we were interacting with each other, there was no doubt that he believed that we could do it.”

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World Cup Watch: Fans in Redondo Beach, Long Beach, Studio City, Pasadena, Redlands and elsewhere react to USA crashing out of World Cup in loss to Belgium

Long Beach

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Photos and video by Staff Photographer Sean Hiller.

Almost 1,000 fans attended the viewing party on Pine in downtown Long Beach.

Redondo Beach

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Photo and videos by Staff Photographer Brad Graverson

An estimated 4,000 fans turned out in Redondo Beach for an LA Galaxy-sponsored viewing party.

This was the scene at the Fox & Hounds Pub in Studio City.

Here’s how it was at Lucky Baldwin’s in Pasadena.

This was Buffalo Wild Wings in West Covina.

A photo gallery of fans in Redlands and elsewhere is here.

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World Cup Weather Tuesday: Argentina-Switzerland at 9 a.m., USA-Belgium at 1 p.m. on ESPN and Univision

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LA Galaxy’s Omar Gonzalez surprised to get U.S. World Cup start, but determined to make the most of it

Galaxy defender Omar Gonzalez, who got a surprise start in the third and final U.S. group game in Brazil, said today in a teleconference with local media arranged by the club that he was taken aback to get the chance in the middle of the defense after largely missing out on the first two World Cup outings:

“I was definitely surprised about getting the start,” he said from Brazil. “Jurgen wasn’t making too many changes in the lead up matches.”

And Gonzalez said his personal goals went out the window when the tournament arrived. He went from wanting to establish himself as an automatic first-choice regular at the start of the year to just hoping he would make the roster after the injury that disrupted his run-up to the World Cup.

“My mindset the whole time was I was going to be ready (if called upon),” he said. “I wasn’t worried too much about what are the coaches thinking. … I was happy my name got called and basically got out there and do what I do.”

Meanwhile, Gonzalez said he’s become more motivated by the level of interest in the World Cup indicated by the reaction from social media and the large crowds gathering for viewing parties that are becoming ever more prevalent:

“It makes you want to work harder for all the people who are watching,” he said on the eve of the crucial game against Belgium. “Hopefully we can get them a win.”

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