Landon Donovan's Top 10 Moments
Landon Donovan's career includes three World Cups, five Gold Cups, one Olympic tournament, all of 12 MLS seasons (and some of a 13th) and two successful loan stints to Everton of the English Premier League.
Along the way, the all-time leading US National Team scorer and MLS superstar has collected more than his fair share of great moments.
Narrowing them down to a top 10 is more a matter of personal preference than cold logic.
No. 1 might be obvious (you're already replaying it in your head; I can tell), but the rest of the list is an exercise in picking from a plethora of goals and assists spread over the course of the last decade-plus.
The chances are good that Donovan has a few more great moments left in him, either in MLS, Europe or for the USMNT.
But until he has another that deserves a spot at the top of his long list, these are Landon Donovan's top 10 moments.
No. 10: First International Goal
It's no coincidence that the United States' rise to challenger of Mexico for CONCACAF supremacy happened just as Donovan was making his mark for the national team.
Donovan's first international goal came against Mexico on October 25, 2000 in a 2-0 win.
No. 9: World Cup Start in Victory over Portugal
The Americans' stunning run to the quarterfinals of the 2002 World Cup began with an upset win over vaunted Portugal.
Twenty-year-old Donovan got the start in that game, his first in a World Cup, and created a goal when his cross deflected off Rui Costa and into the net.
No. 8: 2001 MLS Cup Equalizer
No. 7: 2011 MLS Cup-Winning Goal
It was David Beckham's ball taken down by Robbie Keane and played through to Donovan that gave Donovan the chance to win the 2011 MLS Cup—a title millions of dollars in the making—with this goal for the Galaxy.
No. 6: First Goal for Everton
Though Donovan's stint at Everton in the winter of 2010 didn't convince all of his critics, it did force the haters to quiet down.
Donovan's first goal in England—a 19th-minute left-footed strike against Sunderland in the league—was a big moment for an American player desperate to prove he was good enough.
No. 5: Goal Against Mexico in the 2002 World Cup
Donovan's header off an Eddie Lewis cross sealed the Americans' 2-0 win over Mexico in the Round of 16 at the 2002 World Cup. It was Donovan's second World Cup goal.
No. 4: Classic Counterattacking Goal Against Brazil
It didn't come in a World Cup or against Mexico, but this might be among Donovan's most iconic goals. Off a Brazil turnover in the final of the 2009 Confed Cup, Donovan and teammate Charlie Davies executed a perfect counterattacking goal.
The US ultimately lost the game, but for a lot of new soccer fans and the greater soccer world, this goal announced Donovan's presence.
No. 3: Goal Against Slovenia in World Cup 2010
With every point crucial to their chances of advancing to the knockout rounds and down a goal against Slovenia, Donovan grabbed the game—and his team—by the scruff of the neck with this short-angled rocket.
No. 2: Assist to Davies at Azteca
For a brief window of time, there was a genuine belief that the US could come away with a win at the vaunted Azteca. While it didn't ultimately last, it was Donovan's perfect ball to Charlie Davies in the ninth minute of a 2009 World Cup qualifier that created that belief.
Donovan's day—which included being beaten to the end line on Mexico's go-ahead goal—was made all the more difficult by a bout with swine flu.
No. 1: The Algeria Goal
Donovan's added-time winner against Algeria at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, a win that sent the United States through to the knockout rounds, will likely go down as the biggest goal he'll ever have scored and the defining moment of his international career.