Landon Donovan seeks fairytale finish in MLS Cup final
The Los Angeles Galaxy can give Landon Donovan a fairytale ending to a storied career on Sunday when they take on New England for Major League Soccer`s MLS Cup crown.
Los Angeles: The Los Angeles Galaxy can give Landon Donovan a fairytale ending to a storied career on Sunday when they take on New England for Major League Soccer`s MLS Cup crown.
Donovan, the United States` all-time leading scorer with 57 international goals, was crushingly denied a fourth World Cup appearance this year when Jurgen Klinsmann left him out of the squad for Brazil.
In the wake of that snub, Donovan announced this MLS season would be his last, and the 32-year-old has done all he can to insure he finishes on a high note.
Days after Klinsmann announced the World Cup squad in May, Donovan became Major League Soccer`s all-time leading scorer, and by the end of the regular season he had extended his record total of MLS goals to 144.
The Galaxy finished second in the Western Conference and beat third-place Real Salt Lake, then first-placed Seattle Sounders in the playoffs to reach the MLS Cup final, where the club will be seeking a record fifth championship.
All season long the Galaxy have touted their "First-to-five" quest. But Donovan cautions that his Hollywood ending is anything but a given.
"It seems perfect, yeah," said Donovan, who could become the first player to win a sixth MLS Cup crown after earning two with San Jose and three with the Galaxy.
"But we`ve got to win it. That`s our challenge. We`re playing a team that I think is the best team in the league the last 10 or 12 games, so it`s going to be a challenge."
The Galaxy, who host the Revolution on Sunday in the title match at the StubHub Center in suburban Carson, boast a formidable attack, with Revolution defender Chris Tierney calling the triple threat of Donovan, Robbie Keane and Gyasi Zardes a "nightmare" to contemplate.
Ireland international Keane, who was Wednesday named the Most Valuable Player of the regular season, will captain the Galaxy, who beat the Revolution 5-1 in their last meeting, a regular-season clash in July.
New England have come on strong since then and they aren`t conceding anything to the star-studded Galaxy, despite the undoubted respect Revolution players feel for Donovan as he departs.
"That`s all stuff that we can talk about after the game," Tierney said.
The Revolution, who eliminated Thierry Henry and the New York Red Bulls to reach the title match, are seeking their first MLS Cup crown after falling in four finals.
New England`s German-born US international Jermaine Jones said no amount of respect for Donovan will distract them from their title quest.
"We want one and we will do everything to get it," Jones said.