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US National Team’s Best XI: Landon Donovan

Let’s just get this out of the way early: I’ve said it before (and been subject to criticism) but I’ll say it again, Landon Donovan is the greatest American soccer player ever. You can cite to me his lack of leadership or his ability to vanish in big games, but there is simply no denying no one has ever had a more successful career with the US Nats than Landycakes. Need proof? How about the 2002 World Cup.

Yes, his pro career was marred when he ran back to America when he wasn’t happy in Germany. If you saw his wife though, you would not want to be away from her either. Back in America, he has put together a legendary MLS pro career, and it now appears he may be heading back to Germany for a second shot at overseas success. I wish him luck, and if Bianca gets lonely, she should feel free to call me.

All kidding aside, Donovan is one of the most flexible players in the history of the US and can be utilized as either an attacking midfielder or a slippery striker. He is the team’s all-time leading scorer and the only five-time recipient of the Player of the Year Award. The best thing about Donovan though is that he’s only 26 and still has one, if not two, World Cups still in him.

One thing people tend to overlook about Donovan due to his petulant attitude is that he really is an unselfish player. He is far and away the MNT leader in assists too and he often contributes more to the team by wearing out the defense than by scoring goals. He deserves the #10 jersey, and I hope he brings his A game to the 2010 Cup. He deserves his spot on the Best XI, but I hope the best is still to come.