January 19 – This Day in Soccer

Donovan_landon_2007Donovan Sets U.S. Mark

After scoring in his debut with the U.S. men’s senior national soccer team in 2001, the pressure to perform has always been great for Landon Donovan and the California native has lived up to the hype and became the all-time leading scorer for the U.S. men’s national team when he knocking home his spot kick against Sweden in 2007 on this day in soccer history.

The tally was the midfielder/forwards 35th goal in 97 appearances and pushed him past the previous record holder, Eric Wynalda.

“I wouldn’t classify it as important but it’s something that I’m very proud of,” Donovan said of the record after the match. “More so than scoring goals, being part of the team for a long time it’s something I’m proud of. For me, the most important part of any game is helping the team get a victory.”

The pressure to be a consistent scorer has been on Donovan since his first match with the senior team.  After standing out with the youth national teams, the Redlands native became just the 6th player since 1985 to score in his first appearance with the senior team.  And Donovan could not pick a better opponent, scoring his goal in a 2-0 win over Mexico in Los Angeles in 2000.

Soccer Birthdays

1878 – Herbert Chapman, English football player and manager (d. 1934)
1969 – Predrag Mijatović, Yugoslavian footballer
1969 – Steve Staunton, Irish footballer
1971 – Maurice Hofman, Dutch soccer player (MVV)
1974 – Gregory Playfair, Suriname/Dutch soccer player (PSV)
1974 – Tarik Oulida, soccer player (Ajax/Seville)
1974 – Jaime Moreno, Bolivian footballer
1979 – Josu Sarriegi, Spanish/Basque footballer
1981 – Asier Del Horno, Spanish footballer
1981 – Lucho González, Argentine footballer
1985 – Benny Feilhaber, American soccer player

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