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Chat Reel: Landon Donovan
U.S. star says American soccer is not far behind Europe

CNNSI Host: Welcome to today's chat with Landon Donovan. Welcome, Landon! Thanks for being here.

Landon Donovan: Hi from Sydney!

From Asher in Minneapolis, Minn.: Donovan, if your situation in Germany doesn't work out, will you ever consider playing in the MLS?

Landon Donovan: I would definitely consider playing there. I think the MLS would be good for me. If I wasn't playing in Germany, I'd be getting good competition (in the MLS), which is important to me at my age.

From Bernard: Hi Landon, What do you expect from the Chilean team?

Landon Donovan: They are going to be a very, very good technical team. They have a lot of individual players that are good on the ball, fast and they play good defensively. They will be a good opponent for us, and it will take everything we have to win the game.

From Justin Smith in Peoria, Ariz.: Have you, or any other U.S. players, received any interest from clubs based on your performance in the Olympics? Do you think the performance will raise the value of U.S. players around the world?

Landon Donovan: Well, I definitely think it will raise the value of U.S. players. Every time we do well, it does that. Personally, I haven't heard about other players getting any offers. But afterwards, we might see a few.

From Félix Capella in Barcelona: I liked the way you played against Spain. Who was, in your opinion, the best player among the Spaniards?

Landon Donovan: I thought Xavi played pretty good. And the forward up front, Jose Mari, played pretty well.

From Jozeph Nielsen in Kansas City: When did you first realize that you had the potential to become an international player?

Landon Donovan: I think when I was going through the development programs in Southern California, made my state team and went up to regional camp and saw what it was like there. That was when I realized I had a chance, if I kept going like I was. I think I was 15.

From Scott in Lincoln, Neb.: What's your best non-soccer moment from Australia that you'll always remember?

Landon Donovan: I went golfing my first couple of days in Canberra, and I was out on one of the tees and there was a group of kangaroos sitting about 10-15 feet away from us, just watching. It was awesome.

From Bernard: Thanks Landon, what will it take for the U.S. to be a legitimate contender for a World Cup?

Landon Donovan: I think we are on the right path right now. There is a huge jump from the U-23 to the full men's level, because there are so many good teams in the world. But we are on the right path. We can compete with any team in the world.

From Jason Thompson in Lawrence, Kan.: First of all, congratulations on making it to the bronze medal match. This soccer fan is very pleased with the performance. My only complaint is the fact that Clive Charles hasn't been giving you more minutes. How do you feel about your role on this team and the playing time that you have been given? Also, any chance that you will be a starter against Chile?

Landon Donovan: First of all, thank you. I think it has been a little bit hard, because I was used to starting games and playing a lot. But for the sake of the team, I think it has worked out. I could be more satisfied with how many minutes I've played, but as far as the team goes, we have done very well and I am satisfied with it so far. I really have no idea if I will start tonight. If I had to bet, I would say no.

From Obrey Brown in Redlands, Calif.: Tell all the guys who you played with in AYSO, club and high school what playing in Sydney is the most like during your days here in Redlands?

Landon Donovan: I mean, you can't really compare it. The only thing is, it is still a soccer game. It is just at a different level. But it is still just soccer. I would tell everyone back home that it is a different level, a higher one, but not much higher. Every little thing is done right here, while at lower levels they may not be done right.

From Pravin Krishnan in Bethesda, Md.: How does it feel to be playing with world class players every day with Bayer? I used to live in Germany, and I hope you get playing time with the first team -- you deserve it.

Landon Donovan: It's really quite amazing to think of the different players I get to train with every day They have helped me very much already and it's only been a couple of months that I have been training with them.

From Bernard: Have you been able to catch any other Olympic events?

Landon Donovan: No, I haven't. I have only been up in the other soccer matches. It is kind of like an all day event to go see them because, getting tickets and transportation there and back. I don't want to say it's a hassle ... but it is kind of like a lot of work. I've seen them all on TV, though.

From John Arinze in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan: What was your first reaction after signing your contract papers and has German soccer made you more mature and tactical player?

Landon Donovan: My first reaction was ... probably I was just excited and wanted to get started. And Germany has made me extremely tactical and a better player. Like I said, I've learned a lot since I've been there.

From Erick Sosa in New Orleans: Have you talked to Mr. Bruce Arena about being part of the U.S. National Team?

Landon Donovan: No, actually I never have.

From Carrie Odil in Moreno Valley, Calif: Do you consider the MLS a step down?

Landon Donovan: Personally, I haven't played with the first team yet so it wouldn't be a step down. As far as the leagues go, I would say the German league is better than the American league, but it is not that much better.

From William A. Palomo in New York: Do you expect to play in the first World Cup finals, for the United States?

Landon Donovan: Some day yeah, definitely ... for sure. Simple as that.

From Anthony in Brooklyn, NY: First, just wanted to say we are proud of you and everyone on the team! Second, do you feel you are ready for the full National team, or will you play in the U-23 championship next year?

Landon Donovan: Thank you very much again. I feel that anyone on this team who has played here in the Olympics has a decent shot at playing for the full team and that is what this team is supposed to do ... it gets you ready for the next level.

From Bernard: I think you could be the Michael Jordan of Soccer. Have the Nikes and Coca-Colas of the world contacted you? You would be a big endorser.

Landon Donovan: I have an endorsement deal with Nike. But I would love to have one with Coca-Cola. And I am sure my family would like to get free Coca-Cola, too. So, if he knows anyone, maybe he can help me out!

CNNSI Host: Thanks all the time we have with Landon Donovan. Thanks for spending some time with us today, Landon.

Landon Donovan: I want to thank everyone for all the questions.

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