I will be ready!
Competing in his first Olympics, 18-year-old Landon Donovan is the youngest member of the U.S. Olympic soccer team. The forward/midfielder signed a deal with German Bundesliga club Bayer Leverkusen in 1999, becoming one of the youngest players in U.S. soccer history to sign a professional contract overseas. Donovan checked in the morning before the United States' 1-1 draw against Cameroon.
Keep up with Donovan on CNNSI.com throughout the Sydney Olympic Games.
September 16, 2000
What was your assessment of the draw with the Czech Republic?
I thought we played wonderfully against the Czechs, and we really deserved to win. I think we had a lot of chances to win the game, but we failed to convert our chances. Overall, it was a good result, and I think we are all happy with it.
How tough was it to watch from the sidelines? Were you expecting to play?
It was very exciting to watch the game, especially after each of our goals. I honestly did expect to play, but sometimes you just have to be patient. I thought I would get into the game in the second half, but it just didn't happen. [Coach] Clive Charles knows what he's doing, and he will use me when he needs me, and I will be ready!!!
How have you spent your time since the Czech match?
I have spent most of my down time with my family. We had a team barbecue where we saw kangaroos, wombats and koalas!! It was quite the experience.
Outside of the Czech game, what is the highlight of your trip so far?
The highlight of my trip would have to be seeing kangaroos about 10 feet away from me on the golf course. We have played twice now, and the kangaroos just go about their business right on the golf course!
Next up is Cameroon -- how are you preparing for them and what do you expect from the match? What will the team do differently in terms of tactics?
I think Cameroon plays with a much different style than the Czechs. Cameroon has more individual skill and is probably a little more disorganized defensively. If we play disciplined, we will definitely get our chances to score.
How does the atmosphere with the Olympic team compare with that at Bayer Leverkusen?
I think the Olympic team is much more relaxed than Bayer Leverkusen, mainly due to the coaches. Clive is very relaxed and doesn't put pressure on us, whereas there is constant pressure from the coaches in Germany.
What indication has coach Clive Charles given you regarding what your playing time might be in upcoming games? What about your position?
Clive hasn't told me anything about when or where I will be playing. Every game is a different situation, and sometimes he won't need me. In other games, he will, and I just have to be ready.
How do you feel about being in Canberra instead of Sydney? How is it different?
I think we would all prefer to be in Sydney due to all the people and activities going on. However, that would probably hurt our performance. In Canberra, we are isolated and we can concentrate on the task at hand.
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