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Put me in coach, I'm ready to play

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.

Check in with Donovan throughout the Sydney Olympic Games.

September 17, 2000

Canberra, Australia

What prompted you to dye your hair blond and when did you do it?

I always dye my hair blonde at qualifying and world championships; it is a ritual for me now. My Aunt Kathy did it for me.

What is your assessment of the 1-1 draw with Cameroon? How do you feel about the result?

I am disappointed with the Cameroon result, because you can't give away points in international competition. It will catch up to you sooner or later.

How surprised were you that you didn't get into the Cameroon match and that no subs were used?

I was actually quite surprised no subs were used because we looked tired, and the next game is crucial, so I feel subs would have been useful.

What do you think you can bring to the U.S. game that it's not currently getting? Is your age a disadvantage?

I think I could finish some of the many chances we are getting. I think we are in a scoring drought and I think I could help bring us out of that. I don't feel my age is a disadvantage; I have as much -- or more -- international experience as everyone else on our team.

How did the Cameroon game differ from the Czech game?

We actually had a better chance to win the Cameroon game, and they were the better team of the two! The Czech game was a battle; the Cameroon game was more of test of who could finish their chances.

Up next -- Kuwait. What do you expect from them and how are you preparing? How much do you know about them?

We know they score a lot of goals, but they also give up a lot. We have to stay disciplined and wait for our chances, but this time we have to finish them!

How surprising is it that Kuwait beat the Czechs, and how does that change things?

Any team can beat any team at this level, so it's not too surprising of a result. It won't change how we prepare; we will just play our game.

What else have you done on your down time?

I have been golfing, checked out the casino and seen all the wildlife!

What's your favorite part of the Australian culture? Least favorite?

I love the Australian accent, but I think they are too cocky.


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