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Donovan Hits the Field Saturday
06-21-02
MLSNet.Com

New York, NY (Friday, June 21, 2002) - After enduring an intense and emotionally draining World Cup quarterfinal encounter against Germany on Friday and a 12-hour flight from South Korea, U.S. and San Jose Earthquakes star forward Landon Donovan will waste no time in joining the Earthquakes, his MLS club team.

The 20-year-old, who was a key figure in the best American showing at the World Cup since 1930, will be in uniform for the Earthquakes this Saturday, June 22 at Spartan Stadium when San Jose hosts Western Conference rivals the Colorado Rapids (10:00 p.m. ET). Scorer of two World Cup goals (tied for the team high), Donovan will be available to media for interviews before and after the match.

"The last few weeks in Korea have been tremendously exciting and a great adventure,” Donovan said. “I think we proved that U.S. soccer players can compete on the world stage and Major League Soccer certainly has been a huge part of that. It is now time to get back to the Earthquakes and do what I can to help us repeat as MLS Cup champions. I am so excited to be back home in front of the Earthquakes fans who have given me such great support both with the national team and in MLS.”

Saturday’s itinerary for Donovan, which includes an early morning arrival in Los Angeles and an early afternoon trip up to San Jose, will conclude with the Earthquakes’ match against the Rapids. Donovan’s last appearance with San Jose came on April 20, a 2-0 win over Colorado at Spartan Stadium, in which he scored.

Donovan, one of the youngest players at the 2002 World Cup, was also one of the top performers for the U.S. in Korea/Japan. He joined Columbus Crew forward Brian McBride as the first American player to score two goals in a World Cup since Bert Patenaude in 1930. Although credited with two goals (vs. Mexico and vs. Poland) Donovan also delivered the shot that resulted in the second U.S. goal against No. 5 ranked Portugal in a 3-2 win. A member of MLS’ Strike Force, Donovan is the only member of the U.S. National Team to appear in all 19 matches played this year, including the five World Cup matches in Korea. He leads the U.S. team with 1,473 minutes played in 2002 scoring 14 points (6g, 2a), good for third on the team.

On Friday his world-class abilities shone in the World Cup quarterfinal in Ulsan, South Korea as the U.S. dominated the match against Germany only to see its efforts go unrewarded in a 1-0 loss. Donovan created the best scoring opportunities for the U.S. against the Europeans including a spectacular run into the box from the right side which included a nutmeg and a curling shot destined for the low left corner. However, goalkeeper Oliver Kahn barely deflected the shot and he would go on to stifle the U.S. on the night.

On the heels of his performances on the world stage, Donovan was selected as the cover subject of this week’s issue of Sports Illustrated, the second MLS player to be featured in the last month (Clint Mathis of the MetroStars was the other). Other recent national media appearances by Donovan include Good Morning America, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and The Late Show with David Letterman.

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