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The Late Show with David Letterman

Letterman: Now look at this, right here. This is Sports Illustrated. This is our next guest right here. Take a look. Thatís pretty good. How Ďbout that? Landon Donovan.

(Audience claps)

Letterman: He scored two goals to help lead his team to the 2002 World Cup quarterfinal round for the first time in 70 years. From your United States Menís World Cup soccer team, hereís Landon Donovan everybody.

(Audience claps)

Letterman: Well, what do you think? Itís been crazy for you, hasnít it?

Landon: Yeah, itís been quite a ride.

Letterman: When did you guys get back to the United States?

Landon: I got back Saturday.

Letterman: It must of been just nuts for you. Everybody all over you and excitement everywhere you go?

Landon: I donít know about all over me. No itís been exciting. Itís been fun.

Letterman: And then now what will happen? Youíll continue go on play soccer, you play up in your neck of the woods in northern California.

Landon: San Jose, yeah. We got the rest of the season. Weíre the defending champs and weíre trying to win it again so weíve got some work to do.

Letterman: Good for you and the feeling there when you play that first game at home itís gonna be lovely. Isnít it?

Landon: Well, actually I was there Saturday.

Letterman: And everything was great?

Landon: Everything was great. The crowd loved it and itís good to be back.

Letterman: Youíre originally from California.

Landon: Southern California.

Letterman: You played soccer in Germany when you were a kid?

Landon: When I was 17, I went over.

Letterman: Now how does that happen?

Landon Um, a lot of negotiating with the parents.

Letterman: Really?

Landon: Mom wasnít too happy about it, but thatís ok.

Letterman: And how long did you play in Germany?

Landon: I was there almost 2 years.

Letterman: And why donít you have a German accent?

(Audience laughs)

Letterman: Friedel has a British accent.

Landon: Yeah, you like that?

Letterman: Yeah itís exciting.

Landon: Yeah we give him stick for it.

Letterman: Now tell me about the game against Germany because to me I donít see much soccer but it looked like you guys were really taking it to them in the first part of the first half.

Landon: Yeah, it was unfortunate. We got out early and we were all over them and I thought we played probably our best game. We ended up losing soÖ itís alright though.

Letterman: Is there any controversy about that or did you feel like thatís the way it goes?

Landon: Well, we obviously saw that there was a handball that wasnít called, but thatís the way the game goes.

Letterman: What does that mean they didnít call a handball? What is that?

Landon: It means we lost.

(Audience laughs)

Letterman: Did somebody touch the ball with his hands? Normally what would happen if it had been called?

Landon: It would have been a penalty kick which more often than not results in a goal and who knows what would of happened after that.

Letterman: And how were you selected to be on the World Cup team?

Landon: Um, you just get seen by Bruce Arena whoís our coach. You get seen by him throughout the year with your club team and he makes a selection. So you gotta do a lot of butt kissing sometimes.

(Audience laughs)

Letterman: Oh really? Well thereís some soccer insight.

(Audience claps)

Letterman: Now is it likely that youíll be part of the next World Cup team?

Landon: I hope so. Weíll see. I hope so. Weíre uhÖ

Letterman: Youíre 20 years old now so you havenít really reached your prime in the world of soccer. Have you?

Landon: I hope not. You know hopefullyÖ Germany in 2006 will be awesome. Hopefully we can continue to make progress.

Letterman: Now who do you think will win the World Cup?

Landon: Well Iím hoping either Germany or Korea because Germany beat us and Korea tied us so that way thereís a little validation, you know?

Letterman: Yeah, and who else is left?

Landon: Brazil and Turkey.

Letterman: Brazil and Turkey play. Thatíll be a good game because people think that Turkey is underrated but full of great talent right?

Landon: Definitely. Theyíre a good team. They could upset them.

Letterman: And so you resume your regular schedule of play now and your life kinda goes back to normal?

Landon: Well this isnít exactly normal for me.

(Audience laughs)

Letterman: I hoped you enjoyed it. It was a big thrill and of course you were aware that it was something people were staying up for all night to watch and the thousands of people that were going to stadiums. All of that was apparent to you guys wasnít it?

Landon: We got a little bit of feedback. We know a lot of people jumped on and we hope they stay on, but there was people from the beginning. The US Soccer people, the Nike people, all our friends and family. They were constantly helping us out.

Letterman: And when you were a kid why was soccer your game of preference?

Landon: I have no idea. My mom put me out there when I was 5 and said go run around and waste some energy.

(Audience laughs)

Letterman: The proverbial soccer mom.

Landon: Thanks to mom.

Letterman: Thatís great. Iím sorry you didnít a chance to kick 1 off the roof. Did you?

Landon: I know. I wanted to.

Letterman: It looked like great fun didnít it?

Landon: Yeah, I dunno. Tough act to follow what Clint did. That was amazing.

Letterman: Well, it was certainly a thrill for us and it was a thrill knowing you guys were representing the United States in this great global arena. It was fascinating and fun and exciting. Who knows what will happen in the next 4 years.

Landon: Wish us luck.

Letterman: Yeah, good to see you. Congratulations.

(Shakes hands)

Letterman: Landon Donovan, everybody. Weíll be right back with Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble.

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