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World Cup 2Night

Rob Stone: And welcome back to World Cup 2Night presented by ADT Security Services. Rob Stone along with Dave Dir, and John Harkes. The Fifa World Cup All-Star List has been whittled down to 33 and one of the remaining 13 Forward finalists on that list joins us now from the ESPN ZONE in New York City. Landon Donovan, welcome back home and thanks for taking time in the midst of your media whirlwind to join us.

Landon: Thanks.

Rob: You’ve kinda had time to reflect on this World Cup. What did it teach you about yourself and maybe what it taught you about yourself as a player?

Landon: Um, well for the team it showed that we’re there. We didn’t play too well in the opening stages, but we against Germany were good enough to win. And for me, I wanted to see how’d I perform at that level. It’s not much different. It’s a little more intense, but it’s nothing we’ve never dealt with before.

Rob: Why the decision to jump on that plane and hustle back to San Jose for that Saturday MLS game after elimination?

Landon: Coach Yallop, I talk to him through Richard Motzkin and he said, “Do you wanna get back and be with the team? We’d love to.” And I said, “Yeah, I’d definitely love to get back and see the guys.” I didn’t expect to play and likely we went up 4-0 so he put me in for a couple of minutes. The crowd liked it and it was fun.

Dave Dir: Landon, when you look at the teams anybody surprise you tactically just the way they came out against you. Maybe a different thing than you expect in the games or pretty much the way you expected?

Landon: Um, pretty much. Poland shocked me. They came out.. I mean not really a shock. They came out on fire and to their credit they did well and Germany… sitting back like that. After the game I realized that they really let us have the game. They really just respected us so that was kinda interesting, but results didn’t go our way, but that’s alright.

John Harkes: Landon, not surprising that a 20-year-old could play in the World Cup, but what stands out is your maturity and also your composure.

Landon: Thanks.

John: What did you do between games to focus and just really stay in tact with all that went on in the World Cup?

Landon: It is crazy. You know, it’s not just the games like people see. There’s so much media and there’s so much hype and everything going on in between. You gotta find a way to get away, but I dunno. We kept it loose and we didn’t have to stay in our hotel like other teams and all that. We just went out, did our thing, and enjoyed it and that was important I think.

Rob: Well I know this is one question that you will be peppered with a lot coming down the road. Is it obviously are you gonna stay in MLS or are you gonna go back to Germany in Bayer Leverkusen. But I think a lot of people out there, Landon, don’t really quite understand how happy you are playing in Major League Soccer and living here in the U.S. Am I misreading things?

Landon: No, I absolutely love my life and I was telling people that it’s gonna take an absolutely perfect situation for me to go back or to go to Europe period. If you have something going so well for you, why would you leave it? I’m gonna finish out the season with the Earthquakes. I wanna repeat, you know, it was so much fun last year and we’ll see what happens.

Rob: Alright, well good luck with your quest. We appreciate you joining us and good luck this Saturday. Quakes host Kansas City.

Landon: Yup. Thank you very much.

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