There may be another international on Wednesday (USA-Guatemala, live, 9 pm EST, ESPN 2, Galavision), but press is still raving about Landon Donovan´s three-goal salvo against Ecuador on Sunday, and rightly so. As Paul Gardner points out, hat tricks don´t happen often in international soccer (or soccer, period), while natural hat tricks happen even less, and hat tricks the quality of Donovan's could even be compiled into a nice, concise list.
Despite the Galaxy striker's overwhelming performance, Gardner says we
would be remiss to overlook the contribution of midfield youngsters
Benny Feilhaber, who complemented Donovan brilliantly in the
center-especially in the second half. Feilhaber "had the misfortune to
make an impressive debut on a day when he was totally overshadowed by
Donovan's brilliance." The 22-year-old Feilhaber, who was born in
Brazil, has superior technical skills, Gardner says, which "surely
indicates a more elaborate role than that of defensive midfielder," in
the future, especially with the likes of Ricardo Clark and Pablo
Mastroeni ahead of him in the pecking order.
So we return again to Donovan, who captained the U.S. on this
occasion-his 87th appearance at the age of just 25; soccer players
usually reach their peak at between 27 and 29. The Galaxy striker is
now just four goals shy of overtaking Eric Wynalda's national team
scoring record. Read the original story...