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...