USMNT vs Ecuador: 5 Takeaways From Friendly

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Oct 10, 2014; Hartford, CT, USA; USA forward Landon Donovan goes after the ball against Ecuador goalkeeper Maximo Banguere (01) in the first half at Rentschler Field. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

1. Landon Donovan’s Almost Perfect Ending

This was definitely Landon Donovan’s night. From the day it was announced that he would be playing this match, the hype was built up. Fans had this night marked on their calendars as the anticipation arose for Landon Donovan’s final match for the national team he brought to new heights. It was expected that he would get around 30 minutes before coming off as he has a big game against FC Dallas on Sunday night to be ready for.

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He actually got a little more than 30 minutes, presumably to try and get him that last goal that he deserved. That goal almost came in the 25th minute off that Altidore pass mentioned before. Donovan had the goal in his sights, one on one with the Ecuadorian goalkeeper, and he beat the keeper. Unfortunately for him, and the rest of the world watching, the ball clanked off the inside of the post and ended up in the goalkeeper’s hands.

It was not to be in his final match, but he did have a sense of humor about it. During halftime he joked with the guys saying this was “the story of my career”. While we all know Donovan has scored plenty, the most in USMNT history, it would have been a fitting way to end a storied career for his country.

After that miss, he laid on the ground for a moment, thinking what could have been. It surely would have been a fantastic goal to see, but it just was not to meant be. Even though Donovan did not score tonight, he has created many unforgettable moments throughout his career.

And to that, I say thank you, Landon. Thank you for taking soccer in the United States to a new level.