A Brand New Day

For those of you who didn't see the post game interview that DAN REFERENCED YESTERDAY – possibly because the EMT's were still working on reviving you after the massive MI you suffered watching the last five minutes of the game – the "Hi Bianca" moment, complete with blown kiss, is at the very end of this brief clip.

For those of you who really don't care who Donovan is banging at the moment, the very beginning of the video, where the reporter has to wait for him to get control of his emotions, is much more germane to this page:

One of the many results of yesterdays' win – and there are a lot of them – is surely that Landon has broken out entirely from the "soccer guy I've heard of, I think" sports fan recognition factor.

Breathes there an American sports fan this morning, however Troglodyte, Luddite or Bud Light he may be, who does not know exactly who Donovan is and what he did yesterday?

A cynic might suggest that the US has finally produced a male soccer player who surpasses Mia Hamm as a recognizable soccer star, but I'm not ging there today. Feel free.

Beyond that however, as I wrote last Summer, this is Landon Donovans' team, for better or worse.

Yes, it certainly is true that the guy had something less than a major impact for the first 91 minutes of the game.

It's also clear that he scared the living bejeesus out of Algerias' coaching staff, to the point that he was marked up tighter than a tick from the first few bars of The Star Spangled Banner until the very end when you half expected to see a guy in green still holding onto the mans' shorts underneath that pile of teammates.

The point is that big time players become big time players by making big time plays, and Landon Donovan made arguably the biggest play in US Soccer history yesterday.

It's very very tempting to, as some people are wont to do this morning, wax philosophic about how yesterdays' win is a watershed event in the evolution of American soccer. Only time (and the results of the next week or – hopefully – two) will provide whatever truth there is to that posit.

What we can say however is that American sports fans – just like sports fans everywhere else – are drawn to extraordinary players who do extraordinary things.


Check and check.

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