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U.S. MEN'S NATIONAL TEAM

August 29, 2013
EXCITED TO BE BACK
Donovan looking forward to WC Qualifying

By Charles Cuttone, Executive Editor
and Scott French, LA Soccer News Contributing Editor

After a stellar performance in the Gold Cup, Landon Donovan is back with the U.S. National Team for World Cup Qualifying.
After a stellar performance in the Gold Cup, Landon Donovan is back with the U.S. National Team for World Cup Qualifying.
Linda Cuttone/Sports Vue Images
It's been a big week for Landon Donovan. After signing a new multi-year contract with the LA Galaxy, Donovan was on Thursday named to the United States roster for the team's upcoming pair of World Cup Qualifying matches against Costa Rica and Mexico.

Though he played for the U.S. during this summer's Gold Cup, scoring seven goals while leading the Americans to the title, this will be Donovan’s first time back with the U.S. for a qualifier since time since June 12, 2012, the 1-1 draw in Guatemala, an absence spanning 10 matches.

"I'm excited," said Donovan. "I want to be part of that team going forward and I'm happy to be a part of the group, but we have real work to do and we have the potential in the next couple weeks to be qualified for the World Cup. That's always the goal and I'm going to do everything I can to make that happen."

The U.S. opens with a road match in Costa Rica on September 6 (10 p.m. ET, beIN SPORT and ESPN Deportes Radio), then are back home to face Mexico in Columbus on September 11. (8 p.m. ET, on ESPN, WatchESPN, UniMas and ESPN Deportes Radio.)

"Yeah, arguably the two best teams [we face in qualifying]," said Donovan of the opposition "It's going to be two hard games. Our team is full of confidence. We're going to Costa Rica with expectations that we can get something out of the game. A win would be great but even getting a point there would be huge."

Playing Mexico in Columbus at Crew Stadium has become a regular occurrence for the United States. The Northern climate, intimidate stadium of the MLS club, and a well-packed pro-American crowd have made for some memorable games.

" Mexico will be fun," said Donovan. "We look forward to that. We played them [in Columbus] a few times and it's always been enjoyable, so we want to keep that going.

" I think psychologically it's a big advantage for us. We love playing there. It's always a pro-American crowd. My guess is if you asked the Mexican players, they don't really enjoy going there. We want to make that a fortress and continue to win there.”





   
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