Crew reflects on Donovan's storied career
With Landon Donovan set to make his final appearance in Columbus after a storied career, it's been a week of reflection and remembering for both Landon himself and those who watched him play. That includes members of the Crew, who offered thoughts and memories about Donovan in their own words.
Gregg Berhalter: "He was probably the best soccer player the U.S. has ever had. It's going to be sad not to see him on the field anymore. I remember his first game for the National Team and I remember his first camp for the National Team. Him coming being a 16-year-old kid, just the enthusiasm and the youthful feel. It was a journey and I took a lot of that journey with him. He's a friend and a great player."
Michael Parkhurst: "I was disappointed to hear [about his retirement]. I think he's a fantastic player. He's still playing at a high level. I still think he's one of the best in the League. It'll be sad to see him go from a competitive standpoint, but he's played for a long time and he's really brought the level of MLS and U.S. Soccer to somewhere it's never been before. For a long time, he was doing it singlehandedly. He's just an icon for all of U.S. Soccer. I hope the fans recognize that and even though he's on the other side, we can stand up and really appreciate what he's done."
Wil Trapp: "He's probably the biggest and best player we've ever had for U.S. Soccer and this country as a whole. He's an idol for so many players. Me growing up, watching him in the '02 World Cup, 2006, 2010 when he scored the late winner against Algeria – he's always been around and always been a staple in the National Team and always performed well. He's a guy who is a model professional for all kids to look up to."
Justin Meram: "It's obviously a sad day, because it's the last we'll be seeing of the greatest player in U.S. history. It'll be a privilege, I've played against him once and hopefully it'll be a second time. This League probably would have folded if he might have gone to Europe. He kept it and it's a testament to him how big the League's become. Every player has to thank him because without Landon, we wouldn't be playing in such a great League at this time period."
Chad Barson: "I think everyone's a little sad that he's hanging up the boots. When you look back at the contributions that he's made to MLS and to U.S. Soccer, there's not a better person to look at and try to model your game after. He's a true champion and I think everyone will miss watching him play. One of the memories I have of him is his goal against Algeria late in the last World Cup. I just want to say thanks for all the contributions he made. I think everyone will miss seeing him out there on the field. Hopefully he still stays connected with U.S. Soccer and MLS."
Ethan Finlay: "Obviously one of the greatest -- if not the greatest -- U.S. men's National Team player to ever play the game. He really kind of brought soccer to this nation and created awareness over the last 10 to 14 years here, since his first World Cup. What he's done has been tremendous for this sport and for this League. We have a lot to thank."
Hector Jimenez: "Definitely growing up, I was a fan of LA before I even played for them. To be able to share the same locker room and be on the same field with him was something special and something I'll never forget. He's had a great career and as everyone knows, he put U.S. Soccer on the map. We have a lot to thank him for."
Ben Speas: "He's a U.S. Soccer legend. I've been watching him since I was a kid. It should be a great game, a great last time to play him, but hopefully we can take three points from him."