By Kate Roth
Unless you are a follower of soccer you are probably unaware that the Major League Soccer playoffs here in the United States are in full go. If that is true, I would also be willing to bet that you had no idea a player in the Western Conference semi-final scored a hat trick for the first time in a playoff game since 1999. The name of the player you ask? Well none other than Landon Donovan of course.
When I read the headline on Major League Soccer’s homepage and found out this news TWO DAYS after the actual game, I felt the same way I’m sure most felt upon hearing the news, “How did I not hear about this already?” Landon Donovan has become known as one of the most iconic figures in United States Soccer history and it is quite shocking to me that the media is paying so little attention to him as he makes his last run before retirement.
Soccer may not be the most popular sport in the United States, but it is certainly on the rise and the media needs to take notice of this. By covering Donovan’s final games throughout the rest of the MLS Playoffs the media could help spread the popularity of the sport around the country and help soccer gain the respect it gets in other countries throughout the world.
It seems that the only time we hear or see ESPN or any of the other major sports reports talk about soccer is when the FIFA World Cup is on or there is some sort of controversy to cover.
Just think back to a few months ago right before the World Cup was set to begin and the United States coach decided that Donovan was not fit for his team. The media could not get enough of this story and seemed to be interviewing Donovan everyday with his thoughts on the matter. The media sure seemed to care about Donovan then, but where are they now.
The media makes it seem like without controversy they have nothing to report on, but that is not the case. The man who has helped shape the United States Men’s National Soccer Team into what it is today is on his final tour and so far, going out in style. He scored 3 goals and had an assist in a conference-semi final game which could have easily been the last game he ever played. Landon Donovan is going out in the way we dream of legendary players leaving the field for the last time. Accomplishing things that haven’t been done in over a decade and leading his team to victory.
Landon Donovan has been one of the most exciting players to watch play the sport of soccer for the United States and deserves more respect from the media. Even though the media may not think they need to pay any attention to soccer, this is different. Landon Donovan changed the way we look at soccer in the United States. He plays every game with more passion than you will see more athletes show throughout their entire careers, and for that we need to thank him and support him as he plays in his final games.