Huffpost Sports

Landon Donovan Goals, Assist Lift U.S. Soccer Past Honduras Into Gold Cup Final (VIDEO/PHOTOS)

Posted: Updated:
Landon Donovan #10 of the United States celebrates his goal against Honduras during the Gold Cup semifinal at Cowboys Stadium on July 24, 2013 in Arlington, Texas.
Landon Donovan #10 of the United States celebrates his goal against Honduras during the Gold Cup semifinal at Cowboys Stadium on July 24, 2013 in Arlington, Texas.

ARLINGTON, Texas -- By even the very high standards of coach Jurgen Klinsmann, Landon Donovan is regaining top form after taking a break from the national team.

Donovan scored two goals and set up another on Wednesday night, helping the United States beat Honduras 3-1 to advance to the CONCACAF Gold Cup final.

Klinsmann said the performance was "wonderful to watch."

"I have told him in our conversations that `I measure you. Your benchmark is the best Landon Donovan ever,'" Klinsmann said. "I'm not taking anything less than that. And he is trying to catch up with that. Give him more games. Give him time."

The Americans will play Panama, a 2-1 winner over Mexico in the second semifinal, on Sunday in Chicago. The U.S. has won a team-record 10 straight games.

While Klinsmann has declined to confirm that Donovan will be rejoining the World Cup qualifying team later this year, the top goal scorer in U.S. history is leaving little doubt that he belongs.

Donovan has five goals in the tournament, tying him with teammate Chris Wondolowski for most in the Gold Cup. Donovan has set up seven goals, including four in the last two games.

Entering the game, he was the only U.S. player to play every minute of the tournament. He finally was subbed out in the 72nd minute, having earned a rest.

"It's the most relaxed I've felt," Donovan said. "I feel good, and I'm really enjoying it."

STORY CONTINUES BELOW

Close
PHOTOS: USA vs. Honduras
of
Share
Tweet
Advertisement
Share this
close
Current Slide

The U.S. struck first when Donovan found Eddie Johnson running through the middle of the Honduran defense. Johnson took a dribble and powered a shot past goalkeeper Donis Escober, giving the U.S. a lead 11 minutes into the game.

In the 27th minute, Johnson started another scoring sequence with a pass to midfielder Alejandro Bedoya. Donovan received Bedoya's short chip off his chest in the middle of the goal box and poked a shot past Escober.

"The first 30 minutes was brilliant football. Brilliant, high pressure, high tempo," Klinsmann said. "We wanted to move the football around and create chances, and that's what we did."

Nery Medina of Honduras made it a one-goal game in the 52nd minute, heading in a cross from Marvin Chavez. The Americans countered a minute later when Bedoya ran down a long ball from Clarence Goodson and crossed it to Donovan, who scored from a few yards out.

"In the end, the U.S. was able to beat us in every aspect of the game," Honduras coach Luis Fernando Suarez said.

After the game, it was uncertain whether Klinsmann would be suspended for the final after being ejected in the 87th minute for slamming a ball into the ground. A CONCACAF official said the referee would file a report with CONCACAF's disciplinary committee, which will announce a decision in the next day or two.

Klinsmann said he was reacting to a number of hard fouls over the game's final 30 minutes.

"It was a reaction out of frustration," he said. "It was not meant against the referee, against anybody. It was just frustration. I apologize for that."

Around the Web

Landon Donovan's 2 goals lead US into Gold Cup final - USA Today

Landon Donovan goal vs Algeria called by Andres Cantor - YouTube

Landon Donovan - Goal.com

Landon Donovan - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Eddie Johnson and Landon Donovan Scored Sweet 1st-Half Goals ...

Landon Donovan's World Cup goal vs Algeria - Video Dailymotion

Landon Donovan's Goal Was One Year Ago, And It's Still Incredible ...

Landon Donovan's Extra Time Game Winning Goal!!! | Facebook

Landon Donovan's 2 goals lead US into Gold Cup final

After long layoff, Landon Donovan has his swagger back

Landon Donovan continues to show his value with USA

Donovan scores 2 goals, US beats Honduras 3-1 to reach Gold Cup final

Landon Donovan proves he belongs as US routs El Salvador

US national soccer team's run impresses even Landon Donovan

Landon Donovan has his swagger back

Landon Donovan leads United States past El Salvador in CONCACAF Gold Cup

Landon Donovan leads USA to Gold Cup semifinals

Landon Donovan, US close out quarters with flourish

 
From Our Partners