On August 16, I had the privilege of traveling to Ohio to watch Columbus Crew face off against Los Angeles Galaxy in the Major League Soccer showdown. Before the match kicked off, Columbus honored legend Landon Donovan by showing a video of the most memorable goals that Donovan has scored over the years at Crew Stadium. After the video presentation, former Galaxy and USA teammates Frankie Hejduk and Gregg Berhalter (currently the coach of Columbus) presented Donovan with a framed piece of netting from the north net -- which is from the goal he scored on in the 2-0 victory against Mexico in September, 2013.
“I have a lot of very good memories here and I was very appreciative of them doing that. They certainly didn’t have to and I certainly have a lot of respect for the Gregg [Berhalter] and the Crew organization.” – Landon Donovan
It’s very heartwarming that the Crew went out of their way to honor Landon’s career in such a way as that. In the next game the Galaxy played, the Colorado Rapids presented Donovan with a ski pass, a Vail Resorts gift basket, and a bottle of wine from the vineyard of Colorado’s owner.
Getting back to the actual game in Columbus -- it definitely didn’t have the turnout that I was hoping for. The Galaxy were basically ineffective throughout the entire match, resulting in a 4-1 thrashing from Columbus. Both teams have been on fire and have won every game since their meeting on the 16th.
After the match, the Crew treated fans who decided to stick around for a while longer to a fireworks show. Although the Galaxy didn’t get the win they were hoping for, I’m so glad that I got to experience Landon’s very last game in Crew Stadium, and a fantastic fireworks showing.
I urge everyone to start supporting Major League Soccer. The best way for soccer to further develop in The United States, is to build a stronger fan base. The best advice I can give is to find an MLS team and support it. Watch as many televised games as you can. If you ever have the opportunity -- PLEASE buy tickets and watch a game live. I promise the atmosphere is totally different from any sporting event you have ever been to, and you will absolutely love it. You definitely won’t regret it. I’m so excited for our league and our national team to continue to grow. Soccer is beginning to become one of the major sports in our country, and that is something I’m proud of.
Stay tuned, Kelby