8 October 2014 10:12
United States veteran Landon Donovan will captain the national team against Ecuador on Friday, coach Jurgen Klinsmann has revealed.
Donovan, 32, was controversially left out of the USA’s World Cup squad in Brazil, but has been recalled for a farewell.
The forward’s 15-year international career comes to an end at the Rentschler Field, marking his 157th appearance.
Donovan will play 30 minutes in East Hartford, Connecticut, before departing, and he will wear the captain’s armband – US Soccer said in a tweet on Tuesday.
Speaking before Los Angeles Galaxy training on Tuesday, Donovan said it would be a good way to go out.
“This summer, obviously, was tough, not only for me, but for my family,” he said.
“You don’t want your last memory to be getting cut from the team, and my family didn’t either, so this will be a nice way to hopefully put a ribbon on my career.
“And I’m excited to have a chance to say goodbye to a lot of people who have been supportive of me.”
Donovan said it was a “safe assumption” that his appearance would not have happened if not for US Soccer president Sunil Gulati.
The USA’s all-time leading goalscorer with 57, Donovan said he had grown after the disappointment of missing out on the World Cup squad.
“I’m glad in a lot of ways [that I missed out],” Donovan said.
“As crazy as this sounds, some of the worst things that have happened in my life have turned out to be some of the best things. And I had an opportunity to grow a lot from what happened this year.
“And I wouldn’t have had that opportunity had I gone to the World Cup and played in the World Cup. I’ve grown a lot from it, and I think it’s probably shown in the way I’ve played.”