For the 20th ESPY Awards, ESPN has selected the 20 greatest sports moments of the last 20 years. Landon Donovan's World Cup goal against Algeria is No. 20. Donovan recently spoke with ESPN.com about that goal, the state of U.S. soccer and the ESPY Awards.
Can you describe what you were feeling when you scored the game-winning goal in the 2010 World Cup against Algeria?
I think to properly describe it, you have to put it in the context of the game. During the game, we had a number of opportunities to score where we were probably a little unlucky, hitting the post and things like that. Algeria also had a couple chances early in the game to score, so there was a sort of roller coaster throughout the game and wave of emotions throughout the game.
At the end of the game, when you need a goal like that, your team really pushes and really takes some chances, and the offensive players cheat a little. You put a lot of pressure on your defenders to be able to hold the fort when you go forward. Our guys did a really good job of that, so we had the opportunity to press forward and try to get a goal.
The actual play itself came from a chance that Algeria had. Tim Howard made a save and caught the ball, and I was cheating a little bit up the field in the hopes that we would get the ball and go the other way. Tim threw it out to me, I took a touch, Jozy Altidore made a good run wide, we put it in his path and he played a really good ball to Clint Dempsey, who doesn't get enough credit for what he did on the goal, going in hard and making the defender and the goalkeeper make a play. Then it just popped out to me, and I just did what was natural from there.
Where would you rank that goal in your soccer career?
As far as a moment goes, there's no bigger moment in my career, because of the magnitude and what it meant for us, the drama of it. It certainly wasn't the most difficult or the best goal I've scored, but as far as the importance goes, none's been more important.
To read the rest, check it out on our ESPYS page.