Did Landon Donovan just make the best pass of the year?

I missed most of the USA v Panama Gold Cup semi-final as I had to coach tonight but I caught the highlights and I’d have to say I’m pretty stunned by the ball Landon Donovan played to Clint Dempsey for the winner. It’s a wicked blend of timing, precision and perfect weight that ends up on the only tiny little patch that Dempsey would’ve reached it and been able to score from.

Click below for Xavi-esque video.

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5 Responses to Did Landon Donovan just make the best pass of the year?

  1. cutleron says:

    It’s good, and probably the right thing to do from there, then. But it’s only a _great_ pass if he meant to nutmeg his defender. If not, no. I can’t imagine that he did — he’s too far away from that guy who plants his feet, avoids the hand ball, and watches the ball go through his legs. Dempsey was abandoned by a guy who was marking him at the top of the box, leaving him to the guy who can’t quite get a toe to the pass before Dempsey. I think the Panama defenders were exposed for who they are: under 25 year olds playing in their domestic league or, in the case of the guy who looked bad at the back post, the Guatemalan league (I think).
    I’m reminded of your post a few months back on commentators’ too-proximate notion of soccer causality. It applies to credit as much as blame.
    Xavi might have cut it back to Jones, perhaps.

    • Gregor says:

      I actually initially had “intentionality” in the bit above that says, “It’s a wicked blend of timing, precision and perfect weight”.

      I agree that it’s only great if he meant to meg the defender but I do think he meant to do that. As for ‘too-proximate notion of soccer causality’….thanks for trying to make me look smarter than I am. I settle for the notion of ‘intentionality’ and it’s something I talk to kids about when I coach. Have an intention behind your first touch, behind each pass. Fight randomness and insist on getting the ball to do what you need and want it to do.

  2. cutleron says:

    Maybe Lando will tell us he meant to do it.
    And if you do that online coaching resources thing you’ve mentioned before, you should call it fightrandomsoccer.ca.
    I will borrow that phrase. thanks.

  3. K says:

    How about something on Canada’s first u17 World Cup points…..Against defending Euro champs nonetheless!

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