Landon Donovan is still playing a role for the U.S. World Cup team: supporting defender Omar Gonzalez, his Los Angeles Galaxy teammate.
After injuring his left knee during a Major League Soccer game May 3, Gonzalez was supplanted in the U.S. starting lineup by center backs Geoff Cameron and Matt Besler. Gonzalez sat out the Americans’ opener against Ghana, made his World Cup debut during second-half injury time against Portugal and replaced Cameron in the starting lineup for Thursday’s 1-0 loss to Germany.
Watching from California after being cut from the roster, Donovan supplies tips.
“I send messages back and forth with Landon,” Gonzalez said. “He’s been great for me, just giving me advice, and it’s been great having him there just to talk about things.”
Gonzalez appeared to have been passed by on the depth chart, until U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann told Gonzalez he was starting against Germany.
“I just said, ‘OK, I’m good to go,’ and there wasn’t much else to be said,” Gonzalez recalled Saturday. “For me, not playing in the lead-in games and being on the bench in the first two games, you can get down on yourself, but the good thing is that I have good people around me.”
After whiffing on an early clearance, Gonzalez was a defensive force against the Germans, making several key blocks.
Gonzalez said he didn’t know whether he would start Tuesday in the Americans’ second-round game against Belgium. He’s just happy to be healthy and helping the U.S.
Referee announced for U.S. game
FIFA has assigned Algerian Djamel Haimoudi to referee the United States vs. Belgium match Tuesday. Haimoudi has already refereed the Netherlands’ 3-2 win over Australia and Costa Rica’s 0-0 draw with England.
Luiz officially credited with goal
FIFA has confirmed David Luiz as the scorer of Brazil’s goal in Saturday’s match against Chile. It was Luiz, not Chile defender Gonzalo Jara, who got the final touch on the ball for Brazil’s 18th-minute goal.
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