Landon Donovan is the all time leading goal scorer for the U.S. National team and has saved some of his best games when he plays against Mexico. Donovan has been used by head coach Bob Bradley in a variety of roles and it will be interesting to see where he used against the “Tricolore” on Wednesday night.
GD: Rivals bring out the best in each other, what is it that motivates the U.S. against Mexico?
Landon Donovan: “For me it’s a pride thing. Different games with them mean different things and sometimes the games technically mean nothing (like Wednesday) but I absolutely hate to losing to them and that’s why all our games are so competitive with them.”
GD: Is their a newness around the squad that makes it exciting and fresh?
Landon Donovan: “This is fairly new to a lot of guys but I think guys know the importance of this game. There’s a different feeling in camp when we play Mexico and that carries over to the game.”
GD: What about the overwhelming hype around this game?
Landon Donovan: “The Mexican media clearly build this game to be larger than life, especially recently with all our success against them. However, my feeling is that the game isn’t overblown by the media because the reality is that this game means everything to a lot of people and there’s no getting around that fact.”
Practice observations: The U.S. National team look extremely relaxed during training yesterday playing 8v8 and working on some crossing and finishing. Conversely their is a definite air of focus and concentration that manager Bob Bradley has instilled, a business as usual approach
Assistant coach Peter Nowak was working with Benny Feilhaber on his fitness which is obviously an issue with him not playing regularly at Derby. Dave Sarachan the former Chicago Fire coach also was in as an assistant and will be working with U.S. Soccer in the future.
Player for both squads arrived in the evening yesterday. For the U.S. Clint Dempsey, Carlos Bocanegra and Oguchi Onyewu all made the trip across the Atlantic while for Mexico Rafa Marquez, Giovani Dos Santos also did the same for Mexico.
It is a short turn around for players coming from Europe and physically demanding.
Dynamo players like Brian Ching and Craig Waibel took in the practice .