Donovan was unable to add to his record 57 goals in his 157th and
final appearance for his country before being replaced in the 41st
minute of the game.
The 32-year-old came close, though, striking the post in the 25th
minute after being set up by Jozy Altidore.
Mix Diskerud had given the United States the lead in the fifth
minute with a confident finish at the end of a move that was started
by a Donovan burst down the left and cross to the back post.
Juergen Klinsmann's team were denied a victory by a superb 88th
minute goal from Enner Valencia, the striker beating Brad Guzan with
a dipping, swerving drive from 25 meters out.
But the game itself, featuring a young American team without most of
Donovan's long-term team mates such as Clint Dempsey and Tim Howard,
took second billing to what was in effect a testimonial game for the
L.A. Galaxy forward.
For 14 years Donovan has been the face of the U.S. team and Major
League Soccer and in many ways he has been the first real domestic
soccer star the country has produced.
Before the game Donovan was presented with a gift of a patchwork
shirt made up of all the national team jerseys he had worn and after
the game he stood in the center of the field watching a video of his
career, wiping tears from his eyes.
After embracing his family at the side of the field, Donovan then
headed into the stands to lead a chant with the organized fan group,
'The American Outlaws'.
Donovan's first-half substitution had been agreed beforehand - he
has a Major League Soccer game to play with the Galaxy on Sunday -
but did present the expected awkward moment when he was greeted by
Klinsmann on the touchline.
[to top of second column]
Klinsmann's decision to leave Donovan out of the World Cup squad for
Brazil in June - which would have been the striker's fourth finals -
caused controversy in the American soccer world and clearly left a
bitter aftertaste for Donovan.
Asked before the game in a television interview what the state of
his relationship with Klinsmann was, Donovan had replied bluntly:
"At this point we don't really have a relationship."
That was evident in the rather hesitant handshake and hug between
the two on the touchline but for the fans who turned out the spirit
of the night was captured in a series of banners declaring "Thank
In an interview with ESPN after the game, Donovan said despite his
relatively young age he felt it was the right time to depart.
"Mentally and physically, I am just there, I am ready. It has been a
long haul and you know when you get to the end you have that feeling
that enough has been enough, I feel that way," he said.
"I want to go out when I can still run and still enjoy playing. I
don't want to get pushed out when I can't play anymore. I think now
is the time," he said.
(Reporting by Simon Evans, editing by Nick Mulvenney)
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