PORTLAND, Ore. – The 2014 MLS All-Star Game will be remembered for Landon Donovan's winning goal. Especially now that we know it will be his last All-Star Game.
But the 14-time MLS All-Star should be remembered for the masterful bait-and-switch he pulled off. With all the talk of this possibly being Thierry Henry's final All-Star bow, not a single reporter bothered to ask Donovan if this was indeed his final midsummer classic.
And that’s exactly how Donovan wanted it. He played along, allowing the spotlight to be squarely on the other 22 players around him, not the least of which was the French legend for whom he subbed on in the 47th minute.
Donovan stood and waited to enter the game as Henry took a slow stroll to the sideline, basking in a standing ovation from the Providence Park crowd and applauding them right back. One of those applauding was, by the way, Donovan.
“Listen, the guy’s a legend,” he told reporters afterwards, “and for all of us, it’s an honor to play with him. And so I’m glad that Caleb [Porter] was savvy enough to do that for him, he absolutely deserves it. We hope it’s not the last time, but if it is, then I’m glad I could be on the field with him.”