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Landon Donovan's Path to Greatness

By Mike Woitalla,

Josh Donovan was 5 years old when he got a brother. The family newcomer, Landon, started walking at about 10 months old.

"That was about the time he started playing with the ball," said his mother, Donna Kenny-Cash. "Josh couldn't wait for Landon to stand up and start playing soccer with him."

Donna signed up Landon for an AYSO team at age 5 and he scored seven goals in his first game. The only other organized sports Landon played was a little T-ball and cross-country in high school.

"But I played every sport you could imagine during my whole childhood," he said. "Anytime we had a chance to go outside and play, we did.

"Usually what happened is whatever sport was in season, we'd go outside and play. So if the NBA playoffs were going on, we'd go outside and play basketball. If baseball was starting, we'd go play baseball. If it was hockey, we'd play hockey."

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Mike Woitalla is the Executive Editor of Soccer America Magazine and has written freelance articles about soccer for more than 30 media outlets in eight nations. The winner of six NSCAA Writing Contest awards, he has covered soccer in 18 countries and is the co-author of former U.S. captain and AYSO alum Claudio Reyna's book, "More Than Goals."


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