MIAMI, Florida – Concacaf is using this time to reflect on the history of the Confederation’s competitions, including its premier national team tournament, the Concacaf Gold Cup.
As the co-leader in goals for his national team, it is no wonder that Landon Donovan of the United States is the Gold Cup’s goal king.
No player has more Gold Cup goals to his name than Donovan, who in six Gold Cup appearances, scored 18 goals, which is five more than the second player on the list, countryman Clint Dempsey with 13.
In total, Donovan appeared in the 2002, 2003, 2005, 2007, 2011 and 2013 Gold Cups and it is fitting that his first ever Gold Cup match, a 2-1 group stage win over South Korea in 2002, saw him open the scoring in what was his first Gold Cup goal.
In 2003, Donovan would flex his scoring muscles, scoring four goals to tie Costa Rica’s Walter Centeno for the tournament lead. Ironically, all four goals came in a 5-0 quarterfinal win over Cuba.
Two years later in 2005, Donovan was back at it, again tying for top scoring honors in the tournament with three goals in leading the U.S. to the title in a penalty shootout victory over Panama in the Final.
Donovan and the U.S. would lift the trophy again in 2007 thanks in part to Donovan’s four goals. Donovan converted a penalty kick in each knockout round match, including a crucial second-half attempt to pull the U.S. even with Mexico 1-1 before winning 2-1.
After not appearing in the 2009 edition, Donovan was back in the 2011 Gold Cup and helped the U.S. once again reach the Final, where Donovan scored his lone goal of the tournament in a 4-2 loss to Mexico.
Yet Donovan would save his finest Gold Cup for his last one in 2013. The attacking midfielder scored five goals to earn Golden Ball honors, plus a share of the Golden Boot. Donovan scored in four of the U.S.’s six matches, including a brace in the 3-1 win over Honduras in the semifinals.