Landon Donovan is the most decorated and well-known American-born soccer player of all time. But that was with the outdoor game.
Now he's an indoor rookie with the San Diego Sockers ... and still the most well-known American-born soccer player of all time. And with that recognition comes a large following.
On Friday night when Donovan makes his indoor debut at Pechanga Arena he'll do it in front of the largest Sockers crowd in at least 30 years. The team is expecting at least 7,500 and possibly more than 8,000 fans for their match against Tacoma, a number that really hasn't been reached since the Sockers heyday of the 1980's.
They wanted a draw and they certainly got it with Donovan. But we've seen this kind of thing happen before. A big crowd gathers for the curiosity of something new then rapidly loses interest. The Sockers have an idea of how to make sure that does not happen the rest of the 2019 MASL season.
"You keep them around by winning, number one," said Sockers General Manager Sean Bowers. "Winning a championship, that's the goal."
A title would be the 15th in Sockers history. The fact they added Donovan when they already have the best record in the league makes San Diego the overwhelming favorite to do it.