Why is he Jon’s Soccer Valentine? He’s cute, but he’s not my type, really. I’m more into coaches than players if you get my drift. But I love his candor, and the fact that he’s publicly matured before our eyes as soccer fans. I like that he doesn’t let all the criticism get to him and cares more about winning than answering his doubters. He’s in the middle of everything good that happens for whatever team he’s playing for, and that’s the sign of a quality player. And his leadership qualities keep improving — which means he’ll continue to matter to US fans like me for years to come.
What would their Soccer Valentine date be? My ideal date with Landon would be a light, healthy meal (I can’t imagine him eating fried chicken or anything), followed by him teaching me how to cross with my left foot and how to trap long balls in tight spaces. Then we’d hold hands and watch replays of his best games while I told him how awesome he is, and how even in 2006 when everyone hated him, I was defending him in arguments even though it was getting difficult to do so. And I’d thank him for vindicating me in 2010 with a great World Cup performance. Then he’d go home early cause he has training in the morning, and he’d think of how I’ve inspired him to score a hat trick in the next game.