Former New England Revolution president Sunil Gulati became a driving force in organizing this game, an attempt to give Donovan a sendoff after he had been dismissed by U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann. The U.S. prepared for the match at Harvard University’s Ohiri Field, but Donovan did not arrive until game day, then put in 41 minutes before being replaced by Joe Corona.
U.S. 1:1 Ecuador at Rentschler Field, East Hartford, Conn. (Att.: 36,265)
Donovan helped set up Mix Diskerud’s fifth-minute goal and hit the post. Enner Valencia’s 88th-minute goal equalized.
Donovan made his New England debut with a two-goal performance in a San Jose 5-1 win over the Revolution at Foxboro Stadium on Aug. 8, 2001. The Boston Globe headline noted: “Donovan is on Fast Forward; 19-year-old Offers Glimpse at Future.” Donovan officially retired after a 2-1 extra time win over the Revolution in the MLS Cup final on Dec. 7, 2014.
Donovan seemed to believe there was no chance he would return to the field (believe me, I pressed him on the subject), but he came back for a six-game stint in 2016. Donovan totaled 57 goals in 157 appearances for the U.S.
U.S.: Guzan; Chandler, Orozco (Gonzalez 62’), Brooks (Ream 62’), Garza; Yedlin, Diskerud, Bedoya (Morales 62’), Gyau (Wood 22’); Altidore (Wondolowski 76’), Donovan (Corona 41’).
ECUADOR: Banguera; Juan Carlos Paredes (Mario Pineida 90’), Luis Canga, Frickson Erazo, Walter Ayovi; Renato Ibarra (Jonathan Gonzalez 44’), Segundo Castillo, Cristhian Noboa, Cristian Penilla (Joao Plata 46’); Juan Cazares, Enner Valencia.
Referee: Roberto Moreno. Goals: Diskerud 5’, Valencia 88’. Attendance: 36,265.
TODAY IN NEW ENGLAND SOCCER HISTORY