Donovan named US best

Landon Donovan was named winner of the US Soccer Federation's male athlete of the year award on Monday after helping spark the Americans into next year's FIFA World Cup™ in South Africa.

The 27-year-old playmaker also won the award in 2003 and 2004 and his third honor matches the all-time mark held by goalkeeper Kasey Keller. "It's a great accomplishment and a great award," Donovan said. "I'm very proud of it and knowing that the fans vote on it, your teammates vote on it, and your colleagues vote on it is very special to me."

We look forward to next year [South Africa 2010]. It's going to be a lot of fun.
USA star Landon Donovan

Donovan, named Major League Soccer's Most Valuable Player as well, scored three goals and made key set-up passes to assist on nine others as the USA squad advanced to the FIFA World Cup finals for the sixth time in a row. "We look forward to next year," Donovan said. "It's going to be a lot of fun."

Donovan's 35 caps and 12 career FIFA World Cup qualifying goals are US records. The forward sparked the Los Angeles Galaxy into the MLS Cup final, where the squad was beaten by surprise side Real Salt Lake. Donovan signed a new contract with the Galaxy last week and was loaned to Everton of the English Premier League.