Members of the United States celebrate winning the Gold Cup after defeating Panama during the CONCACAF Gold Cup final match at Soldier Field on July 28, 2013 in Chicago, Illinois. The United States defeated Panama 1-0. (Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
CHICAGO (USA TODAY) -- Landon Donovan entered the Gold Cup with uncertainty about his future with the U.S. men's national team. He ended it in the best way possible: with arms outstretched and screaming in joy before raising the championship trophy at Soldier Field.
On an afternoon in which the U.S. played without the leadership of head coach Jurgen Klinsmann and the playmaking abilities of Stuart Holden, Donovan put a resounding exclamation on the Gold Cup tournament. His dummy move created the Americans' only goal as they held off Panama 1-0 to earn the title for the first time since 2007.
In the midst of a physical defensive battle, the veteran midfielder lost his defender as he sprinted towards the net in the 68th minute. Instead of redirecting Alejandro Bedoya's low, driving cross, Donovan stepped over it, confusing goalkeeper Jaime Penedo. Midfielder Brek Shea finished the play with a quick tap into the open goal.
"I took a mighty swing at it and missed," Donovan said. "But it was enough to throw the goalie off."