Published June 29, 2010
NEW YORK (AP) — Fresh off a plane from South Africa, U.S. midfielder Landon Donovan spoke to a group of student volunteers.
Donovan was a surprise guest as part of a forum for the National Conference on Volunteering and Service.
But no one got a bigger reaction than Donovan.
Students cheered and hollered when Donovan joined the stage. They asked the star of the U.S. World Cup team questions about his game-winning goal against Algeria, how to spread soccer's popularity and volunteering.
"(I'm) trying to stay in front of peoples' eyes," he said. "Some of it is beyond our control."
He said he hopes the U.S. run in the World Cup will be forever remembered.
"What I can tell from these kids, what we did was a little bit beyond soccer," he said.
Donovan said he will be doing a number of appearances in the next few weeks.
"You got to take advantage when the opportunity's here," Donovan said. "As soccer players we have an obligation to grow the sport."
Earlier in the day, he appeared on the "Late Show" on CBS.
He told David Letterman that soccer either needs more referees or instant replay.
Donovan helped the Americans win their World Cup group for the first time in 80 years. The United States was twice the victim of the disputed calls that have plagued the tournament, as the team had goals disallowed.
"It's difficult because we know how fast the game is, and as a referee, you can't see everything," Donovan said. "So you either need more eyes on the field or you need some sort of instant replay."
Donovan said it's frustrating "to put that much into something you're doing, and then all of a sudden, it's taken away from you."