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Donovan likely looking at 'last chance'

HARRISON, N.J. -- Landon Donovan knows that this summer's World Cup in Brazil will likely be his last.

For U.S. national team star Landon Donovan, Brazil just might be his last World Cup chance.
For U.S. national team star Landon Donovan, Brazil just might be his last World Cup chance.

In an exclusive interview with ESPNFC, the U.S. national team's all-time scoring leader, who turns 32 on March 4, said he can't see himself participating as a 36-year-old at Russia 2018.

"It's hard for me to imagine, sitting here, that I'll be able to walk in four years, much less play soccer," Donovan said Monday at Red Bull Arena, where MLS hosted its annual media day. "So I would guess that this is my last chance of making a World Cup."

This year's tournament would be Donovan's fourth. As a 20-year-old in 2002, he had two goals in five games to help the U.S. reach the quarterfinals. Donovan went scoreless as the Americans were eliminated in the group stage at Germany 2006, but scored three times in four games at the 2010 tournament in South Africa as the Yanks advanced to the Round of 16.

Donovan is a shoo-in for this year's squad despite missing the first six World Cup qualifiers in 2013. But he insisted he's not guaranteed a starting spot on what he called the deepest U.S. team he's been on at any point during his 15-year international career.

"Personally, I realize very clearly the competition involved," he said. "More likely than not I will be used as a midfielder in some way, and there's a lot of midfielders pushing for a few spots in the wide positions."

Donovan wouldn't shut the door on 2018 completely, however. "You never know," he said. "We'll see, but if it is [my last Word Cup], I want to make sure that it's very enjoyable and I take advantage of it."

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