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Landon Donovan still haunted by failure to win Olympic medal; backs Tim Howard for Rio

United States v Costa Rica - FIFA 2014 World Cup Qualifier

SAN JOSE, COSTA RICA - SEPTEMBER 06: Landon Donovon #10 of the United States against Costa Rica during the FIFA 2014 World Cup Qualifier at Estadio Nacional on September 6, 2013 in San Jose, Costa Rica. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

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As an 18-year-old kid, Landon Donovan helped the United States to a fourth-place finish at the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, Australia.

Now 34 and retired, Donovan says narrowly missing out on an Olympic medal 16 years ago still haunts him to this day.

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The following quotes are from our good friends over at OlympicTalk in a recently published piece ahead of the 2016 Rio Games.

“My fondest [Olympic] memory is knowing that we had a chance to win a medal,” Donovan said. “It will forever haunt me. I’m a massive sports fan in general. I always watched the Olympics growing up. So to have an Olympic medal would have been cool.”

Donovan would never make it back to the Olympics, although one of his teammates from that 2000 squad could return this summer in Tim Howard.

With only three players over the age of 23 allowed on an Olympic soccer roster, Howard could be chosen to represent the United States in Rio.

“I think it would make a great story,” Donovan said. “Obviously, the coach, Andi Herzog, has to make those decisions, but I think Tim would be a great candidate. What I learned in that [2000] experience was having people through the spine of your team that are experienced, over-age players helped me — Brad Friedel, Jeff Agoos, Frankie Hejduk. Those three, just their experience and leadership helped a lot. So Tim would be a valuable asset.”

The United States U-23 team faces Colombia in a two-legged playoff for a berth at next summer’s Olympics. The first leg will be held in Colombia on March 25, and the second leg will be played at Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas on March 29.