OK, maybe that headline overstates it a bit, but Landon Donovan and Freddy Adu at least got a degree of redemption when their play directly led to the United States' winning goal in the Gold Cup semifinal against Panama. Clint Dempsey was the guy who finished the sequence, but make no mistake about it, this was really about Adu and Donovan, two players who came off the bench and were in need of redeeming for very different reasons.
Adu's leading pass that found Donovan on the wing was really the key to the goal. But Donovan's pinpoint pass was what allowed Dempsey to score yet another huge goal for the Yanks.
Adu, of course, was the biggest surprise when rosters for the tournament was announced. Since being declared the man who would take soccer mainstream as a 13-year-old, he has done almost nothing to live up to the hype and is currently plying his trade in the second division of Turkey. This moment was easily his most memorable in a U.S. shirt.
Donovan has been almost the extreme opposite, establishing himself as perhaps the greatest American soccer player in history. But recently, his play has been less than inspired and he was left to come off the bench in each of the USA's last two games. The assist was a reminder of just how good he can be.