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Ruthless Rewind: Donovan becomes an American icon

It was a party in the U.S.A. when Landon Donovan scored the goal heard around the world — well at least the U.S. Fútbol was the big story this week, but the Ravens, O's and a couple of D.C. superstars made the news, too.

[1] It took them 91 minutes, but the Yanks finally did it. With time ticking away on their World Cup chances, Landon Donovan (right, photo by AP) booted home a rebound to give the Americans a must-have 1-0 win over the great nation of Algeria. (OK, I don't know a thing about Algeria other than it has a soccer team.) In an instant, Donovan, finally cashing in on his promise on the world's biggest stage, became an American icon. Even the most casual of U.S. soccer fans will remember his miraculous goal forever.

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[2] In a surprising move, the Ravens agreed to terms with veteran QB Marc Bulger on a one-year deal to back up starter Joe Flacco. The signing of Bulger, who will make more money than Flacco in 2010, means either Troy Smith or John Beck will be released. (I'm guessing Smith will be crawling his way out of town.) Bulger will prove to be a valuable insurance policy should Flacco get injured. More importantly, it gives Flacco the veteran mentor he's never had in his time in the NFL.

[3] The Ravens patched up their secondary this week, signing CB Walt Harris and S Ken Hamlin to one-year contracts. Their roles are unclear, but they're both productive vets with gas left in the tank. The secondary is still the Ravens' weakest link, but it's not as concerning as it was a week ago.

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[4] Stephen Strasburg picked up his first major-league loss Wednesday because the Nats didn't feel like scoring any runs for him. Strasburg allowed one run in six innings, striking out nine, as the Nats lost to the Royals, 1-0. So the only way to beat Strasburg is to shut out his 'mates? That doesn't seem fair.

[5] Alex Ovechkin finished second in the voting for the Hart Trophy, which is awarded to the NHL's MVP. Henrik Sedin of the Canucks skated home with the hardware, mainly because Ovechkin missed 10 games this season. But hey, at least Sidney Crosby didn't win it. I mean, that's how Capitals fans are defining success, isn't it?

[6] The Orioles have found their savior. Tuesday, the O's acquired Jake Fox, a utilityman with a .240 lifetime average, for Ross Wolf, a promising minor-league reliever. It may turn out to be a decent move, but it's not going to get the fans out to Camden Yards.

[7] Bobby Valentine is out. Buck Showalter was in. Eric Wedge will be in again soon. Rick Dempsey will get a crack, too. This O's game of manager roulette is starting to make me sick. Please just hire someone already.

[8] John Isner won the longest match in tennis history Thursday, beating Nicolas Mahut 70-68 in the fifth set at Wimbledon. The match lasted 11 hours and five minutes over three days. Impressive. I can't even play my roommate for a half hour without him laying down to take a sweaty power nap on the baseline.

Matt Vensel is a content creator at b. Follow him on Twitter: @mattvensel.

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