Landon Donovan believes the World Cup run for the United States will signal a huge surge in soccer interest in the United States.

While such an upsurge has been predicted before, it has never actually happened. This time it's different he feels.

"I think there are people who will have watched the World Cup, been excited by it and enjoyed it and will now go back to whatever their lives are and to some extent, they won't follow it the same way," Donovan told

"The flip side to that? My guess is there's thousands or tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands or millions of young people who are now inspired to play our sport. Time will tell how many, but for us, and I say this all the time, it's a continuous growth.

I know we're all 'Now! Now! Now!' That's the way our culture is, but it's not going to happen that way. As long as we're continuing to build our fan base, build our support, that's all we can ask for. One day we'll look back and say we did a real good job of that.

"Moments like the one (last month) are the ones where it comes back to serving and being ambassadors for what you believe in. I believe in this game and I love this game, and no more so than since I've gotten off the plane and realized how important it is what we do."

"The biggest lesson we learned is that people really care about what we're doing back home," he said. "You get a sense of it, but until you get home, you don't realize that people are genuinely really excited about what we did. It almost transcends sport, because you could tell these people weren't necessarily big-time fans, but they were caught up in what was going on. And that's a pretty cool thing to be part of."

People ask him about the goal he scored against Algeria.

"We didn't realize it really until a little bit later in the night. Staying up and watching video of people back home -- we saw this incredible YouTube video of people celebrating our goal, and it was so cool to see because we were going through all the emotions in the game,'' he said. "We're going from, `Oh my gosh, our World Cup is over' to just pure ecstasy and realizing not only had we won the game, but we advanced. So there were all these emotions for everyone."