Toward the end of Landon Donovan's emotive post-match tribute to the triumphant U.S. soccer team (above), the American star said "Hi, Bianca," and blew a kiss to the camera, which left casual observers wondering, just who is Bianca?
The woman in question is Donovan's ex-wife Bianca Kajlich (pronounced "kay-lick"), the 33-year-old actress whom he married on New Year's Eve 2006. She looks an awful lot like this...
Sitcom fans may recognize her as Jennifer from CBS' "Rules of Engagement". She has also been featured in "Dawson's Creek," the brilliant-sounding "Confessions of a Dog" and alongside Busta Rhymes in "Halloween Resurrection". (Interestingly, her screams in the latter were dubbed by another actress, as she is unable to scream.)
Despite having a solid enough domestic life to feature on an episode of "MTV Cribs," Bianca and Landon separated in December 2009, a few days shy of their three-year anniversary. So why would a sportsman pay tribute to his ex-wife after one of the most important moments of his career? After the game, Yahoo! Sports' Martin Rogers asked Donovan about the shoutout to his former belle, and he said:
"I have carried her with me all through this tournament and she means lot to me. She is a very special person and she means a lot to me."
It appears that the separation was not only amicable, but beneficial to his career, as he recently explained:
"I think every comment I got when I told people I was getting divorced was, 'I'm so sorry,' " said Donovan, speaking on Day 2 of the USA national team training camp. "It is not always the case that it has to be 'sorry.'
"Sometimes you learn more from those moments than anything. For me that was certainly the case. It doesn't have to be something ugly or nasty. It can be helpful and you can grow from it. That is what we both took from it."
In an age where divorce is often messy, it's refreshing to see adults who can get along after a separation. They've even managed to arrange custody of their dogs without any sad puppy faces (I'm not sure who got to keep them in the end, but Donovan claimed they were one of the things he missed the most during his time with Bayern Munich).
It's obvious that the U.S. goalscoring hero is still fond of his former flame, but we wanted to know whether the kiss-blowing tribute is a sign of reconciliation. Shortly after the incident, Yahoo! Sports asked Donovan if love is in the air, and he smiled, winked and playfully said:
"What is this, Access Hollywood!?"