U.S. Men's National Team

Donovan opens up again, puts odds of playing in 2014 World Cup at "50/50"

Photo by John Todd/ISIPhotos.com

About four months ago Landon Donovan sent the American soccer community buzzing when he gave the first clear-cut evidence that maybe, just maybe, he was seriously considering retirement sooner rather than later. His latest interview reveals that those earlier statements were far from a passing faze.

In an interview with ESPN, Donovan admitted to still struggling with motivation, and revealed that he is still at a point where his going through some serious soul-searching and thinking about life after soccer.

“I have always tried to find the point where I know this is a job but where I still enjoy it,”  Donovan told ESPN. “I know I have to enjoy it so I can really play my best or else I can become a detriment to my team.”

Donovan also touched the likelihood of him playing in the 2014 World Cup, which would be his fourth World Cup.

“I don’t have the answer to that,” Donovan told ESPN. “There are a lot of moving pieces: Will I be playing, period? Will I be part of the team? Will I be good enough to be wanted?

“If I had to guess I would say it is 50-50. I will have more clarity after I take a break.”

Based on Donovan’s latest comments, it appears more and more unlikely that he will be heading to Everton on loan this winter, but he does leave the door open for a return to Goodison Park. With just one year remaining on his current MLS contract after 2012, Donovan could make one last move to Europe, assuming the motivation and desire is there.

While Donovan’s comments back in May came as a bit of a shock, his latest interview will only serve to add to a growing realization that the countdown to the end of Donovan’s career is coming sooner than most would have imagined even just 16 months ago, when he was starring in the 2010 World Cup.

Give Donovan’s ESPN interview a read and let us know what you think? Do you see Donovan being a key member of the U.S. National team much longer? Are you hoping he is still on the team in 2012, or are you ready for the next generation to step in so Donovan can move on to the next chapter in his life?

Share your thoughts below.

  • Joe

    He was starring in the 2010 World Cup 28 months ago – not 16, but it does seem like yesterday when he struck late against Algeria.


    • alabamafutbol

      ^Was about to correct that same thing, 28 months not 16- seriously does feel like just yesterday.. the idea of no Landon is pretty depressing


  • Cory

    Well, as sad as it sounds, the sooner we accept his decline and eventual end to his national team tenure (as is currently occurring with Carlos Bocanegra), the better it is for the program in the long run. Our youth teams are looking good though, especially our U-17s. There are good things in store for the future.


  • Tim

    “You either die a hero or you live long enough to see yourself become the villain.”- Landon Donovan


  • Turd Bradley

    You can take the kid out of California but you can’t take the cakes out of Landy.

    he is just being a baby, and if its too much for poor lil landycakes to play anymore than so be it.

    Not like we are going to win 2014 might as well give the young guys a chance. Boca please stop playing. No one wants you and you are slower than the dickens. Jonathan Bornstein is the worst player ever to sign a professional contract.


  • Hal

    LD is a coward. He has a fear of failure. He should have been playing in the EPL full time by now.

    Good riddance to this guy. I don’t want him on the national team.


  • eric harris

    Landon is not going to improve much by playing at Everton at this point in his life.A Landon who hasbecome fatigued and or lost that special feeling for the game will not help the National team much either starting or on the bench. My feeling is that{ here from a totally meaningless distance] Landon should take a sabatical from the game, and if Klinsmann will allow it , come back into the national team after the layoff, with the understanding he would have to earns his way back in, in friendlies or perhaps qualifiers.

    The coach needs all the talent and experience he can get , particularly here in the Land of the Free.This sort of ” special treatment” is what certain players have earned, and Landon is one of them. This type of treatment is common amongst experienced soccer minds, though is maybe
    frowned on here where ”whining” is frowned on.

    The point is not is he a whiner but how to 1. qualify for the world cup, 2. put the best team on the field for what is going to be an exceptional world cup. Landon can help that team either starting or subbing in, or a combo based on the situation.
    ANSWER: Cut the guy some slack and HOPE he gets his spring in his step back and his thirst for playing and winning too.

    The question of Everton or MLS is not the point. The point is; first get back to square one and keep your eyes on the prize,~ semifinals, or quarterfinals~ Brazil 2014. If the U.S. and Landon
    make that happen the contract options will be good and will take care of themselves.
    3 MOTHS OFF in the oceans of Thailand or the mountains of New Zealand, or both.

    With a Coach who expects real soccer out of the team there is a ”chance” for us soccer to
    make the leap, from where i am sitting Landon is part of that or should be.


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