By FRANCO PANIZO
Landon Donovan didn’t hide his disappointment with being left off the latest U.S. Men’s National Team roster, but he also isn’t keeping him from wanting to make his way back to the team he leads in career goals.
On the day when Jurgen Klinsmann confirmed the early reports that Donovan would be left out, Donovan acknowledged his unhappiness with being left out, but is determined to work his way back into the national team picture eventually.
“I’m disappointed that I’m not (selected) but I’ll keep going and I’ll keep working hard and I hope that I get the chance,” Donovan told Reuters. “But I certainly understand it, I’ve been gone for a long time. I basically excused myself from the first three so I understand the way the world works.
Jurgen Klinsmann left the door open for a Donovan return to the national team, and Donovan is hoping that return can come in July during the CONCACAF Gold Cup.
“My hope would be that I would get called into the Gold Cup squad,” Donovan said. “I sort of need to get back and prove myself there and prove that I can get back into the rhythm of the national team. I guess that will be in some ways a platform to get back into the fall side and hopefully eventually the World Cup.”
Donovan starred in the Los Angeles Galaxy’s 4-1 win of the Philadelphia Union on Wednesday night. He showed glimpses of his dominant self by being involved in all four of his club’s goals, first helping to force an own goal before assisting on two others and scoring one of his own.
Now, Donovan’s focus is solely on replicating that type of performance on a consistent basis so as to break back into the U.S. squad and convince Klinsmann that he deserves to be there permanently.
“I’ll keep going and I’ll keep working hard and I hope that I get the chance,” said Donovan. “I would love to be in Brazil next year but I can’t completely control that. My job is to make it as difficult as possible for the coach to leave me out.”
Immediately after U.S. Soccer unveiled the 26-man roster for this summer’s World Cup qualifiers on Thursday, Klinsmann gave his stance on where Donovan stood in the national team pecking order.
“I think Landon is catching up,” Klinsmann told ussoccer.com. “We’re all excited that he has decided to continue to play. That was the first major answer that we needed to get, and now he’s just working himself back into shape and back into a playing rhythm.
“He will get sharper and more confident with every game he’s going to play now. so we’ll watch that, we’ll monitor that and we’ll decide then when to bring him back into our picture. It’s not going to be for these upcoming games, but maybe later on we’ll definitely expect him back in the team.”
Are you excited about the possibility of Donovan leading the Gold Cup team? Still perplexed about his absence from the current U.S. squad?
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