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Video: Landon Donovan says he would consider USMNT return if he felt able to contribute

Landon Donovan USMNT 21

32 comments
  • Adam M.

    Not happening. The talent pool at forward is much better, younger, and deeper now, and there is no reason to believe we’d need a 36 year old “savior” to rescue the WC effort two years from now. If any older forward is coming off the bench late in a 2018 World Cup match, you’d think it be someone like Dempsey with a knack for finding a header. And I’m not sure even he’s on the plane if the pool continues to develop. Unless Donovan turns in Giovinco-like performances — keep in mind that he never did that in a much weaker MLS — his time with the Nats seems as over as his career was until a few weeks ago.

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  • TheFrenchOne

    I think we can all agree there’s about a 1% chance of him playing at a high enough level and THEN Klinsmann calling him up. It’s a hypothetical, something to keep the radio show interesting. It’s what Dan Patrick does. Let’s not turn this into a headline that “Donovan Expecting for USMNT Call-Up for November Qualifiers”.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Hunky Dory

    Given the fact that Klinsmann – an ego-addled prick – has suffered no greater criticism EVER than in his mind-boggling decision to leave an in-form Donovan off the ’14 WC team, the chances of Klinsmann doing a “mea culpa” and inviting his nemesis back into the fold is about as likely as Hitler rising from the grave and dancing a jig.

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    • Anthony

      While I think Donovan belonged on the squad, he WAS NOT in-form when the decisions were made. He turned it on after he got snubbed.

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    • jb

      Disagree. This so-called “feud” between JK and LD is mostly a media creation. These disagreements between pro players and coaches are pretty commonplace, its just that the 2 names involved in this one makes for good stories. Klinsmann is very pragmatic, if he honestly believed Donovan could help the team, I think he would call him up. But I think it would take a monumental effort from Donovan in the MLS playoffs to even put himself in contention.

      Liked by 1 person

  • Bull

    Why would Jurgen even give him a chance? So far, under Jurgen’s leadership, Landy Cakes has taken a year long vacation to visit Asia. He showed up to camp 2 months before the world cup with a beer belly. He’s filled the press with articles about how he’s burnt out and doesn’t love it anymore. He’s criticized Jurgen’s leadership and called out the head coach in the press because Jurgen wouldn’t allow him to write his own schedule. He’s done everything in his power to prove the younger generation, that work ethic doesn’t matter and that talented players should be able to get away with taking as much time off as they like and showing up fat and out of shape. That’s the Landon Donovan of the last 5 years, like it or not.

    We’ve gone away from the style of football that made Landon successful anyway. We don’t just sit back and bunker in as much. We still do it on occasion, but even when we do, there are much better options to be the outlet for the fast break.

    Landon’s days with the national team are done. The press and Landon need to give up on the idea, because it isn’t going to happen.

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    • Ronniet

      To suggest LD is only capable of playing counter attacking football just shows the ignorance of so called soccer knowledgeable fans on this site. Please don’t let hate cloud judgment as a lot of folks tend to do but the reality is Landon could become the best player in MLS again and probably wouldn’t be called up because it would continue to make Jurgen look bad. And nobody ever assumed a call up would mean going to another WC, but rather to help the team qualify for Russia. These young crop of forwards people have put in the team already have proved nothing at club level and it’s ignorant to do so considering injuries and inexperience. We’d all be better off letting things play out instead of assuming and prognosticating!

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      • Bull

        There’s a reason why Landon is the leading scorer in U.S. history. It’s because he was the “fast” guy on a team that bunkered in a played counter attacking football for the majority of his career. That, and he took p.k.’s the entirety of his national career. Watch his highlight tape. He scored the majority of his goals from the spot or from running alone towards the goalie. He still deserves credit for being able to convert p.k.s and score on fast breaks, but he wasn’t a very good striker without those two elements of his game.

        Landon isn’t capable of being the best player in MLS. There are too many good young players in the league now. He’ll never be better than Giovinco is NOW at 34.

        His performance on the field has never been the issue with Landy Cakes. His walk down the easy path IS the issue. He always chose the path of least resistance. He rarely showed the work ethic necessary to succeed at the highest level. When faced with adversity, he ran from the challenge and fled back to the safety of MLS. The last five years of his career was one vacation followed by a hiatus, followed by a retirement…..He’s quit more in the last five years than he did his entire career and he was always known as a guy that would quit when the road got too tough. Regardless, Jurgen Klinsmann is the head coach of the national team. He’s the technical director. He’s not going to call a guy in that wants to be able to show up on his terms, skip year long periods because he “doesn’t love the game anymore”, and arrive fat to camp two months before the world cup. Landon has no one to blame but himself. He’s lazy and he’s not willing to put in the work necessary to be a leader in the U.S. soccer camp. Jurgen is not going to cave to Landy Cakes, candy ass demands, that allow him to skip all the hard work and show up for the glory. He’s not going to let one of the U.S. greatest talents set the precedent for the entire U.S. soccer community that you don’t have to work hard. He’s not going to let Landon Donovan’s crap work ethic inspire the youth of America to cut corners and take vacations, because the road got too rough.

        Is that what you want? You want Landon Donovan to be the guy your kid emulates, taking time off, always skipping out on the challenge, showing up fat for camp, and acting surprised when he gets cut with all his god given talent?

        Landon’s laziness cut himself. Don’t expect that to change.

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      • Ronniet

        Bull, while i appreciate your well thought out essay I have to disagree with a lot of what you posted. It’s true that the US men’s team has played some counter attacking soccer for a number of years, it’s naive to say that he only scored those goals because they bunkered and countered, in fact saying as much diminishes any soccer knowledge you think you attained over the years. LD is one of the more technical players our country has seen and that was for a time overshadowed by the way the team was made to play because of spotty talent over the years. I’ve seen Landon’s highlight film and he’s scored goals from the spot, in transition, in the run of play and from free kicks. People continue to try and diminish his career because he didn’t do what they wanted him to do by sticking it out in europe which is unfair but yet didn’t stop him from playing some of his better games against the likes of Brazil, Mexico, Italy, Spain, etc. Playing in MLS also didn’t stop him from going to Everyone for 2 loans and becoming their best player, and again having his best games against the ManU’s, Arsenals and Chelsea’s. Why do you think he was so beloved at Everyone if he couldn’t hack it out in arguably the top league in Europe?? Lastly, tell me aside from a photo of Landon with a bit of a stomach have you ever heard anyone say that he was lazy, above the team or didn’t want to put the work in for club or country? I’lol wait for that response but there are reports from players at that last WC camp that said LD was the fittest player and was killing people in scrimmages there as well, and by the way that was also coming off of a MVP performance in the Gold Cup, besting out that chump Wondowlowski haha

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      • Anthony

        This is a ridiculous argument. While I think LD was the most talented player of his generation, the guy definitely was a cut and run guy when things got difficult. However, I don’t agree with Bull when he said all he was just a counter guy. He could counter, but he could also play combination play and was very technical. Don’t sell Donovan short! At his his peak, he was a very good player…just a little soft when adversity arose.

        In terms of his Everton stints proving he can play in Europe, at a top league, that is crap. Honestly, Dempsey, McBride etc are whole lot more respected than he is. Being pretty hot for 2 months when no one really knows about you or can plan for you means nothing (he was hot for his 1st 2 month period and ok for his 2nd stint). The deal is do it for a season, with the game planning, opponent planning, mental wear, grinds, again and again. The best analogy is American baseball. Baseball, like soccer/football, a long grind and opponent planning etc. Baseball is full guys who are hot for 2 months at the end and/or beginning of season roster expansion or mid season call ups that do nothing afterwards (think Yankees and Shane Spencer). He is thought of fondly as a cult hero, but that is about it.

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      • Ronniet

        Anthony, you’re doing exactly what you advised Bull not to, which is to sell him short. You say that anyone can get hot for a 2 month period, but I disagree. Sinuous think that if Donovan wasn’t capable or instantly one their best players why would Everton continue to ask him to come back and furthermore try and buy him from the Galaxy but MLS nixed the deal. He walked straight into the team and produced. This idea that he excelled because no one knew about him or had time plan for him is hogwash at best. He was the US best player for a decade and internationals know the best players in each country. You don’t think players in the BPL didn’t watch the Confederations Cup and the US’ run to the Final which Donovan, Antidote, Dempsey and Davies was instrumental in?? You can assume all you want about whether Dempsey or McBride are more respected, that’s your opinion, but I do know that it took Dempsey over a year to get into the team and even longer to make an impact in the Prem. We can argue this all day long and I guess we’ll have to agree to disagree.

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      • Anthony

        Ronniet,

        No, I am not (well at least in my opinion). Bull called him just a counter-attacking player, which it is clearly not true. As I said, LD had the speed to counter, but he was technical ability to play inter-linking play meaning his speed was a complimentary, not sole, skill set.

        In terms of his loans stints where he played 1.5 months (he played 6 week stints — even though he was there for 2 months because of transfer window limitations), you are overplaying your hand. Listen, I lived in Europe for large chunks of my youth and later as an adult, and still have family on my mom’s side and friends in England, France and Belgium. I can tell you for a fact that Confederations Cup is not really watched in any great degree. It is basically considered a meaningless friendly. I remember it was on while we were at a wedding reception in France when France was in it. There were some hardcore fans at the wedding and NO ONE CARED!

        Players may have known about him peripherally, but didn’t study him. European football is really insular, seriously (less so nowadays, but still is). Americans follow European football A LOT more than Europeans follow football outside Europe. USMNT does not get a ton of press there unless they are playing in a tourney or friendly in Europe. Klinsman being the coach raised the profile (sad but true, but he is such a high profile name in European football). There generally was an attitude of don’t embarrass yourself by loosing to them if you are a good team.

        Trust me, they DO NOT know the best player in each country. European football is focused on elite club competitions, your domestic competition and then national teams (especially if you are a great national team). They do not traditionally care about CONCACAF. MLS is getting some pub now because there are some name brand European players coming here at the end of their careers (still seen as 2nd/3rd tier semi retirement league — often in the same conversation as China). It is seen as a growing market much like China. Think about it, how often do you hear about European basketball leagues even though they are good leagues and they are shown in the US. Hardcore BBall fans don’t even know names of players there. You would only know about players who played in the NBA. It is the same thing.

        Lastly, as I said, I have been following European football since I was a kid in the mid/early 80’s. European football is FULL of guys who had great short runs that amounted to nothing or mediocre. Players who looked like world beaters for 1 month, 2 months etc then disappeared. Every league has players or stories like that. Let me give you a name you might know, Federico Macheda of Man Utd from several years back. That guy is basically a league 1 or 2 player now — wait just checked. He is out of professional football and sis till in his 20’s. If Everton valued him, they would have spent the $10 million for him. Even if they were cash strapped, another team (if they were really impressed) paid the 10 million. That was not that much for a player 5 or so years ago.

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  • Lost in Space

    I cannot see any situation where 1) Donovan is in good enough condition/form to warrant his receiving a call-up above younger options or 2) JK is desperate enough to extend an invite to him to a camp considering the history between the 2 of them.
    The player pool is in a drastically different position than it was the last time Donovan was involved with the team (2014). With the emergence of young attacking talents like Wood, Pulisic, Gooch, Arriola, Morris, etc…. and the players returning from injury like Johannsson, Rubin, Boyd, Gyau & Gatt, I just can’t see how Donovan could receive a call-up.

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    • UclaBruinGreat

      Don’t get your hopes up on Gatt, Gyau, and Boyd. At this point they don’t even warrant being mentioned. When we actually see them back on the field with the first team in a real game, then you can start talking about them again, but even then they are a long way from the national team.

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    • TheFrenchOne

      I usually find myself agreeing with you, Old School, but totally disagree on the troll part. Yes, he has expressed his opinion as a commentator and as a retired USMNT player. But that’s part of his gig. Honestly, he could have gone much harder at JK (and may have in private convos), but online and tv, I think he’s kept it fairly balanced.

      For me, the Troll Award goes to Eric Wynalda.

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      • Old School

        I was being sarcastic. His response was measured, as it usually is, but the topic is merely troll bait at this point (as he even admitted) considering how far off any consideration would be since he’s played a total of 20 minutes.

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      • TheFrenchOne

        Ah, well then shame on me for not deploying my sarcasm radar this a.m. As I stated in my earlier post, this is a non-story, LD knows there’s no chance of this happening.

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  • quozzel

    I could absolutely see him back.

    Why? Because we’ve moved to a 4-3-3. Last time around we were in a 4-5-1 or 4-2-3-1 and the idea was, we were playing a single forward target man…and like it or not, Landon Donovan did not fit what Klinsmann intended to do in Brazil. He wanted a swarm of battling, box-to-box midfielders, hard iron-lung types like Bradley, Jones, Beckerman, Bedoya, and Zusi, and Donovan picked a really, really bad time to show up out of shape and in poor form. Rather than have a guy who didn’t plug into the game Klinsmann intended to play, I think he chose to eliminate the distraction. People took it as personal and I never got that sense.

    But a 4-3-3 opens up as many as four spots for “outside” forwards/wingers and hey, all of sudden Donovan’s position has a casting call open.

    I think it would be supremely ironic if Klinsmann were to include Donovan in 2018 – assuming, of course, Donovan’s even still playing then – after cutting him in 2014 but it also wouldn’t be shocking either. And, sorry, Donovan at 36 would be well-aware he’d be a role/spot guy…whereas I don’t think Donovan at 32 was prepared to be.

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    • Wispy

      Great analysis, quozzel, and I like your reasoning for why LD was left off the WC14 team based on the 4-4-2 formation at the time. And I agree that a shift to a 4-3-3 or even a 4-1-3-2 potentially opens up spots for where Donovan is most likely to play. But that said, the chances of LD suiting up again for the USMNT is, like, less than 1%. I’m willing to bet LD plays out this MLS season and maybe considers 2017 (and only if he gets back to a point where he is a starter and is tearing it up). I love the guy, but I don’t think at this point that what he could offer to the Nats off the bench couldn’t be provided by a younger player with more upside. I’d be shocked if gets another call-up.

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    • TheFrenchOne

      And that’s kinda the point, isn’t it? If you’re looking for veteran presence, someone who’s battle test and who can impart wisdom to the next generation, and can give you 15 solid minutes in a pinch, then LD is better than Wondo every single time. So I’m totally fine if LD is never called up, I expect it. But if you keep calling Wondo up (knowing it’s unlikely he’s even going to see the field), then LD is the better choice.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Bryan

        You don’t think the giant side show that would come with him sitting on the bench would be a drain on the team? He’d do more harm than good at this point.

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  • DcM

    Ahhhh, so funny. He BARELY says that. This is not as bad as the headlines on espn, but come on. He gives a reasonable answer and the tone suggests he knows it’s not really possible. I guess it did spark quite a debate, though.

    Liked by 1 person

  • DB

    If only for trolling Mexico purposes, I’d love to see the Mexicutioner named to the prelim roster for November…lol.

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    • Old School

      He was asked point blank after his first match on his return, by Rob Stone, and he was cautiously quiet and non-committal.

      To me, that says: “If I play well, I’ll consider it.” He retired too young to begin with.

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