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Donovan addresses media after successful World Cup

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Landon Donovan has returned to Los Angeles fresh off the most successful World Cup appearance in his storied career. 

The Los Angeles Galaxy midfielder returned to training on Friday ahead of the club's independence day match up with the Seattle Sounders (7:30 PDT, ESPN2/Deportes). Donovan spoke to the media and addressed the new state of soccer in America as well as the play of Bob Bradley's side in South Africa.

The midfielder was candid on the United States performance and even admitted that he played the latter stages of the World Cup including the fateful Algeria game where he scored the decisive goal with a hamstring strain. The injury which he picked up in the second half of the Slovenia match is severe enough that he will need to pass a fitness test to be ready to play on Sunday. Although the Galaxy game looms on the horizon for Donovan, the midfielder wasn't afraid to state just how important the team's South African performance was for US Soccer.

"We are very proud of our overall performance, but at the same time I think we felt as if the Ghana game was one that we should have won," said Donovan. "The worst part was the finality of the final whistle against Ghana and realizing that its not just the game that's over, but everything that you have worked for four years."

With the United States World Cup now concluded, much of the speculation has centered around the status of head coach Bob Bradley. The head coach was heavily scrutinized for his decisions in the final match in the Round of 16 which has led to many to call for new blood to lead the national side. Although Bradley's squad finished with a 1-1-2 record in South Africa, Donovan confessed that Bradley's impact runs much deeper than the tournament. 

"The most telling fact of Bob's tenure was that there's no game that we went into where we were in awe of or feared our opponent," said Donovan. "I remember when i came into the national team that there was a lot of teams that we played against that you could see it in guys eyes where we were almost scared and that's never happened when Bob was the coach."

Not to be outdone, the Galaxy captain has also seen rumors swirl around his own club future with the transfer window opening up on July 15th. Donovan who enjoyed a very successful stint at Everton admitted that although several European sides including English giant Manchester City are rumored to be lining up for his signature, the Galaxy are foremost on his mind.

"Right now I want to be in America, I absolutely loved being here and getting back with my teammates today," said Donovan. "I never say never to anything, right now rumors are rumors and if there is something serious to look at I will, but for now I'm just excited to be back home."

The midfielder will not be able to rest as the season restarts for himself and fellow national team selection Edson Buddle. Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena disclosed on Tuesday that the pair were likely to play in their match with Seattle on the Fourth of July.

The match with Seattle has been the beneficiary of the buzz that has been created by the US team's performance in the World Cup having recently been added to ESPN2's Sunday line up. Much of this buzz has been created through social media networks which have built far greater support for the team than in years past.

"People are just genuinely really excited about what we did," said Donovan. "It almost transcends the sport because you could tell these people weren't big fans but they were caught up in what was going and that's something really cool to be a part of."

With the nation's own personal World Cup journey over, Donovan is keenly aware that the focus is not on those casual fans that his goal created for the past several weeks, but those that will now take up the sport thanks to their success.

"There are people who will have watched the World Cup and enjoyed it, but will now go back to whatever their lives were before but won't follow it now the same way," said Donovan. "But there are also thousands of young people who are now inspired to play our sport and time will tell how many. For us, its a continuous growth and as long as we're building then one day we'll all look back and say we did a good job."


  1. I have to agree with you KP. If they had one one of the knockouts, I would say that represents progress. As it happened, we got beat by a (slightly) better team.

  2. Louis Z, please don’t use the FIFA rankings as your justification if you want to be taken seriously. They’re meaningless. Don’t forget that England was ranked far above us and struggled to get a draw with Algeria.

    Re: your last point, we had two slow, exhausted central defenders against one of the tournament’s more dynamic attackers. There’s a reason that neither Bocanegra nor Demerit will be on another World Cup team. Gyan’s finish in extra time was superb.

  3. Adam,

    Nothing personal but this is a load of crap.

    All of Benny’s best games for the USMNT have come as a sub; he’s not a 90 minute player.

    You have no idea whether Edu does not get his pocket picked just like Clark did. In the previous 2 games Edu wasn’t exactly “tidy on the ball”.

    Like a lot of people you give no credit to Ghana who, if you cared to watch, had better players than we had and played better than we did, whatever the rankings say. This wasn’t Rocky Hill Prep we were playing you know.

    The US has 2 good players, Donovan and Dempsey. Bradley is getting better. The rest are more or less interchangeable and average to below average. And finally, Howard had an awful game.You don’t win big games in the World Cup if your keeper sucks.

    In the Paraguay-Spain game, Paraguay switched out 6 of their starters from the previous game. Tell me the US can even begin to do that.

  4. The ability to perform in any sport at a world-class level probably has a lot to do with innate ability that is probably largely fungible. Lebron loves basketball. He grew up playing basketball. He has had a basketball in his hand since he was probably like two. Now, his vision, strength, agility, ability to make the right decision in a flash, etc have been molded by years of basketball, a childhood of basketball into superlative basketball skills.

    The interesting question is what would have happened if he had grown up with a soccer ball in his crib instead of a basketball. I personally am inclined to believe he would have been a soccer superstar, given his innate abilities. He just would have learned to focus it through his feet instead of his hands.

  5. you miss the point completely..feilhaber and edu have not been 90 miute players either for their club or the national team in quite awhile.. also there was only two days between games. i would prefer to have them fresh for the second half in lieu of starting. also consider the possibility of an extra 30 minutes.

    you letting your bias for bradley interfere with logical thinking.

    again so many of you have been critical of everything he has done from the beginning

    wanting adu, cooper torres, and beckerman to start and claiming nepotism on every post.

    bradley did not lose the game, we missed to many chances and ghana is not as bad a team as you want us to believe

  6. you miss the point…feilhaber and edu have not been even 90 minute players for quite a while either with their club or the national team. also their was only a two day layoff for this game.

    just because you do not like bradley it should not stop you from using you head. i would rather have edu and feilhaber fresh for the end of the game than starting them.

    try using this with with you next crtical u11 game.

  7. you miss the and feilhaber have not even been 90 minute players for quite some time. this on top of only a two day layoff would have been a lot to ask of them.

    don’t be so bias against bradley, just use your head a little bit instead of being so critical. i am sure you would not abuse your u11 players on so little rest

  8. there would not have been a last 30 minutes if feilhaber and edu had started…we would have won in regular time…its that simple…we never started a game with our best team…and we constantly had to fight from behind

  9. Not to mention, what you said about athletes is disgusting. You think zidane was particularly athletic? He definitely wasn’t, but he possessed a mind like no body else. The argument that US football would be better if our best athletes played the sport holds no water. Not that it wouldn’t help, but the US national team would be no better then it is today is Lebron James had decided to play football.

  10. Agreed. Chris, you don’t know what you’re talking about. We should have gone further, you’re right. But to call it a FAILURE isn’t right, and, frankly, lame.

  11. Chris, i wholeheartedly agree with you. KP is a little too narcissistic in my view. Sure, I would agree that we should have gone further. But, the heart and passion those guys displayed was remarkable.

    The fact is, the nats left nothing on the field. If that’s not admirable, I am not sure what is. They may not have produced their best, but it certainly wasn’t garbage.

  12. Josh, what you are saying has lots of merits but because we had such an easy draw in the knockout round, most people feel a sense of failure because we should have gone deeper, after all, aren’t we ranked 16th in the world? last time I checked Ghana was below us, yet they beat us. worst of all, they had a single forward and we had two guys and he still scored.

  13. I agree except, I’m not sure Klinsmann is really interested in the US job, which is generally not that appealing to guys with his options.

    Why would he want such a no win job with such a long slog ahead of him? 4 years is a long time. In Europe, they have the euros so their teams are on a 2 year cycle and you can get more meaningful games in. Plus the players are inferior; know why all those euro coaches coach African teams? Besides the money, they have lots of great players.

    Klinsmann will look at our striker options and get depressed. He’d ask Jozy why he’s so unfocused and probably wouldn’t even talk to Adu.

    Bradey did a fine job with a very limited talent pool. He’s shown that he has developed as a manager so why waste all that and start all over especially when it’s likely that any new candidates are going to get better results. Let me amend that; whoever the coach is the USMNT is likely have more and better players available because the talent pool is expanding every day. Too bad that is true for our opponents as well.

  14. The US had Ghana on the ropes the entire second half. We created more legitimate goal scoring opportunities the entire second half and with a little luck or a little better play or better yet if Howard hadn’t blown the damm game for us in the first place, by letting in a soft goal your high school keeper would have stopped, the US might have won.

    Ghana was the better team on the night. The fact I can write that and actually mean it means the USMNT is a lot better than they were the last World Cup.

    Our players are good but not good enough to go far in this competition w/o a bit of luck and everyhting going right. Our three big guys, Howard, Dempsey and Donovan just were not good enough on the night to get it done.

    And BB is probably back because, among other things, there probably is not a better manager out there who wants this job.

    Teams lose, get over it. It’s very unlikely anyway, thatwe beat Uruguay. They are just like us, disciplined team carried by two stars, only Forlan and Suarez and superior players to Donovan and Dempsey and that supporting cast is better.

  15. Neither you or I know but most likely he pulled Rico not so much for the mistake (though that did not help)but because he got that yellow and really didn’t Rico getting a second yellow and going a man down.

  16. Agreed.

    32 nations qualified for the World Cup. We did that.

    6 nations (Europe’s kind of weird) finished first in their region. We did that.

    8 nations won their World Cup group. We did that.

    We sent a team minus its best central defender and top scoring threat, but we still got results. We persevered, we overcame adversity. In the end, we came up short (and not without a fight) against a DAMN good team.

    Anyone who can’t see that needs to get back to championing Freddy Adu and Kenny Cooper.

  17. We didn’t play against Germany, Argentina or Brazil. We played the powerhouses of Slovenia, Algeria and Ghana.

  18. I have to agree that it was neither a failure or an accomplishment. We got past the group stage, which was expected when the draw came out.


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