Top Stories

Disappointed Donovan turns focus to possible Gold Cup call-up

Landon Donovan


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 “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?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. “He showed glimpses of his dominant self by being involved in all four of his club’s goals.”

    You see, Philadelphia Union, you got off lucky. You caught but mere glimpses of LD’s dominant self.

  2. i really wish USSF would release the 35 man Gold Cup roster publicly. it’s due in like 10 days and i would just love to know who is on it.

    i’m actually really pumped to have LD on the Gold Cup team. i think it could be a really good team. i’m hoping to see:

    GK: Rimando, Hamid, Johnson
    D: Goodson(or Besler), Castillo, Lichaj, Morrow, Morales, Okugo, Boca, Orozco
    M: Mix, Bedoya, Gatt, LD, Corona, Holden, Torres, Beckerman
    S: Boyd, Agudelo, Jack Mac, AJ

    obviously there are some issues with some players i have listed. Lichaj, Morales, Boca, and Torres would be left out if JK sticks to his word. Out of these, i think Lichaj is the least likely by a long shot. Parkhurst is probably more realistic. Parkhurst won’t play much in WCQs so he could play in the Gold Cup too. Morales and Torres are two of JK’s favorite players and maybe he bends the rule for these two. He absolutely should, that’s for sure.

    Boca could end up back in MLS, and if that happens, he would be playing and available for the Gold Cup. i think it would be awesome to have him at the Gold Cup. As for Goodson or Besler, whoever plays the least amount in WCQs should be on the Gold Cup roster.

    The only reason I have AJ on here over Bruin is because of JK’s comments yesterday about him. Those same comments make me think JAB could also be called into the Gold Cup after the World Cup.

    • Chandler needs to be on that list, bryan. if he does not come in late for the June WCQ games, then that is two camps and five WCQ games he has missed due to suspect injuries. Plus, other players who have had recent injuries are coming in for a little JK TLC. If Timothy Chandler flies over for the Gold Cup, it would, in my mind, prove his commitment to the USMNT cause. Plus, Timothy has only played two USMNT games since November 2011, and he was awful in one and weak in the other. He needs some Concacaf games to prove that he is actually as good as Klinsmann and some USMNT fans think he is. In other words, needs to prove himself and the Gold Cup would be a perfect showcase for Timothy, just as Klinsmann apparently will make the Gold Cup a test for Landon Donovan.

      Now, all that said, I guess it is sort of unfair that after all Timothy Chandler has contributed to the US Men’s National Team, that he should have to suffer the indignity of flying over from Nurnberg to play in a little tournament like the Gold Cup when he could be relaxing on the beach. On the other hand, what in the world has Landon Donovan ever done for US Soccer. That bum, who had the gall to take little sabbatical after only 12 years continuous service, needs to finally prove he is committed to the USMNT.

      • Just want to add, that Donovan could probably ensure future invites to the USMNT if he starts kissing you-know-who’s you-know-what like some of the other players are doing.

      • Chandler proved him commitment to me and I don’t think he is faking anything or that there is some massive conspiracy theory. So I’m just going to ignore that part of your comment.

        With that said, Chandler would be awesome on the Gold Cup. Especially to get him back into form and to show case that he belongs on the A team. But that is not possible since he plays in Germany and did not get into the May/June camp. JK would have to break his own rule…which of course is nothing new.

      • Chandler proved him commitment to me and I don’t think he is faking anything or that there is some ma$$ive conspiracy theory. So I’m just going to ignore that part of your comment.

        With that said, Chandler would be awesome on the Gold Cup. Especially to get him back into form and to show case that he belongs on the A team. But that is not possible since he plays in Germany and did not get into the May/June camp. JK would have to break his own rule…which of course is nothing new.

  3. JK is running the show. I like what’s going on in this personnel situation.

    LANDON CHOSE to not be included in this squad. He took time off while others were working. He Returned after other people had gone to work. He has at least a few more weeks of work to get on equal footing with other team mates.

    He asked for a break from soccer. That is what he is getting.

    Klinsman is only following through with Landon’s wishes.

  4. Lots of Klinsmann haters here….

    He is simply trying not only to send LD a message, but his entire squad, and potential squad.

    You all act like you would know how to handle big egos, but you don’t.

    Let Jurgen do his job, and the results will follow.

    The Donovan omission will be forgotten in September, when he is back in the team, and looking just as good as ever.

    If USA is not in the World Cup, I will gladly eat crow, but I am here to say that we will be in a great spot come Summer 2014.

  5. Many of you have expressed valid concerns about JK’s selection choices and so forth, but I think we have to take into consideration team chemistry. If the star worker at your job left in the middle of a project for a few months and you and the others picked up the slack during the absence, you wouldn’t want that person to just jump back into the middle of the project the moment they returned. Personally, I want LD back in the U.S. team, but I think waiting a bit longer is the right thing to do for the good of the whole team. Have some faith in the other players–we don’t want our team to revolve around any one player. My judgment is still out on JK overall as a coach, but I think this is the right decision for the chemistry of the team and for LD (more playing time w/ the Galaxy is going to improve his fitness, his confidence, and his precision–don’t forget those 2 PKs that got snuffed and a couple of opportunities in front of the net he’s bumbled since returning). It’s not about whether he’s better than some of the selections–I don’t think that’s in dispute. It’s about team confidence and chemistry, making LD want it and earn it, and continuing to send the message that if the U.S. wants to grow as a soccer nation, it’s players need to live and breathe the game constantly (doesn’t mean they can’t take breaks, it just means, they won’t be guaranteed their spot will be held in the meantime).

  6. Donovan deserves to be on the team…period. If he wasn’t in game shape he wouldn’t be starting for the Galaxy. He’s done more for the Nats then any other player in history has or will in our life time. He’s earned it and I’m tired of Klinsmann repeatedly disrespecting him. JK is obviusly holding a grudge and this is not the time to be doing that. It’s game time. This isn’t Altidore who hasn’t scored for the Nats in almost three years – it’s Donovan – they player who always delivers for the Nats. And please don’t start pointing out a game here or there where he disappeared. That’s a hater’s/trolls comment. Shea over Donovan? Brad Davis? Are you kidding me? For this logic alone Klinsmann should be fired. Seriously.

  7. I don’t understand where these Landy Cake fans came from. I thought Jurgan ran this team. Landon chose to not play, the team moved on. Now he wants to insert himself again suddenly. F’in Diva. We need to move on anyway. Bye Landon.

  8. I am a Donovan fan but those ripping the coach are all about Landon and not about American soccer. American soccer is bigger than any one player.Landon included. he abandoned the team in a time of need. he is going to have earn his way back. If we can’t make it to Brazil without Landon then maybe we are not where we need to be as a soccer nation. Shea and Holden are the future. landonmisnt even sure he wants to play in Brazil next year. again I am a big Donovan fan but he is not the player with backbone we can rely on at this point.
    He may be better than Zusi but remember the play when Zusi hustled back 30 yards to head the ball clear at Aztec? Remember Four years ago whenLandon did the ole to allow the play that scored the winner for Mexico?
    Folks relax. Soccer is a team game.

    • Yeah, I remember the Mexico game at Azteca four years ago- that was the game where Landon played with the BLEEPING SWINE FLU!

    • Bull. It’s about a coach more worried about his ego than getting his best players on the field. He’s acting like a girl who got snubbed at the dance and is now getting her won back

  9. I am in the camp that would take Bunker Bob Bradley back in a heartbeat.

    “LD hasn’t been playing, he isn’t in form…”

    Neither are Holden, Shea, Williams, and Parkhurst, all of whom can’t hold a candle to LD. Landon Donovan is the best American player, ever thus far. Even at 30, he is better than all of these cats, and has been playing more than them. So has Jose Torres for that matter.

    JK is full of crap.

    Also, no LD, but 6 keepers? 6??? Why the hell do we have 6 keepers???

    • Magee has only really come into his own the last season or season and a half. He was always pretty good to good, now he has become good to very good. Unfortunately for him and Dax McCarty, whom I would like to see in the mix, midfield is where the US has the most depth.

  10. 1) Klinsmann is petty. That’s allowed at the high school level but not here

    2) Based on his previous performances, there’s absolutely NO reason for Danny Williams to merit another match in a US jersey for a long, long time. He has been horrid.

    3) The fact that Williams received few minutes on a bad team over the past four months just makes it worse. I’m a Parkhurst fan but he is not playing, and neither is Shea. Klinsi is now FORBIDDEN from saying playing time is important.

    4) USA shots on goal during the Hex
    vs. Hounduras = 2
    vs. Costa Rica = 1
    vs. Mexico = 0
    This is pathetic…the four points we have are a miracle

    It’s well-established this joker has no clue how to manage tactics or personnel. I’m not convinced we will qualify for Brazil and watching this team makes me long for Bunker Bob.

  11. People were clamoring for Bradley to be fired. A bunch of impatient brats who think that we were sitting on a farm of Messi’s and Ronaldo’s. Thoughts of getting rid of Bradley would instantly lead us to a more attacking and attractive style of play. Now we realize while we have talent we need to realize it will take more time.

    Klinnsman is the coach and he has the reins to guide us. We are free to second guess, but seriously why the hell would any of you think that you know more than him. It is the same crap about people complaining about Bradley near the end.

    Donovan is class. We do need him, but he turned his back (albeit for personal reasons he needed to make one last push overseas this winter IMO) and needs to earn his spot. Shea and Holden never turned their backs. Donovan IS Captain America. He needed a break and he got one. I hope he does come back but I respect the coach’s decision to make him earn it back.

    • LD needed mental rehabilitation, which is not exactly turning his back. He needed to get his mind right. So much is put on physical aspects without considering mental aspects. Im OK with LD taking time to get his mind right – it looked like it was a good thing. He was a beast against Philly.

      Just my thoughts.

  12. Ladies and gentleman, your Gold Cup starting XI:

    Agudelo Jack Mac
    Pontius Holden Beckerman Donovan
    Morrow Brooks Bocanegra Lichaj

  13. Well, JK has certainly pushed his chips to the middle of the table. If the team does well in the June qualifiers — say, 7 or 9 points — he’ll look like a genius. If they stumble to something like 1-1-1 and four points, he’ll look like a fool.

    • Now that he has said all that right things, showing “contrition” and a willingness to “earn his way back” into the squad, what would happen with an injury. Say Beasley turns an ankle or zusi pulls a hamstring, has LD’s acknowledgement of leaving the team hanging made it possible for JK to bring him back without losing face, in JK’s mind?

  14. To bring Shea into WCQ camp instead of Donovan is a real snub . . . I just hope that the roster space given to Shea is to keep him in shape for the Gold cup rather than the WCQ games. Klinsi did state that Euro based players not in season would not be invited to the Gold Cup if they were not invited to the WQC camp. Maybe Shea was brought in to keep him in shape for the Gold Cup!

    What Donovan needs is more games . . . I think he will get more playing time with the Galaxy than under Klinsi in the WCQ camp. If Donovan has more games like he played against the Philadelphia Union last night, Klinsi would be crazy not to bring him in for the Gold Cup!

  15. Gotta say, once again Landon Donovan is showing he is pure class, like a man who for over a decade gave his heart and soul for the US shirt no questions asked and no ifs ands or buts. As for Klinsmann, sorry, but he’s lost me. I have no more respect for the guy and I truly understand now why he is a pariah at FC Bayern and not liked at all by many German fans who would love to see his downfall as coach of the USMNT which would forever close the book on his coaching career.

    Love when people try to blame others for their own short comings and incompetence…

  16. Klinsmann can’t say the truth. Landon is grounded for not being home by curfew. Can’t use the car for a while. He’s not being judged on the same scale as Shea/Holden/Parkhurst.

    I kind of like this decision. The younger guys will be forced to fully take over leadership this summer. They are already half way there from what’s happened already under Klinsmann. But bringing back Landon now would disrupt that process.

    We could really use Donovan. And if we screw up in these qualifiers, Klinsmann will be to blame. But if we get the results without Landon, the team will be stronger for it. And we should be able to get the results we need.

  17. I think it ultimately comes down to JK preferring players who want to play abroad. JK has probaby been one of those people (just like a lot of people who have posted over the years) who didn’t like LD because he chose to play in MLS.

    Clearly it is not playing time…because Shea and Holden have played less in recent months (or even years) while LD played through early December and returned to the pitch in late March.

    Clearly it is not desire to represent the USA because LD has never refused a call while JK favorite Chandler has.

    You can’t even argue it’s fitness because plenty of MLSers got playing time in the WCQ at the end of March when they’d only returned to training in late January/early Feb. which is the same amount of time LD will have been training by the end of this month.

    • play abroad. So…Davis? Besler? Gonzales? Zuzi? EJ? They play where exactly?

      This comes down to what it has always come down to – it’s always about JK, all the time.

      • People will grasp at any straw to avoid reaching the inevitable conclusion: Jurgen Klinsmann is a terrible coach. That he’s tactically incompetent isn’t even one of his five biggest faults. That’s how bad he is.

      • It’s way too early to reach conclusions. How the US does in Brazil is all that really matters.

    • I agree with your sentiments on 6 goalkeepers. EJ is borderline. But, Klejstan and Beasley have absolutely earned their way into the team. They have consistently been playing at a high level and have proven that they can contribute.

      • This. what the heck are those guys doing in the side? At least Lichaj actually played for Aston Villa recently. I am also pretty sure that we could find better LW options than Shea or Davis.

  18. FIRE that K dude whatever his name is!. I won’t say his name again. Fire him! Fire him now!

    50% LD is better than some he called in.

  19. Relegating Donovan to the GC squad while Holden and Shea get callups to the full team is almost insulting.

      • no this has everything to do with klinsmann “sending a message”, not to Donovan, but to the rest of the pool. clearly he takes issue with Donovan’s sabbatical and doesnt want anyone else doing the same thing. When it comes down to it, Donovan makes the USA better, so Klinsi better call him in.

    • which is the point for a petty dictator of a coach, who is desperate to establish a sense of authority and legitimacy to fill a void of tactical acumen….

      who in their life hasn’t had a boss or a manager or a coach who knew how to say the right things and B.S. their way through, but in reality just made it up and they went along and was full of it-JK is that guy

      the list of double talk and contradictions is quite long, but the commitment to playing attractive attacking soccer is the biggest whopper of them all to me.

      He is actually playing more conservatively than Bradley and the team has been worse off in the first round and the same thus far in the 2nd (in 2010 WCQ the games at Honduras, at Mexico and home vs Costa Rica yielded a 1-1-1-ditto this time only in different order)

      it’s hard to get excited going into games when the head coach is deliberately and consistenyly snubbing the best healthy and in form players in order to make himself seem authoritative…

    • Klinsmann has already said Holden is being called in to get into form and will be in the Gold Cup, not the qualifiers. Don’t know about Shea, but I would pick
      Donovan ahead of Shea myself.

    • holden didn’t get a call up to the first team. he’s not going to play in the WCQs. friendlies and then we won’t see him until the Gold Cup.

  20. I think they could’ve at least called him up, and then if he’s not in game condition, don’t play him. It’s a big roster.

    • I think that the best thing is for him to keep playing matches not just train with the national team. Difference between fit and match fit. Has a chance to play a couple games before the first qualifier. If he lights it up then I think he gets a call up for either Panama or Honduras.

      • I agree with you, and Donovan is my favorite player. He hasn’t been consistently sharp since his return.

  21. Donovan is a class act.

    But he should turn down the Gold Cup. Klinsmann is forcing him to abandon his club to win a meaningless tournament. (It only matters in years that get you a Confederation Cups berth.) Yeah, that will make JK even more popular with Arena.

    Klinsmann is a clown.

    • Didn’t CONCACAF change the rules on future Confederations Cup qualifying? I believe now that the 2013 Gold Cup Winners will face the 2015 Gold Cup winners in a match/playoff to determine the 2017 Confed Cup rep in Russia.

      Because Mexico will be participating in Confederations Cup this year, it will be the perfect tournament for the US to secure at least one of those 2 spots. Calling in a A-/B+ team should be more than enough vs Mexico’s B team to win out the tournament. Donovan can play a huge part in that, especially if it will be mostly younger players.

      • Thanks. I was not aware of that. Doesn’t change that it’s a ridiculous exclsuion by a clueless egomanic, but at least there will be some value to LD’s participation in the Gold Cup

    • Donovan is anything but a class act the way in which he left he national team high and dry for the early 2013 WC qualifiers and the way he backstabbed the San Jose Earthquakes back in 2004.

      • Even if he did ‘backstab’ the Houston Earthquakes (and I don’t think it’s that simple), LD has grown a lot since 2004. And he didn’t leave anyone ‘high and dry’; he took a break that he felt necessary instead of retiring. He’s an unusually introspective and thoughtful athlete.

      • I was a Quakes season ticket holder back then. And while I enjoyed booing LD when he came back, I knew what EVERYBODY knew: the team was moving to Houston. I never held it against him that he didn’t want to be part of that and used his leverage to get to where he wanted to play. (A freedom of movement enjoyed by star players everywhere but MLS.)

        Instead of how he left, I remember him at fan events, staying long past when the other players left to make sure that everyone had an autograph and every kid who wanted to meet him had a chance.

        He has been up front in all his media interviews, honest to a fault. He is absolutely a class act. Always has been, always will be.

  22. The words don’t ring true from Jurgen. It’s becoming clearer and clearer that his decision is based on factors other than quality on the field.

  23. In the back of my head I have always tabbed the Gold Cup for Donovan’s return, but was still disappointed that he did not get a call up for the the first stretch of games.

    I think that if assembled correctly the Gold Cup could be a launching point for a lot of young names and fringe players. A chance to blend the future with those that are not quite full starters.

    • When you put it that way it’s really simple. But it’s not really. Besides the common denominator of “playing time” thems two things are not the same.

      • not according to JK’s comments regarding only picking players that are in “rhythm.” One is arguably in “rhythm.” One is indisputably not in “rhythm.”

      • Good thing his comments are not his only selection criteria. I’d be disappointed if he didn’t consider other factors and variables.

      • The USA roster was selected before Donovan had his great game against the Union wasn’t it? That game vs Philly is the first Donovan’s had since coming back where he looked like the player that’s been leading the USA for so many years, but it was just a little too late?

    • Problem is more is expected of Donovan. Donovan should be on a multiple point streak. Shea is something of a wasted roster space and goes against what Klinnsman has said about playing, starting, and doing it consistently at the club. Klinnsman two faces again.

    • Shea, like Holden, is being brought in to get him back into shape. You have to remember that Shea went to England hurt and without a preseason. Stoke were desperate to stop their losing streak so they threw him into the deep end.

      Klinsi recognizes that Shea can be a big player for us next year. So he’s bringing him in to get him back into shape for Stoke’s preseason. It’s an investment. Much like he’s doing with Holden: bringing him in to get him back into shape.

      Every roster has three spots coaches use as throwaways. I’m not concerned about them nor do I think they take up a position someone else deserves.

      Donovan bailed on the team. I’m glad Klinsi isn’t groveling back to him. Donovan will be there during the Gold Cup and he’ll be back in September, more focused, more willing to work harder, and looking forward to Brazil.

      • I think the problem is that you assume Brazil is guaranteed without Donovan. But we haven’t even qualified yet, and we are not close to securing qualification. I don’t even believe we’d be assured to qualify with Donovan, but I prefer giving our team the best chance to qualify over JK’s teachable moments.

      • I agree with a lot of this, but the difference is that Landon can help this team right now, while the other two can’t. Seems like they should be switched, Donovan for the qualifiers and Shea/Holden for the Gold Cup

      • I think Landon can help us more in the long run continuing to play for the Galaxy. Just my .02.

      • I would not be surprised to see both Shea and Holden practice through the qualifiers and only play for the Gold Cup squad. it seems obvious at this point that there inclusion in this roster is to get them match fit for the Gold Cup, not necessarily the qualifiers. If they are not called in right now then there is a strong likelihood that they would not have any chance of regaining form for the GC. I think Donovan’s best place at this time is regaining his form with the Galaxy.

      • Look at the schedule.

        Galaxy have got a lot of games right now. Landon playing in them and getting hungry and sharp is better than farting around in some camp.

        If the US screws up against Jamaica there is nothing to keep JK from calling LD in to face Panama and Honduras.

      • We all know Donovan will be back eventually, and he has the MLS to keep him company right now. The other two are not in season and the future faces of 2018. Quit whining and look at it as a win-win. IF the usmnt NEED Donovan to beat New Zealand in a playoff, than we will only embarrass ourselves in Brazil.

      • problem is shea went to the premier league wayyy too early. now he won’t get any playing time and won’t develop.

      • this is not true, Stoke has consistently said they bought Shea for next year, not this one. Everyone has SUCH a need for instant gratification…

Leave a Comment