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USMNT snub is news to Donovan, though he admits he isn’t at his best yet

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When a Sports Illustrated report stated on Tuesday that Landon Donovan would be left out of the U.S. Men’s National Team’s training camp for upcoming World Cup qualifiers in June, the news caught plenty of U.S. fans by surprise.

It also surprised Donovan.

The Los Angeles Galaxy star told the Galaxy All-Access Podcast on Wednesday that he had yet to be notified by Klinsmann about being left out of the upcoming camp.

“Jurgen and I have consistently spoken over many months now. I was not aware that that was information that was already made public,” Donovan said. “Jurgen has not told me that it was definitive that I wouldn’t be there.”

When asked about the possibility of being snubbed for the upcoming qualifiers, Donovan was refreshingly honest about his status, while also stating he still feels he should be with the team.

“All I can do, as I’ve said all along, is do what I do,” Donovan told the Galaxy All-Access Podcast. “If I’m looking at it objectively, do I think I can help the team? Yes, absolutely. Do I think I’ve really earned my way back in yet? Probably not. That’s sort of six of one, half dozen of the other.

“I really do believe, if I do get called in, that I can help the team.  Even if I’m not playing I think I can help. I think my experience, having been through this three times, can be very beneficial.”

In the same interview, Donovan admitted that he wasn’t completely back to full sharpness after returning from his extended break from the game.

“I think I’m really close to being back to my normal self,” Donovan said. “The physical part I’m sort of over the hump. Technically, with the ball, I’m sort of over the hump, where everything is kind of coming naturally again.

“I think what I’m lacking a little bit is that final confidence,” Donovan added. “Making the best decision all the time. When I’m at my best, I’m consistently making the right decision on every pass, every play. That’s still falling a little bit behind.

“Once all that sort of falls into place, then I can get back to actually being a better leader and helping others,” Donovan said. “Right now I’m still focused on myself because I’m not quite there so once I get that part right I can start helping others and making the team better, and I think that’s better for all of us.”

The roster for the U.S. Men’s National Team camp will be announced on Thursday, a day after Donovan and the Galaxy take on the Philadelphia Union, and if Donovan isn’t on it he is ready to accept that fate and keep working.

“If I’m not there, then it is what it is,” Donovan said. “I’ll just keep going and I’ll get my way back in.”

You can listen to the fill interview here.

What do you think of Donovan’s comments? Still hoping he gets called in? Think Klinsmann would be right to leave him out?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. Donovan currently playing the worst I’ve seen from him in years. perhaps the snub has ripped his confidence? it looks like it to me; he has not played this bad that I can remember. he has not played anything like this in other games since back no matter which game.

    he needs a confidence boost, not a rip…for the better of all interested parties. Don’t know if that includes Klinnsman but I hope it does, because Klinnsman could do some good for LD here imo, if he truly sees him as a part of the solution going forward

    • and an awesome 2nd half response from Landon…sweet

      that is if you still believe he’s a part of the present

  2. All of you who are so adamant that Donovan is out of form, have you seen him play recently? I have seen every minute, and he looks lively and involved. Rusty in the final third, but that will come. The 2013 Donovan looks to me like he’s poised to go on a scoring tear.

  3. Where are the call ups? Like the official rosters? Or have they not been announced yet? I didn’t see anything on the USsoccer website.

  4. For everyone hating on Landon for taking time off. I completely get where you are coming from but don’t say that this is the first time this has happened. I can think of two prominent examples of big time athletes who have done similar things. Michael Jordan being the first. The guy retired then came back and won championships. The second is Brett Favre. That guy retired about 14 times and came back. I’m still not completely sure he’s done. Anyway the point is that I’m not necessarily condoning Landon taking time off at a crucial USMNT junction, but to say he is the only one in history is far from accurate.

  5. Landon may still get called? He’s still not been told by Jurgen, so the story leaked to the media before he was told? That’s interesting considering how tight lipped the team callups are typically

    Landon’s form not worthy of the USMNT? not true, and he didn’t say that.

  6. You can’t tell me that in a 0-0 or 1-1 game at Jamaica he would not be a great asset at least of the bench in the last 15 minutes of a game on the worst field in all of Concacaf, when none of the other kids have ever played their before. If we field Eddie Johnson and not Donovan I will pissed.

  7. Off topic, but it got me thinking since Donovan was being left off the roster for this set of games. Because of the Donovan omission, we still won’t have that strong wing play on the right side – the kind of play marked by a constant whipping in of good crosses, dangerous runs at the defender and chances created by cutting in and unleashing some shots.

    However, with Donovan likely to compete for the Nats soon, he is a safe bet to be on the World Cup squad in Brazil. Ultimately, that will delay our creative right wing problem until after this cycle and that’s where my mind wandered to, because I think we will be ok and its not because of a guy named Josh Gatt.

    I present to you my hypothesis that Darlington Nagbe will be the heir to Donovan’s place beginning in January 2016’s camp. My reasoning: Nagbe received his green card recently and with his December 2012 marriage to a US citizen, it shortened his timeline to citizenship from 5 years to 3 years (I married a Brazilian, so I’m very familiar with the process). This means that in December 2015, Nagbe will be eligible to take his citizenship test and eligible for selection to the USMNT squad in January.

    If you have watched the Timbers recently in Porter’s 433 system, Nagbe looks immense. Give him another 3 years and we’ll have a RW in his prime at age 25, just chomping at the bit to prove himself internationally. As long as he continues to rebuff Liberia’s advances, I think our prospects at back-filling Donovan’s position are looking brighter each time he flashes that talent on the field in Portland.

    What do you guys think?

    • There’s an awful lot of projection in that. He’s a guy who’s only now beginning to be a productive MLS player. It’s also tough to compare him to LD who was already a starring in a World Cup at 20 and leading San Jose to an MLS title at 21. While I like him very much, Nagbe has a lot of catching up to do, needs to keep improving, and needs to keep rebuffing Liberia for 3 whole years. It’s not impossible, but that’s a big ask. None of the wings in our system have anything close to the pedigree LD had at his age, but between Gatt, Gyau, Nagbe, Shea, and some others, you may have an eventual heir if one or two of them really buckles down and works on his game. Guys like Zardes and Corona are wing conversion options (Joe Benny actually plays wing for Xolos) who also have potential and a guy like Cuevas with the U-20s has a ton of speed and potential. Very tough to guage how much a guy will improve from the age of 20, 21, 22 to their prime years, but it will be interesting to see them develop. Good wings are so tough to find.

      • I don’t see Liberia as much of an obstacle. He has stated he wants to play for the USA and Liberia would have to finish in 1st place in their current qualifying group (they are in 2nd) to even make it to the next round of AFC qualifying. The only way I can see him not rebuffing Liberia ahead of January 2016, is if they can offer him World Cup football in Brazil. Quite frankly I’d bet the house against Liberia making it.

      • I guess. You really think he’s that good? I’d tend to put him below Gatt. I don’t think he’s as fast is he?

  8. Donovan has done a lot for this team but let’s move forward.

    Guys like Zusi, Gatt can replace him in the short term. We have someone named Clint Dempsey as well and a fella named Altidore who can score. How many goals has Donovan scored in Europe? 2, 3 5?

    • @ say no. Dude……. Do yourself a favor and re-think your argument. You minimize the quality of the goals scored by Landon, stating they were against minimal competition, and state we have ” a fellow named Jozy who can score.” Score against who????? He hasn’t scored for the Nats since 2011! If Donovan’s goals amount to zilch in your eyes, Jozy’s goals should amount to dog poo too.

  9. I think Klinnsman is handling the Donovan ego very nicely. The little spark of flame has been lit. Watch it spread into Donovan.

  10. To objectively point out all the variables.

    -Donavon self admits not in good enough form to start for national team right now
    -Zusi having the season of his career in MLS
    -Stuart Holden was one of the best tackling midfielders (statistcally) in the BPL before injury
    -Jurgen likes fiery midfielders (Jermaine Jones)
    -Few have liked Jermain Jones
    -Holden potential is to be a better version of the aging Jermaine Jones
    -Everyone wants 2010 Donavon
    -2010 Donavon is not here yet
    -The rosters have not been released yet
    -We learned nothing from the Sporting News incident

    Now to objectively project responses to the above:

    -“Hard to believe Holden was one of the best tacklers in the BPL”
    -“Holden is not better than Jermaine Jones”
    -“How about Donavon being better than both Holden and Jones”
    -“Call Donavon in as a bench player!”
    -“What about Joe Corona? Into the Libertadores quarters and deserves a chance”
    -“Run DMB”
    -“(insert comment here full of gramtical/spelling errors that everyone chooses to ignore due to lack of intelligence represented)”

    Next topic please.

      • especially how to spell LD’s name properly after butchering it horribly for the past twelve years and the fact that somehow Holden gets credit for his form 2-3 years ago in terms of being worthy of a call up, but “Donavon” does not get the same benefit of the doubt-interesting…

      • Holden isn’t in camp for the WCQs…only to stay fit for the Gold Cup. different situation entirely.

      • He left off that it’s kind of crap to say “Well Donovan 2013 isn’t Donovan 2011” but to give Holden 2013 a spot SOLELY on the belief he will be Holden 2011.

      • Donavons choice to walk away from the game for a few months was because “he knew what was best for him”. So he is reponsible for getting himself back to his best.

        Holden miss time because he just plain couldnt even walk. US Soccer deciding its a good idea to help a great prospect return to full strength after injury is something I personally am proud of.

        Its apples and oranges.

      • This is true, the Holden deal really is just the USMNT doing Bolton a favor, which in the long term could benefit the USMNT

  11. Donovan’s time is over. Sad but true. Might be useful to get us through qualification but next year

    I don’t wanna see Donovan or Bocanegra, not sure on Cherundolo or not. We need to bleed our young guys.

    • To leave off Donovan (especially for the next round of qualifiers) would be to willfully not field your strongest team. Insane.

    • Care to explain in detail why his time is up? If not mistaken Donovan is still our most explosive, well rounded player to date and he’s still only just 31 which is not old by any stretch…..if it’s it hate that made you comment in this fashion then shame on you but please don’t comment with irrational opinions without giving reasons why, it makes you look like an idiot!

  12. Would it really be so blasphemous to call him up and have a look at him in camp? I understand that Juergen wants to build a philosophy of club play and commitment before you get a call up, but surely there’s an exception to be made for such talent. Even if he gets called in and doesn’t do well, that’s fine. I would rather use friendlies for that than see for the umpteenth time that Graham Zusi really isn’t enough out on the right.

    and that’s another thing; Graham Zusi may be in better club form, but do we all honestly believe that Landon would be any worse for the U.S.? If you do, that’s fine, and completely understandable. He’s doing better in the same league. That’s proof enough for some people.

    However, it’s also equally understandable to give a chance to a guy who has helped this national team in so many ways. You can question his lack of desire after the extended hiatus he’s recently taken, but you can never question his ability (not that anyone is), and if there’s a single person who has played for this country that might just deserve a break, especially if it’s a break that he feels will help him play better, then it’s this guy right here. He had the best of intentions when he clocked out, both for himself, and for the team.

  13. Anyone needing a chuckle should watch video posted last week on the web site of Klinsmann in the 1990s throwing a temper tantrum when he was playing for FC Bayern. JK was angry because he was pulled out of a game. As he went to the sidelines he screamed at his coach and then kicked a hole in a big advertising container. Funny stuff. Wonder if Landon Donovan has ever done something like that. Maybe that is what JK wants to see before Landon gets a call-up. The video is linked below.

  14. Well we will see what happens. If he isn’t called in I gaurantee he will be at the very least an alternate. Injuries may happen as well as cards being issued after all this is CONCACAF referees.

    I think a very positive performance from Donovan tonight could help convinve Klinsmann that Donovan should be called in.

  15. Howard, Guzan, Johnson
    Cherundolo, Cameron, Gonzalez, Besler, Lichaj, Chandler, Goodson,
    Bradley, Edu, Shea, Zusi, Kljestan, Jones, Gatt, Diskerud
    Altidore, Dempsey, Gomez, Boyd, MacInenery

    no Dempsey

    • If you think Josh Gatt and his almost complete lack of a soccer brain and creative ideas beyond “run really fast” would be more useful than Donovan, you’re even more delusional than Klinsmann.

      • @Bobbbbb couldn’t agree more with you. Moreover Lichaj over Castillo? C’mon! We are all aware he is part of a Premier League team, but all he does is ride the pine. No way he’s better and EC2. No way!!!

    • Shea and Gatt won’t get called. Klinsi called out Shea, and by all reports, Gatt hasn’t gotten to last season’s level. Also, Gatt playing well in Norway is like calling up a guy doing well in the USL. He needs to move to a harder league. Somewhere like Portugal or the Netherlands. Gatt currently gets by on athleticism; he now needs brains and skill.

      Mac also gets a big no. At least if we’re bringing Boyd. No need to bring two young strikers with very little experience.

      Honestly, Beckerman could see playing time again, Beasley will get a call I’d imagine, and I’m sure Johnson will too.

      I hope Mix gets a call-up.

      • it’s not even that. Gatt, simply put, will be a part of the Gold Cup team. and since he plays in Norway, he will not be on vacation like some others in Europe. Klinsmann has no interest in calling him for the WCQs.

        and then yes, Gatt just isn’t playing at a high enough level to be a squad player for the A team.

  16. I was originally in the “don’t call Donovan up for these qualifiers” camp because he’s not at full form right now, and I thought pulling him away from the Galaxy wouldn’t make sense if he wasn’t going to play for the US.

    However, after thinking about it a little bit and reading these comments, I have changed my mind. Donovan himself admits that he’s not at 100% – particularly his confidence. A couple weeks in USMNT camp, with some playing time in the friendlies (maybe a half hour or so) could do wonders for his fitness, technical sharpness, and most importantly, confidence. As he pointed out, I think his experience in these situations could make him an excellent mentor for less experienced players (Zusi, Corona, etc.) He still brings some things other players in the pool don’t provide. A late-game substitute of Donovan could really turn the tables if we’re down, tied, or even have a slight lead in the qualifiers. Defenders are going to have to respect him simply because he’s Donovan. The last year notwithstanding, I think it would be tough to think of a time when he didn’t give 100%. If he’s as motivated to make an impact and return to his former self as he says, I think he could only be a benefit to have in camp, and possibly, coming off the bench.

    Whose spot is he going to take on the bench? Looking at the Costa Rica roster, I see Kljestan, Shea, Eddie Johnson, and Kyle Beckerman. A not yet 100% Donovan brings more to the table than any of those guys.

    • With a month to go until those June qualifiers we could see a different Donovan. I wouldn’t mind terribly to see him lead the younger guys at the Gold Cup though, maybe build some rapport with the guys who have to step up when the Donovan-Dempsey era has passed.

    • You get an A for reasonableness.

      While I think Donovan is exactly what’s missing in terms of service and two-way work rate (and I think that people are highly overstating how flat he is right now) what you say makes sense. Bring him in. Help him get sharper. Even if the crackpot, I mean, coach doesn’t start him, do you think having Donovan on the bench would be a nice luxary to have? Hell, i would have used him off the bench against Mexico….

    • Agreed! We’ve lacked width and attacking bite for most of the Klinsmann era. Those are exactly the skills Donovan brings to the table. As a coach I think you have to give that kind of player, especially a proven one, every possible opportunity to succeed. If there were other players that could bring that to the table and were in form, this wouldn’t be a conversation.

      • There was a whole “how come he can do it for club but not country” belief of US fans about Dempsey during those years. He was a great club player and a good national team player while Donovan got to the Nats first, did more, and meant more despite the Euro-snob belief that you had to be in Europe to be a good player. It wasn’t until Robert Green fumbled Dempsey’s long-range hopeless shot into the net that Dempsey had come to be “DEMPSEY!” with the Nats.

    • Because Donovan won a championship last year ?

      That is pretty harsh, Dempsey plays on a team that will not win one ever and he plays well.

  17. What is the source for all these reports about Donovan’s exclusion? I think Grant reported it first on Sports Illustrated, but how is this a matter of fact now (especially since Donovan himself was unaware)?

    • I was wondering about that, whether it might be possible that sources close to the USMNT fed Grant Wahl bad information in order to get everybody riled up and then when the roster is announced Donovan is invited and everybody is happy. But I kind of doubt that anonymous sources would dink around with Wahl.

      In any case, Wahl’s story left door open saying that if someone higher on the depth chart can’t make it then Donovan could be invited. And I will not be surprised to see this happen, especially after Donovan’s conciliatory comments today coupled with Joe Corona’s inability to accept an invite because of Tijuana’s great victory yesterday in the Copa Libertadores. Donovan could be Corona’s replacement.

  18. Well, that is pretty much the same thing I said yesterday when this news came out. Donovan isn’t yet in form, lacks confidence, and sometimes seems unsure of himself on the pitch. Right now he’s not good enough. However, I think it would be premature to not even invite him to the camp. It would be foolish to not have him available if he does get into form before the June qualifiers.

    • This is all part of JK’s management style — Improve the national team by creating a competitive environment. If he lets LD walk straight back into the team, what kind of message does that send to a player like Zusi? LD will be back in the team eventually; he is too good not to force his way back in, but JK is making him earn it, which I think is the right attitude to have for the long-term USMNT culture.

      • What kind of message does sending Stuart Holden into the team send? That if you are injured then play in lower-level (level 3 or 4 on loan form level 2) English football you can walk right back in?

      • Holden and Donovan’s situation is completely different. Donovan left the team. Fact.

        Holden got injured twice, and has worked himself back, continually talking about his dream of getting back into the US and even making an appearance at camp once.

        Holden is getting rewarded. Donovan is getting punished.

        Holden is also an investment: Klinsi is bringing him to camp to get him ready for the Gold Cup. Klinsi is putting him on the Gold Cup roster to get him fit for preseason. He wants him fit for preseason so he plays this year. And he wants him to play this year so he’s ready to get back on the proper A US team. It’s pretty obvious.

        Donovan will get playing time and he’ll find his way again. Klinsi is choosing to guide Holden and make Donovan prove himself not only to the team, fans, and players, but to himself as well. Donovan has always been a bit weak minded, which he has admitted, so Klinsi wants to see if he can mentally stand up and get his mindset back. Donovan has admitted he hasn’t yet.

      • It’s ludicrous to suggest that Donovan somehow needs any guidance or motivation from JK. He’s a pro, he knows what he needs to do to get himself back.

      • I’m with Ed. This whole Jurgen must teach players lessons is ludicrous. Donovan is a veteran and not to be made example of. It’s Jurgens ego that is getting in the way and it makes him look childlike with this “tit for tat” game. Use Donovan while you still can Moron. It’s for the better of the TEAM now and in the coming months when you’ll really need him.

      • A professional does not walk away like that. Period. What other professional athlete in soccer would do that? Please, he needs motivation and he has even said he lost a love for the game.

        He does know how to get back, but he also needs to know he can’t walk back into this team as though nothing has happened. I completely agree with Klinsi: Being part of a team is knowing the whole is greater than the individuals.

      • I think there’s more to Donovan’s sabbatical than him just taking a break. Ever think it could’ve been depression? I think there’s been hints in the press about it. That’s a medical issue as much as a knee injury is.

      • “Please, he needs motivation and he has even said he lost a love for the game.”

        But not from Klinsmann.. If anyone it would come from Bruce Arena, even then I would say its questionable.

      • Professional players who have left their sport and come back:

        Michael Jordan
        Wilt Chamberlain
        Brett Favre
        Deion Sanders
        Mario Lemieux
        George Foreman
        Muhammad Ali
        Floyd Mayweather

        For some reason, I keep engaging in this argument with you. I guess what I’m hoping against hope to convince you of is that Donovan’s request for “time away” shouldn’t be looked upon as if he’s turning his back on his team, or he’s no longer committed, or he’s washed up or anything like that. Sometimes people need a break.

        My company allows employees to take a leave of absence of up to two years. They recognize that sometimes people need a break, that they might have other priorities in life or other interests they want to pursue. But, if in two years, that person wants to come back, my company still values their talents and attributes enough to say, “Welcome back, we missed you. Now get to work.”

        It’s better than having them go work for Microsoft or Oracle or some other big tech company.

      • dude, Holden is not going to play a part in the WCQs…at all. he’s ONLY there to maintain fitness in the offseason so he can play in the Gold Cup. why is that so hard to understand? the Donovan situation is different because Donovan, if brought into camp, will absolutely have a part in the WCQs. if not, he would just stay with LA until the Gold Cup.

      • I don’t think inviting him to camp allows him to walk right back into the team. It gives him a chance to prove he’s worthy of a spot. I don’t see why he shouldn’t be invited to camp

  19. Donovan nailed it, even if he doesn’t play there are benefits of calling him in with his vast experience and yes, chemistry, with some of the veterans.

    Also, I feel like a tea party group right now on SBI, unfairly targeted for moderation!

    (Had to post from my phone, I know 1st world problems.)

    • That chemistry knife cuts both ways. This is a completely different team than the one to which Donovan is accustomed. Not saying they won’t accept him or that there is any beef (because none of us really, truly know) but to simply assume so because of his resume or whatever is all blog stuff. None of us truly know the dynamics of that team except the coach who has to manage and get the best out of them.

      These are pros fighting for caps and roster appearances that may mean transfer and more money. Plus they are competitive athletes who by nature could care less about what they did last season, and even more so about what the competition did a year or so ago.

      • “This is a completely different team than the one to which Donovan is accustomed.”

        Look at some of the pillars of this team, the ones likely suiting up in brazil: Howard, Bradley, Jozy, Dempsey, Cherundolo.. Those guys obviously have a ton more chemistry with LD than any of the new guys, so I don’t buy that this is some foreign squad to him. These guys have battled at the highest level together. If anything the chemistry is weird WITHOUT Donovan.

      • You named 5 guys. 5 out of a team. You assume that because these guys played together in the past that this is exactly the “same” team. Chemistry would be weird without LD? I wonder what they were doing the past two years without him.

        Too often these posts become oversimplified – LD (simply the best) to JK’s (petty, childish scum of the Earth). There is always more to this and though we may all speculate because we don’t have all the facts I like to broaden the speculation just to freshen things up a bit.

        Speculation aside the facts remain – no two teams are the same (trust me I am a DC fan I know), LD is on poor form and has even admitted that he has to earn his way back.

        Now we can split hairs about “earn” – is it more resume than present form? Well, it depends on who you ask. In the end I guess it’s the petty, childish scum of the Earth’s call.

      • I named the 5 most important players in our entire player pool. 6 if you count Donovan. That’s more than half of the dudes who be on the pitch in Brazil.

        ” Chemistry would be weird without LD? I wonder what they were doing the past two years without him.”

        Um, playing like garbage?

      • Fair enough, Ed. We’ll agree to disagree. Thanks for the decent back-and-forth, though. Much respect, sir.

      • Not one player has said it’s weird without Donovan, and I haven’t seen anyone come out to support him beyond the generic, “I hope he gets better” answers.

        The team has changed. The coach, the players, and the system. Of course there are veterans, but he was never close with Dempsey or Jozy or Bradley that I’ve witnessed in videos or in the media.

        Other players have been there for the team. Guys like Corona and Boyd have followed the team around continent without any playing time, but they’re putting in their time. Then you have guys who have come through in Donovan’s absence: Zusi, Gomez, Dempsey, even Johnson and Beasley.

        Donovan is not playing well enough to stand on anything other than respect and nostalgia.

      • “The team has changed. The coach, the players, and the system. Of course there are veterans, but he was never close with Dempsey or Jozy or Bradley that I’ve witnessed in videos or in the media.”

        Not as much as you would like to believe. I listed the pillars of this team, those guys aren’t going anywhere. And you have NO idea what Bradley, Dempsey, Howard, think of LD, personally or professionally. You can’t dispute that those core guys have played (and won) at the highest level together, clearly they have a chemistry that hasn’t been replicated yet in the Klinsmann era.

        Also please, tell me more about this new system we have now? The one with no offensive cohesion?

        Lastly, way to borrow the nostalgia argument directly from Ives twitter. Its not nostalgic, it’s forward looking. Most people expect Donovan to get to a level soon that would make him useful to the USMNT, so what harm does it do to bring him in now, even if its just an evaluation?

      • C’mon Ed, Josh has repeated in multiple threads how no one has said anything with regard to LD, it’s a foregone conclusion that they don’t support him!

        Josh has also stated multiple times that your pillars have absolutely no chemistry with LD, which he knows definitively because of this deep-seated belief that he has, actual evidence be damned.

        I mean, come on, how much clearer does he need to be?!

      • I’ve called it nostalgia last year, and will continue doing so. I’m on Twitter and I follow Ives, however, I can honestly say I didn’t see his Tweet because I only check after work and unfortunately, I follow far too many people to keep track of everyone’s every tweet.

        Whether the system is working or not, there is a new system – it’s called possession. Bunker Bradley had us sitting back and hitting the counter. Different systems.

        And like I said, based on what I have seen in videos, they were never the buddy buddy kind others were with one another. I never said I knew them personally, I said it’s what I saw. I like having an opinion. So I watch things and read things and debate with people so that I can have my own opinion.

      • Yeah, and I’m pretty fond of stating my opinion too, but I don’t make statements and represent them as facts.

        “..he was never close with Dempsey or Jozy or Bradley that I’ve witnessed in videos or in the media.”

        “Not one player has said it’s weird without Donovan, and I haven’t seen anyone come out to support him beyond the generic, “I hope he gets better” answers.”

        Your opinions and conjecture are stated as if they are facts, simply because you haven’t witnessed chummy activity or heard anyone come to his defense. You’re more than entitled to your opinion, and people are also entitled to call you out and say, “Your opinion is not based on any objective facts, it’s a feeling you have.” And that’s okay, just own it and call it a day.

      • Definitely not trying to troll, but Donovan has no problem playing the possession style or the style kilnsi currently implements which is not that style (I don’t know what it is- maybe it is supposed to be possession, but the product isn’t. Just like calling the war department the defense department doesn’t actually mean they are ‘playing defense’).

      • dempsey has “come through in Donovan’s absence”? this would be news to many people, including Deuce who has been starting alongside LD since the 2006 WC

      • Come through with multiple game winning goals since 2010.. Something the team relied on Donovan to do before..

      • No one is saying Boyd or Corona shouldn’t be included. Like you said, they have earned it through their play and commitment shown. That doesn’t mean there isn’t a place for Donovan as well.

        Saying he wasn’t close to some of the other vets because none have spoken out for him (gripes generally stay in house) and some media videos you have seen is pretty weak evidence. Its actually bordering on no evidence at all. Speculation based on that is just ridiculous.

      • Actually Deuce did make an appeal to LD to come back and that the team needed him. It was during a post game interview during a hex qualifier… Forget which one.

      • I still don’t understand the whole chemistry argument. Assuming there is a chemistry problem, which is debatable. How is Donovan supposed to build chemistry if he is held out of camp?

        I think this whole situation has been mismanaged a bit by both sides. It is becoming much bigger than it ever needed to be. LD isn’t at his best, but I also believe he can still bring something to the team in one form or another. He is still one of our best players and will be part of the 2014 team. Why continue to hold him out? Letting this story continue to drag on is detrimental to the team. We don’t have one of our best players and its a PR annoyance/distraction for everyone (how many LD stories/interviews/questions will come out now?) I understand the reasons for not calling him in. I just think they’re doing more harm than good.

  20. If it’s true that JK is leaving Donovan off the next roster, then he’s a moron. A blind man can see that Donovan out on the wing is exactly what the national team has been lacking.

      • “I really do believe, if I do get called in, that I can help the team. Even if I’m not playing I think I can help. I think my experience, having been through this three times, can be very beneficial.”

      • I can read. I just fail to see how that connects to the dot of where JK is a moron for considering other variables.

      • Just makes it seem that Klinsmann is being petulant about the whole thing. It’s like really, out of 24 or whatever choices, you can’t squeeze Landon Donovan in there? He’s going to be part of the team eventually so what harm does it do to simply bring him in?

      • every player has to earn the right for inclusion. If Donovan doesn’t mind being called up simply to warm the bench, then call me up

      • This is not an ‘All Star’ team, its a National Team. Spots are earned by time and experience. Chances when offered have to be capitalized on, otherwise Wondo would be on the squad….and he is on nobody’s preliminary list.
        Donovan is a game of a handful the U.S. has and perhaps as Ed says the only one on the wing…JK is ‘grinding out’ results so you can’t fault him for that. But a team is a team is a team. If JK feels that LD not participating in the Snow game and the Azteca tie is somehow going to be a show stopper….then I too would question why Holden? What has he done to earn a spot…? a Loan from Bolton where he couldn’t win a starting role?

      • I get where you’re coming from Ed, but you guys make it seem like it’s that easy. JK has two camps to run this summer for two big tournaments. LD is the best at what he does and has experience but is clearly, clearly off form right now. I always thought he was going to the GC anyways and if that’s the case does LAG want to lose him now for games he won’t play in? Arena has been mum on this and coaches talk and plan about how a player fits into both teams schedules.

        All I am saying is that there is more to this than Donovan being the best and JK being the idiot.

    • Yup, Donovan from 2010 is exactly what we need. 2013 Donovan, if he had any other name, is not what we need. It’s that simple. Will he get good enough to get back on the team? I hope so, Klinsmann hopes so, the US hopes so. But right now he’s not. Let’s pull off our nostalgic stars and stripes sunglasses and realize that Donovan is not fit. Until he can take down defenders in MLS, he’s not translating that to harder international defenders.

      He also has to learn a lesson. He left his country, his coach, his team, and the fans for almost two years (save a game or two). And based on his seasonal form, he’s not who he was either way. He’s Gold Cup material.

      And quite frankly, based on recent interviews, his US teammates aren’t clamoring for his return. There’s a fine line to draw in the sand as I’m sure there is resentment.

      • Dude, COME ON, you really think with where LD is at in his career he needs to learn any lessons? He knew what he was getting into with the sabbatical and has admitted such. You keep pushing this narrative that JK is some wise father figure trying to help a young player reach his potential, it’s nonsense.

  21. You have to love the way Donovan answers this stuff with a lot of honesty. It sort of takes the fun out of analyzing it to death.

    • Not so fast. Landycakes says that he can HELP the team at camp with his beneficial experiences, but right now he’s too still focused on himself to an extent that he can’t HELP others. What? Now it’s been analyzed to death.

    • Yep. It’s a shame that he needed a break at the worse time for others, but as the advice to every caregiver goes “you have to take care of yourself to take care of others.”

    • I would agree 100% with LD’s assessment of the situation. At the same time, though, I’m disappointed with his sabbatical. It’s just not something that a driven, mentally tough player does and it just shows how psychologically fragile he is. With his tools and skills, I think he could have been our first world class field player, but it never happened because he just never had the guts for it.

      • Staying at MLS and playing against substandard competition did not help his development either and while I can understand his reasons for taking the sabbatical, the timing was pretty awful from the USMNT prospective.

      • You’re right, I can understand in some ways, but it’s not something you see anyone else doing on a high level. I’m sure your body gets worn down, but generally a few weeks off is enough for any player to recharge their batteries both physically and psychologically. Though there are competitive stresses, ultimately you’re playing a game for a living and making enough money to retire by the time you’re in your mid-30s. You have all the time in the world to cultivate other aspects of your life once you retire, but while you’re still in the prime of your career, you’re expected to go full bore and give everything you have to football. Pretty much everyone else recognizes the fleeting nature of a football career and the need to commit fully during that small window. The fact I can’t think of a single other player who felt compelled to take this kind of sabbatical is very telling. Everyone else is able to deal with the stressors. I think managers and players look on LD now as if there’s something seriously off about him.

      • “could have been our first world class field player”…maybe not.
        But one of the best if not the best the US has produced? Unarguably.
        LD should be on the team, because LD is part of the team.

        “Psychologically fragile” tough to argue. But one of the best ever also tough to argue.

        LD is LD – a guy with US best skills who wants to be a regular guy. You have to take the good and the bad…and the good is the guy on the field with your team.

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