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Gulati says USMNT must move past Donovan omission

Hall of Fame induction ceremony

photo by Michael Janosz/


HARRISON, N.J. — Sunil Gulati is keeping his cards close to the vest when it comes to Landon Donovan’s surprise omission from the U.S. Men’s National Team’s World Cup roster.

More than a week after Donovan was left off the 23-man squad headed for Brazil, Gulati touched on head coach Jurgen Klinsmann’s shocking decision on Saturday following the Americans’ open training session at Red Bull Arena.

The U.S. Soccer president did not go into much detail about his thoughts on the matter, saying only that the team needs to push forward with its World Cup preparations despite the fact that its leading World Cup goal-scorer is not part of the plans.

“Certain decisions have been made and they were obviously difficult decisions, and we move on from there,” said Gulati, who refrained from commenting further on the widely-discussed topic.

Gulati also touched on the notion that some fans and members of the media have about Klinsmann making roster selections based on the head coach’s future plans for the U.S. Klinsmann signed a contract extension this past December that runs through 2018, and many observers believe that the job security he has is why youngsters like Julian Green, DeAndre Yedlin and John Brooks were included in the Americans’ roster.

“I don’t think any decisions Jurgen has made are because we did an extension before the World Cup,” said Gulati. “Contracts are contracts. People have long-term contracts (and) those are what they are. Everything is focused very much on getting through the first round, and we’ll see what happens after that.

“One of the reasons you do extensions to contracts obviously is to get stability. The employee in this case would like stability for their future, and the federation gets stability and certainty.”

While stability and certainty are important to Gulati, so too is seeing the U.S. advance from its difficult group into the knockout rounds of the World Cup next month. The Americans have been paired with Ghana, Portugal and Germany in a tough Group G, and the consensus is that the U.S. will have a tough time avoiding going three-and-out this summer.

“We understand why Portugal and Germany, ranked No. 2 and 3 in the world, are favorites in the group. We get that,” said Gulati. “Our goal and our expectation is to get through the first round. If we do that, it’s wide open. It’s a knockout competition.

“By the way, that’s not a defeatist attitude about how far we want to go in the tournament. Everyone’s goal is to get through the first round and see what happens, with the exception of Brazil, which automatically assumes they’re playing the final.”


What do you make of Gulati’s comments?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. Dempsey and Klinmann’s son just made whole Donovan issue worst. Hopefully, USNT and Klinsmann could focus and proof their worth by win games, this group is perfect for USNT to show it.

  2. How does this guy still have a job? Worst fed chief in the history of US Soccer by FAR. So far he’s completely botched the World Cup bid and got out maneuvered by Qatar. Then he fires a good coach, eats the contract, to hire this incompetent blow hard. Not only that, he gives him a four year extension before he’s even accomplished anything.

    Sunil needs to resign ASAP. And the way he and his boyfriend are treating our best player ever is disgusting. I refuse to support any of their mediocre teams until US Soccer has a change in leadership.

    3 and out and I’ll laugh in his pinhead face.

    • Even at this hour. Even after a long night out.

      We got this guy throwing out bait. Swish.

      Fix yourself.

      [Think I saw some homophobia in there. How nice for you.]

      Well done.


      Maybe somebody cares. Not me.

      There is nothing more depressing than watching somebody lose a game of strip solitaire. I’d call it a career

      Can’t you just get a Twitter account or something? I’m sure lots of people would follow, Baptista says he’ll be back in the morning or whatever. Maybe ask him.

      I’m going to bed so I can scream Star Spangled Awesome with my starting 110 at the bar tm. Actually haven’t even decided which one yet. Might even bump into some SBI folks.

      What are you doing?

      Don’t answer that.

    • I would agree with Gulati is mediocre, but Bob Bradley wasn’t a great manager (too defensive for USNT).

      USSF needs to cut some funds on femaleside and invest more male side. Our youth teams lack proper preparations, while famales have tons of friendlies and don’t win “major prize”.

  3. I know very little about Sunil Gulati and how (and why) he has been leading US Soccer for so long. What are his qualifications and is he the right guy?

    • He has an ineresting biography. Start at wikipedia/google– I can help fill in any questions once you’ve read up. It’s an interesting story and he is highly accomplished on multiple fronts. Others have written about him extensively and they can do better than any of us.

  4. When I mean from scratch I’m talking about our vision as where do we go from here. As far as the Donovan thing it had to happen sooner or later he is getting up there with age but the worry is that we have yet to find some one that can replace him from this emerging talent. Yes it’s too soon and these players need more time but there’s gotta be a diamond in the rough right?

    • There just might be bud… we won’t know until we watch… Why don’t we revisit this in August? I’d rather we be high fiving and slamming beverages than arguing over this. That sound good?

  5. I agree with one of the comments way up there. As a country we need results and in MY opinion (mine not yours) all this change Klinsmann was going to bring to US soccer has failed , and we’re no better than where Bob left us.

    • How so!

      More points in qualifying!
      More goals
      More wins
      More coverage
      More eyes on the sport

      In what ways are we worse? Or the same?

      • Just look at the team we play regionally of course we’ll have more points and goals. I’m talking about the world stage. The WC will be our benchmark. If we fail there we must start from scratch because it obviously didn’t work right.

      • From scratch? Is there some pool of emerging players we don’t know about that Jurgen hasn’t tapped?

        Bringing Landon back? Is that what you mean? Even if Landon was in the squad and we WON the World Cup, w’d have to start again bud.

        Thing about time is…

      • The test comes in two weeks. Just beating Ghana would show we are going forward (with or without LD) and I wish JK and the rest of the USMNT well. On any given day we can beat Ghana,Portugal AND GERMANY! Lets hope those Given Days are in the next four weeks. If you look closely at the results of the US matches and whom they played, the US was usually only one win from advancing, potentially very deep.In three cases they held the eventual champion or runner up to single goal (Italy, Brazil and Germany)

        1990, the US was just happy to be there, going 3 and out with no points in its first return to the WC since 1950 and the shock win over England. Coached by Rob Gansler and most of the team played in 2nd division US clubs as the NASL went extinct a few year earlier.

        In 1994 Bora Multinovic got the US to the second round through good defense and some luck against Columbia and the high point was playing eventual second place Brazil and “holding” them to a 1-0 victory.

        in 1996, the US went 3 and out with no points after Steve Sampson dismissed the US best player John Harkes for having an affair with the wife of Eric Wynalda’s who promptly was red-carded out of a WC game. A single goal by Brian McBride it was the US’s wost outing.

        In 2002, Bruce Arena brought the US it’s best outing ever in the WC, finishing 2nd in the group, the US beat the winners of Group G.Mexico and lost to Germany in the Quarter-finals with several bad calls made by the officials with the worst, even being admitted by Germany that they lucked out, was Torsten Frings handball of a Greg Berhalter shot INSIDE the goal mouth. The official did not rule and admitted later, it might have been a goal and at least should have been a penalty shot, but admitted he did not know the ruling for such an infraction . Germany went on to lose in the Finals to Brazil.

        2006, Bruce Arena’s 2nd WC did not go as plan. The US took one point from eventual champion, Italy (the only game in that WC, they did not win) and eliminated from the Group stage with losses to the Czech republic and Ghana.

        2010 Bob Bradley got the US its first WC Group Stage winner and took over seeded England’s seed path and only had to defeat Ghana to make a deep advance. but alas. a 2-1 defeat ended the US WC hopes.

        Lets hope JK can at least match some of his less-pedigreed predecessors, who accomplished a great deal with less experienced and less talented squads.

        Gulati may comment we need to move on over the ommission of LS, but history may prove otherwise.

  6. Get over it!

    Gati did not pick the squad. He did not drop Donovan. He probably wasn’t consulted because that would subject the program to micromanagement.


    Donavan has been slightly better than average until recently
    Donovan has scored 2 goals since October compared to …
    Terrence Boyd scored 20 goals this season and he was cut he is the 5th forward
    Wondo kept LD off this squad
    LD admitted in multiple interviews that Wondo was on top of his game stating that he was “impressed”
    Brad Davis kept LD off this team. His left footed crossing and service is far superior to LD’s.

  7. Yeah, I’m not ready to move on from Klinsmann’s decisions. There’s no backup for Deuce nor Jozy. It’s beyond mind-boggling. I sent my nasty email to Gulati. USA!

    • Read the quote. Franco paraphrased. Sunil said “we must move on”. I agree fully that the team has moved on. And that’s what matters.

  8. Gulati offered Klinsmann the job and backed him, so he MUST back Klinsmann now, even if he disagreed with JK’s choices.

    The BIG problem Gulati has, is what happens if the US truly does not “spark” and go out 0-3, or beats Ghana, but still goes the group stage? . JK would be really unpopular with fans would probably lose support of some players and be subject a lot of finger-pointing. But JK has a long term contract with USSF and Gulati would have to fire him and buy him out or re-assign him, expensive proposition for a failed effort.

    But the lingering question everyone would have: Are we not at that level where we thought we were? Able to go toe-to-toe with the big guns and look toward a day when we could get to the semi’s or even the finals of he World Cup; That we truly have they players to compete, wherever they were born?


    Did the USMNT coach selected by Gulati to lead the team, make some colossal errors in judgement in team and player selection because of favoritism and parochialism, leading the team down the primrose path!

    Several year ago, Donovan had several contract offers from Everton and a few other EPL teams. The MLS stepped in and “begged’ LD to stay, saying that they needed a player of his capability and stature to build on the MLS image. Donovan agreed and though he was well compensated. left his dream of excelling in the EPL, to help the MLS grow.

    It was Donovan’s decision as was his decision to “take a break” from almost 4 years of straight 12 month football. Little did he know that the US new coaach would take a dim view of him NOT going to Europe, or him NOT playing during his break. There was a lot of talk of how “crucial” his time was away from the USMNT. Hogwash. everybody knows on this board thet the US would advance out of the Hexagonal, sure they might not have Won, but they would have qualified. Donovan was not crucial for the likes of Jamica, panama, or Honduras. The US got by with it’s players.

    But Ghana, Germany and Portugal are in a different league. You need every edge, every vital skilled player and above all all the experience you have.

    There are those, who take a position that if it is not important that he not show up for the USMNT camp and not take part in the early qualifiers, then he has no business being on the team for the WC, but that supposition was blown out of the water when several players, who openly refused to join the team for qualifiers, we admitted back with open arms. Why?

    Klinsmann doubled down on his selection process, showing favoritism in his selection, going with unproven youth over skilled experience. And in leaving Donovan out, with an obviously weal excuse that everyone saw through, made this team his own.For good or bad, he owns it now.

    But, here in Arizona, the Wild West, (I live only 10 miles from Tombstone) we have a saying:

    “If you are going to the big shootout, you better bring all your bullets”

    • If we can beat Ghana we have a real chance to go through to the next round. Germany will play Portugal and Ghana before it plays us. If Germany wins both those games it will go through and will be tempted to rest its best players in the game against us.

      • True, but remember that this will also leave Ghana elimiinated when they play Portugal (who will have everything to play for, and a certain guy who can score many many goals aganst an unfocused team)

        The idea that Ghana is “must win” is a bit overstated. It’s a good thing, but people tend to forget the argument works both ways.

  9. Donovan came back on the Nats to assist Johnson and score the second goal against Mexico. And got kicked off the Nats after the USMNT was in.

    • Nobody got “kicked off”. Stop the drama. Should we throw a tantrum over EJ (he actually SCORED the goal against Mexico)? How about Alan Gordon? We were on the ropes without his contribution in the semi-final round.

      Nine players scored in the Gold Cup. Two are going.

      Eight players scored in WCQ. Three are going.

      Aren’t enough seats for everybody who contributed. It’s a shame but it’s reality. Doesn’t mean they got “kicked off”


  10. The fact of the matter is that nobody, Klinsmann or sunil can come up with a legitimate reason.

    Donovan took a break. So what? Get over it. He was the only player in the pool who went on loan several off seasons in a row. He’s one of the only players in the world who played as many games in the past few years. Guess what? When he came back he not only answered Klinsmann call, he was instrumental in every single game he played in. Can we say the same for chandler responding to callups? Can We Say Chandler Ever Really Contributed To A win?

    Those saying he should have gone over seas? Why is Dempsey back? Why is he and Bradley not criticized for returning to mls? Donovan went on loan EXTREMELY successfully winning man of the match and player of the weeks for everton. Hypocritical fans need to stay away from the team period

    • Well the Reality is people will have different opinions. My thought is Donovan Left at a crucial point.. WCQ. To me Landon was viewed as a veteran guy on the team a leader not by voice but by his play. However, during his sabbatical he questioned his desire to want to play and left the team. Imagine if Tom Brady went to Cambodia during the last few weeks of a Season or during the playoffs. The world would flip out. Lets not make excuses. Donovan Bailed on his team. No one one forced him to take loans, play for Everton etc. People did expect him to Repeesent the USMNT though.

      I am okay with Donovan being left off the squad not because he took a break or was in poor form prior to the camp. Simply because i feel like he was sub at best. A valuable sub. But not irreplaceable.

      As for the JK bashing.. I dont really care for the guy. But lets be real here. he has had the most winning tenure of all USMNT coaches (primarilly w/o LD too). So lets not burn him at the stake. Lets not forgot that while serving as Germanys NT coach he also made a similar cut to Lehman and it worked out Okay at WC. Lets judge him after the WC not prior.

      One thing I will say… all these so called “USMNT supporters” who cry for JKs head for cutting Donovan and who dont want to watch the team anymore….You all are not USMNT supporters youre Miami Heat “fans”.

      I support my guys no matter what. When the whistle blows, Jk is not on the field. Our boys are. Show some support. Else getta outta here.

      • I don’t think the NFL analogy quite works because they only play 5 months of the year. Soccer and International soccer is becoming a year round sport. IMO I think the Europeans are overworked and overplayed and it results in more injuries than it should. I think LD had played almost nonstop for several years and he felt he needed a break. If that is what he needed to do to stay with it then let him do it. What I did disagree with were some of his comments about retirement and such. I still think there is more to this story than we know. Right before he took his sabb. he was injured right before the MLS playoffs. I think some MNT people (coaches, players, who knows) questioned his injury and that pissed him off. He came back from the injury and won another MLS title. I don’t blame the guy for wanting to take a break. I don’t think missing a few WCQ’s is the end of the world. The way I see it, he paid back his dues in 2013 with his MNT play.

    • “The fact of the matter is that nobody, Klinsmann or sunil can come up with a legitimate reason.”

      Klinsmann stated his reason clearly. The other forwards were in front of him in the eyes of him and the other coaches. Simple and legitimate, even if you do not agree. Easy to support with data (and we don’t even have access to the data from the camp). THis statement lacks merit entirely. He could not have been more clear. You have speculation.

      Gulati has nothing to do with team selection. If an administrator could “over-ride” the head coach’s selections, we would be in a big mess. Gulati teaches economics and runs a large organization — the senior USMNT is a small yet high-proflie part of it.

      “Hypocritical fans need to stay away from the team period”
      No such thing as a hypocritical fan. True fan supports the team no matter what. Almost all of us like LD. Many of us wish he was there. We just support the team beacuse that’s what matters now. What’s your excuse?

    • No hypocrisy here. Read my previous post explaining the difference in Fonovan and Dempsey/Bradley.

      Secondly, I dare you to name another top athlete who is a team leader who took a break from his team when they needed him.

      Jordan? Dad was murdered.
      Magic? Dealing with HIV
      Lemieux? Cancer

      Donovan only has himself to blame. All he had to do was follow the example of Cal Ripkin.

      1. Show up for work
      2. Don’t disappear when your team needs you


      No one knows anything about Chandler’s call-up situation save for Klinsman and Tim. Klinsman has rebuffs the narrative that Tim declined any call up. If he has, prove it Shirlock.

      And as far as I can tell I saw Chandler contribute to the team a few nights ago. More than that, I just have the crazy idea that in a team game, everyone who plays contributes by virtue of getting on the field and doing their job.

      • OK, physical health an acceptable excuse, mental health not so much. I respectfully disagree. But, even so, does it make any sense that we’ve shot ourselves in the foot by excluding from our team the greatest goal-creator in national-team history, who now appears to be at the top of his form?

      • once again, it should know be common knowledge- Jordan was stealth suspended by Stern for 2 years for compulsive gambling (which may or may not have lead to his father’s death) he did not voluntarily take time off! Thank you

      • “who now appears to be at the top of his form?”

        Do you really believe that? Do you really believe that that sort of thing can be turned off and on at will?

        Landon is a man not an immortal or a god or a mutant with special powers. And soccer is a team sport; LD never did nothing without the help of the other 10 guys.

        LD is a smart man but he never seemed to understand that there was a new sheriff in town and when that happens, like the rest of the human race, he had to figure out what the new boss wants from you. Every other veteran player on that team tried to do that . I wanted Donovan in Brazil but , overall, he made a pretty half hearted effort in comparison to his peers, so he has no one to blame but himself.

        If you are mad about his exclusion, about the waste of whatever talent he has left you should talk to him. He could have been there and he has no one to blame but himself..

      • I have thought better of Donovan’s recent form than many others, but I can understand why you consider my remark an exaggeration.

        I don’t understand your point in saying that “LD never did nothing without the help of the other 10 guys.” Donovan has never personally been a braggart or a selfish player, as your remark seems to suggest. To the contrary, he has always seemed rather self-effacing, particularly considering his achievements. And he has always been extremely unselfish in his play, almost to a fault. His remarkable balance between goals and assists demonstrates as much.

        You may be right that Donovan did not do enough to satisfy Klinsmann. But I disagree that he didn’t try. Indeed, over recent months I thought it rather embarrassing how hard Donovan seemed to try always to say and do what Klinsmann would consider the right thing. And I’m not entirely sure that there was anything Donovan could have done to satisfy him. Klinsmann will apparently never understand Donovan’s need to take time off when he did, and Klinsmann will apparently never forgive him for having done so. But Klinsmann’s petulant response — reaching its zenith with Donovan’s exclusion — has been without serious regard for the interests of the team, which would unquestionably benefit from Donovan’s inclusion and without regard for the interests of the team’s fans, who have arbitrarily been denied the opportunity we all expected to see this extraordinary American talent perform one final time on the World Cup stage.

  11. What happened to international soccer, in the US and elsewhere? It’s a frigging mess. Brazilians are rightfully pissed off at the broken promises and corruption surrounding their Word Cup. Be ready for military interventions and dead people. I’m pretty sure that revolution won’t be televised next month, so you won’t feel bad watching.

    Russia 2018 should be Putastic. Qatar 2022: bought out from under us and then moved to the winter. FIFA criminal Sepp Blatter is just about the biggest corrupting influence in the world in a long time (that would be Gulati’s new master- how does his shoe leather taste, Sunil? Probably like the last guy’s spittle)

    It used to be I could take refuge in the USMNT. We were (mostly) together against the world, except more recently for the Bradley father and son haters, but even then we worked together to build and cheer OUR team.

    I don’t feel it anymore. Donovan’s goal against Algeria- meh. Thanks Klinsi. Dempsey taking the ball off of what’s his name’s feet in the Confederation’s cup- yawn. Way to go, Sunil. JOB’s opening goal against Portugal- in truth, that goal will live with me forever. You can’t have that one, Jurgen.

    The point is, rather than bringing us together right before the WC, Gulati and Klinsmann have turned many people off. Gulati has to ask people to pull together days before the WC. It used to happen naturally.

    I’m hoping this is only momentary, that I’ll be back feelin’ it soon. But I didn’t even watch the last friendly and am not sure when the next one is.

    Hope you’re feeling it more than I.

    • First and foremost… take heart in the fact that it is almost certianly only a momentary feeling that we have all felt. Watching Diskerud’s goal fly in the other night convinced me beyond question that this is 90% “in our heads”. I felt the same exceptional feeling I ever have watching our boys score. Good WILL triumph, even though it might not involve us bringing home the Jules Rimet trophy (has it ever?).

      Blaming Gulati or Klinsmann is easy. But ask yourself why you are blaming them . No results have been recorded yet! The ones that have in the past were highly positive, almost to an unprecedented degree. We are conducting the post-mortem before the patient has been born!

      I would suggest that the media and fans (yes all of us) are better targets here. In previous years, the coverage and detail in the buildiup was nothing like this. Any coach in his right mind would seek to isolate his team under these circumstances. Just look at the doubt that Lalas in Blunderland somehow felt comfortable expressing IN FRONT OF THE TEAM and it’s easy to see that all of this focus on no-longer-relevant things does our boys’ chances no good.

      The best place to be is always under-the-radar. Unless you are the 1992 Dream Team (basketball), and are so loaded with talent as to render defeat impossible, self-doubt and pressure are among the worst enemies. No way the 1980 “Miracle on Ice” happens with this sort of visibility and pressure on a group of athletes that not one of us believes to be the best in the bunch individually.

    • I have the same feeling. I think, I hope it will turn around once the games start. This type of decision, leaving LD off the team would have been better if it were done months ago to get that controversy out of the way. Not a good idea to do it 3 weeks before the world cup starts.

    • I am actually more behind this team than I ever have been, since 94. We are no longer treating ourselves like underdogs who lag behind the world. We are embracing the international game with newfound fervor thanks to JK.

      The Sepp stuff is what it is. I stay out of the politics when I can.

  12. Has anybody else bothered to point out that Landon Donovan was also dual eligible and speaks with a slight Canadian accent? That doesn’t make him less American. It just makes racist/xenophobic arguments about who is a “true American” all the more hypocritical and sillyc. Landon Donovan is not the hero of “true American” soccer fans; he’s the hero of guys who believe American soccer should solely be the remit of upper middle class white guys who think they’re entitled to take a break whenever they feel like it (I like Landon, BTW, I just despise anyone who is using his snub to stop supporting the 23 who are going to Brazil).

    • Word. I don’t agree entirely with your assessment, but it’s good that you bring something to the table that is real and original.

      There’s a lot less venom here than you think. Just 1-2 clowns who keep reinventing themselves as something slightly worse.

      I hope it dies down. I’m looking for new spots if it doesn’t, but SBI historically produces the most intelligent and informed conversation, once you strip the noise out.

    • in reality, LD is the villain for all the bitter sad folks who think he was just a spoiled white guy, and for those who refuse to acknowledge he’s the best US player this country has ever produced. That group has always doubted him and he has sent you all home crying repeatedly in his career…just a middle class white guy serving it up to all comers.

      He’s the guy those bitter fans keep waiting to fail over the last 15 years and have continued to watch to see him fail…but it hasn’t happened and instead he has always served it up in their collective faces. I can understand why the haters are so bent, so much pain he’s dished out to that group

  13. Hey Folks……I only previously posted the 5:13 PM comments…….strange to see another poster usurping my MVincent name……….Does Mr. Snowden have a piece of this action?

  14. Sunil Gulati is keeping his cards close to the vest when it comes to Landon Donovan’s surprise omission from the U.S. Men’s National Team’s World Cup roster.

    WHAT SURPRISE??????? He started making his bed 15 months ago. His wishy washy attitude over that time and his average play would have only made it surprising if he did make the team. C’mon people get over the past. Be happy we have a little depth finally (thanks to Klinsmann and Bradley) and don’t have to bring along a has been. There I said it A HAS BEEN!!!!

    • Not only a has been, but a has been that refused to sharpen his abilities against the world’s best players. Donovan is a coward as a player and that is why Klinsmann gave him the boot. He had opportunities in his prime to move to the top flight and each time went back to the cozy comforts of MLS, a league where Donovan knew he was just better than everyone else.

      Is this the kind of player who can lead our team to a World Cup? Is he even the type of player who could rise to the challenge and deliver in a truly meaningful game against an elite team? Maybe if he was the same player he was 5-8 years, even 3-4 years ago.

      • In fairness to Landykins, the guy HAD world class ability, which makes it all the more frustrating that he tucked tail back to his comfort zone of MLS. Instead of maturing into a legend, he just kind of stagnated and got himself cut on the eve of a World Cup.

        I imagine that if Landon takes the omission like a man and sees it for what it is–a challenge–then he very well may go to Europe and adapt his play to regain that versatility that made him a centerpiece of the USMNT, sharpening himself so that in 4 years Klinsmann can bring him back into camp as a triumphant warrior to help lead the team to victory in Russia.

        Or, Landon can just chill in LA and boss it against fourth-rate players making less than minor league baseball players. Which do you think he will do?

      • Brett: What possible difference does it make that you apparently don’t approve the life Donovan chose for himself? What business is that of yours, and how is that relevant in any way to the contribution he might have made to the team in Brazil? And why do you think it’s important whether Donovan is the same player he was in the past? No one ever is. The only question (which is now moot, unless someone gets hurt) is whether the Donovan of today has more to contribute to the team than other attacking players chosen ahead of him. In that regard, by all accounts he was one of the fittest players at the Stanford camp. Just this last weekend, we all had an unambiguous demonstration that even if he’s lost a step he’s still plenty fast, still has an exceptional touch and still has the speed of thought and passing vision to put the ball where it will do the most damage. It follows that, given the chance, he could have been expected to create far more goal-scoring opportunities than any of the players selected for the team, since that is exactly what he did over the last 18 months. For anyone but Klinsmann, that would have put him ahead of at least half of the attacking players selected.

      • “we all had an unambiguous demonstration that even if he’s lost a step he’s still plenty fast, still has an exceptional touch and still has the speed of thought and passing vision to put the ball where it will do the most damage. It follows that, given the chance, he could have been expected to create far more goal-scoring opportunities than any of the players selected for the team, since that is exactly what he did over the last 18 months.”

        You get that from tearing apart the Union? Is that your idea of a high level test?

      • The question you raise is not very meaningful. If you have speed, if you show quickness of thought, have great touches, precision in passing, etc., you have those attributes, regardless of the opposition. Donovan’s assist in the second minute was a high quality ball even if the shot had been thwarted. Some good moves succeed, some don’t. Sure, with tougher opposition one or even both of the goal-scoring plays with Keane might not have succeeded. But while the score would have been different, the high quality of Donovan’s play would have been the same in either even. More importantly, who among the current MNT members would have done as well or better against that same opposition? Bradley certainly has the ability. Dempsey, probably. AJ, possibly. Anyone else, forward or midfield? I doubt it.

      • LD never shows that guile against top tier competition. He can shred MLS and CONCACAF. We know this.

      • Brett: The question, as I said, is not how Donovan has performed “against top tier competition,” but whether or to what extent there are players on our roster who have done better than he or may reasonably be expected to do so. Among the forwards and attacking midfielders I suggested that Bradley, Dempsey and AJ might meet that standard. If you think there are others on the roster who have done better “against top tier competition,” I’d like to know who and where and when. You are wrong, in any event, regarding his performance against top-tier competition. For me (and many other) he has nothing left to prove. Perhaps you never saw any of Donovan’s games during his two spells at Everton. It is no exaggeration to say that he was very influential in Everton’s obtaining favorable results against some of the top teams in the league. As a result, he was considered by many to have been among the very best wingers in the EPL when he played there.

      • Advocate,

        You make some good points but I would point out that the Everton loans were , in soccer terms, a lifetime ago. LD’s best performances his outstanding achievements were , again is soccer terms, a lifetime ago.
        The Gold Cup performances and the Portland and Union games you cite as your recent evidence, were the sort of thing that you would not even have noticed two or three years ago.

        Now they stand out because he has other wise been pretty humdrum for a long time.

        It comes down to a matter of faith.

        If you are the manager do you believe he has been husbanding his resources, saving his vital juices for one last orgiastic display , one that he can turn off and on at will?

        LD thinks he can but then again
        of course he does.

        Or do you think that the reality is the chances of LD being right about himself are not supported by reality and you would rather give others the chance to prove they too can rise above the mire and produce under stress? I don’t remember LD coming up with the game winning goal in the Ghana game , a tight , close game that was LD’s latest and last WC appearance. Would that not have been the game for him to show his ability to transcend?

        Bear in mind that JK has been living in SoCal for about 15 years so he knows the soccer side of LD probably as well or better than any of us.

      • no, but by being the best player against Portland in Portland the week before too, and also playing well in Slat lake City the game before that…and he scored and asisted against Mexico in the September 2013 quali too

      • Qualification is over and the teams in our group are so far above MLS quality that Landon would be invisible. You’re not seeing the point. It’s LD’s mentality that holds him back. JK sees it and wants players who have more self belief. That’s the only way we will ever compete for a World Cup. We can’t so it with players who have almost no experience against top flight internationals (almost all of whom play in Europe) except for underwhelming appearances in international friendlies.

        Like I said, Landon can ball against MLS and CONCACAF. But which of our group opponents has players of MLS or CONCACAF quality?

      • Apples and Oranges! Someone’s not paying attention.

        Grinding 5+ years of your life at the highest level, cracking the starting eleven for a top 100 team and growing your game THEN coming home for a massive pay day is not the same thing LandyCakes did is it?

        Is it?

  15. The real Baptista here wishes you a very happy Saturday. I may be back tomorrow with my insightful comments to enlighten some of you, after the Turkey debacle.

    • Or you may not, if things don’t go your way. The expat lifestyle never dies, it just changes forms. I recommend future occurrences be treated as QuakerOtis has…

      ***This exhibit closed for trolling***

  16. Mr. Gulati understands that this is essentially a global game. At the same time, we have brought on a significant core of players who don’t speak english (Jones & Green anyway). The is part of a universal trend to maximize roster selections on both club and national levels (see Nasri, Costa, Messi, Benzema, Ozil etc. etc. etc.) I can understand the need of the historic present, just not at the expense of a singular, excellent, homegrown talent who has plenty left to serve his country. Go Ghana ~ (I was previously the sole US Soccer supporter in my office). Landon Donovan’s omission does not go over so well with the Ol’ Folks at Home ~

      • You’re right Maykol. I want to apologize for being a xenohpobe. I could have spared myself years of pretending to be a US fan if I had known that soccer was a global sport and that routing for one man does not a fan make.

      • Damn bro haha all i did was correct a piece of false information on your post, never called you a xenophobe

      • Hey Maykol,
        That 5:36 post above was not mine (somebody using my MVincent name). My comments were a little hasty as both Jones & Green are sons of US servicemen, regardless of their mother tongue ~ You point is well taken

  17. Oh boy, Mexico, the best CONCACAF team, is demolishing a South American team, something Klnsmann’s team is yet to do. This may hurt some of you, but get used to the reality. Klnsmann has moved US Soccer backward and is not going to stop after a horrible WC performance. This is going to carry to the next GC and the play off for Confed. The main reason Klnsmann cut Donovan is because he extended that contract. Now he is the emperor.

    • I totally agree.

      It is awful to watch the USMNT nowadays.

      Why people continue to support JK is beyond me. Now let’s see how angry someone on here gets because I don’t like JK….

      • Naw usaalltheway is his own man. He has been mildly negative for a long time which i disagree with but he doesn’t have a habit out outright mental behavior. Haven’t seen him in a while though.

  18. On a side note, how about those Holland knits?

    I for one think both of their knits are sharp and simple. All class IMHO.

    Who else watched the game? I totally missed it.

    • Yeah they look nice and classic. I hope they go far in the tournament. Hopefully they leave out the dirty play this time.

      • I have to step in here to represent Chile on here. I am confident they can hang with the Dutch. This based on recent friendly results. The two that stand out are the 2 nil win against England at Wembly and a 1-0 loss to Germany in Germany.

    • As soon as you suggest a superior replacement. Didnt’ think so.

      Too much reality TV has made Americans convinced that all problems are solved by firing people. Firing people is time consuming, expensive, and guarantees you nothing. You haven’t even established a case for poor performance using anthing other than speculation around events that have not taken place yet.

      • Allow me to suggest that you should not go into any line of work that requires analytical skills.

      • Too late. And I’m afraid I’ve been succeedful in spite of myself.

        Anyway, let me know when you’ve finished my steak. I’d also like a bottle of your finest whine (perhaps a Baptista ’14?) served out of that Gold Cup over there. And try not to spill in on any of the ladies. Those gold medals cost more than you’ll earn in a lifetime.


      • There aren’t many people who Lecture at Cornel who used to drive the USMNT bus around to practices…. Just sayin…

        There are unlike to be many guys with profile of Very smart, very dedicated and very successful.

        I’m rather happy he isn’t just the soccer equivalent of a politician and actually has a job.

      • what you stated about Gulati is exactly the problem… he’s got two jobs and he aint doing his USMNT gig properly… Neither you nor I know what he does (“lecture”) at Columbia… probably collects a check for his academia tenure…… sounds like a politicians out there.

        correction, 3 jobs, he’s also a member of FIFA Committee…. thats a job where his efforts can help FIFA get rid of the other corrupt individual who three weeks ago stated that “it is hot in Qatar in the summer”…

      • Anti-Intellectual Foolishness

        You want people from the real world lecturing students. Why would you want Academics to live in a bubble and rely only on second hand experience?

        Having taught abet Highschool. I can tell you that 1 class a week at night would be a easy to do hobby. That’s 3 hours which sounds like the Length of a Football game. Just because he chooses to educate as a hobby rather than watch the Bears and the Raiders means nothing.

        I really don’t know what you think the man should be doing. He isn’t a player and he can’t force the MLS to make good players. It’s not that simple and money can’t fix it. Otherwise Qatar would also won the WC by now.

    • You’re the type of person that won’t leave the house for months after you significant other breaks up with you aren’t you?

      • He did not say anything about your personal life, did he. I guess you don’t have a valid argument. Look at the first response and learn how to discuss a topic.

      • Aren’t you the same guy that said the USMNT never plays a 4-4-2? I thinks its been proven you have no idea what you’re talking about

      • hahahaha yes you did. You said Klinsi would never use the 4-4-2 diamond and then some one reminded you he just used that formation the game before. You are such a loser smh

      • Dad! You said we were going out! Why are you “Chris” when are you gonna be done?!?

        **** This exhibit closed for trolling -*****

      • I actually believe you Chris, so let me help you avoid this problem It is perfectly okay to criticize the team’s performances, the decisions of the management, and the philosophy/direction of the program.

        But nobody is going to learn your backstory. It’s too easy to adopt a new identity. Mostly, people look at what you post and put you into one of a few buckets, and go from there, updating their beliefs based on your track record. Those buckets might be loosely defined as follows:

        1) Relentlessly positive/borderline blind “homers”. Heck, I might even belong in this group. But it’s not the ONLY group– everybody knows that.

        2) Well-Informed, cautiously optimistic USMNT fans. Probably the largest group, that includes almost all of the regular, recurring unique commenters you see here. Posts tend to be 100+ words (though there is no min/max) and convey a knowldege of the past and current statistical drivers. Criticism is expressed intelligently and personal attacks are rare

        3) Newcomers. This group is ALWAYS welcomed, provided they express a knowledge (or willingness to learn) for the primary subject matter, and an enthusiasm for the success of US Soccer

        4) FRANK. This may or may not be one person. It doesn’t matter particularly. FRANK is a lifestyle. FRANK is a vehicle. Usurp FRANK and you will be called to answer. But it’s rightly valued… it’s good to be FRANK with everybody.

        5) The Trolls. A group that expresses zero positivity for ongoing or future events. High enthusiasm for personal insults. HIgh cursing volume. Brief comments, frequent username changes, poorly constructed arguements, and a general distaste for sustainable interaction with the group.

        You sound like you you know your stuff about US Soccer. I’ll bet you love a USMNT goal as much or more (if that’s possible) as the rest of us. But it’s just a comment board, and FRANKly, you are what you look like. And if you look like Baptista, you may end up with the same credibility.

        Always a way back from the darskide my man. Nobody wants to see you there.

      • Pretty much it. We have gotten more of group number 5 as the WC gets closer.

        I won’t miss em when the leave after.

      • Got a question Ali Dia or anyone else for that matter.
        if you will Sir or Madame.
        Just wanted to know if you feel the The Garrincha, is just The Garrincha or has somebody absconded with me.
        It appears some feel,
        I among others have appropriated many user names.

      • Garrincha
        Do not worry. Collective memory is an odd thing. It is so much more accurate than you could ever imagine. I encourage to you let go of this fear. I will explain:

        The fear that you are feeling is that there are zero protections in this place against having your username “borrowed” and defiled. And why not? It’s remarkably anonymous in this way.

        In time I’ve learned that less tracking is good. I hope Ives preserves this forever. As soon as standardized “UserID “based participation system is implemented, this space will end up like every other site… unsophisticated commentary delivered with fear. No freedom or creativity.

        It is a strange and perhaps counterintuitive thing, but know this:

        *People –ALL of us—we say the most creative and interesting things when we have the freedom of “walking away”.* A bizarre and near-universal feature of our species and the most amazing truth I’ve found in my time on this planet.

        What is beautiful here is that your thoughts and ability to articulate them are, at the end of the day ONLY TRUE SIGNATURE on this site. I can pick apart the “real” and “fake” posts of most any user. I can spot a duplicate in a moment. It doesn’t make me a genius, nor does it make me unique among regular users. It’s simplythat this is extremely differentiated subject matter with a niche lexicon and default “style” (99% of people would not understand a word we say). Patterns are easy to pick out.

        Similarly, one could say that stealing the identity of a respected poster is like stealing an antique car at a car show. Everybody knows who owns it. The owner might as well leave it unlocked. The “security system” is the familiarity of your peers. Beyond that, we can all have our ID’s hijacked easily by anybody.

        So what do I think of the Garrincha? I just spent a 300+ words responding to one of his questions at 2:50am. That’s what I think of the Garrincha. No big deal. I”d do it agan.

        Seeya tm.

  19. Btw, what an ungrateful sob this Hindu Gulati is. After all that Landon has done for US Soccer and him in particular, to make him look good all these years, the least he could have done is to keep his moth shut. At the most he could’ve fire Klnsmann and restore Landon Donovan to his No. 10 jersey in the real USMNT.

  20. Oh boy, I just watched Ghana play Netherlands. Klnsmann’s team is going to majorly struggle against that team. I can see Prince Boateng bossing and bullying the soft Klnsmann players.
    Ghana 2-0 FC USA. With Landon it would’ve only been 2-1

    • While I’d agree that could happen I didn’t think they were that impressive today. I have no idea how Sneijder blew that one chance. Robben should of have had another as well. It really should have been 3-0 30 minutes in.

      • I hope Sunil will be held accountable by US Soccer voters once this disaster of a World Cup is over.

        I don’t just want Klinsy fired if we go 0-3 with a horrible goal differential, I want the man that gave him the keys to the entire program to be held accountable.

      • Where’s my pepper steak? I thought I asked you quite specifically for a fine whine served out of a Gold Cup? Did you spill it all over those ladies’ gold medals? Didn’t I warn you about that?

        I’m not asking you again, garcon. There’s a hundred trolls who would love your job.

        Outta my sight, and take your weird e-book link with you!

      • I totally agree. Klinsmann and the German invasion need to go. And right after he goes, fire Sunil too

    • Actually that game made 3 things clear to me:

      1) We need Jones starting. Ghana will run over Beckerman

      2) 4-2-3-1 in the best formation for Ghana

      3) We have to stay organized like Klinsmann has been preaching. Ghana couldn’t break down The Netherlands because the were so organized

    • If your implication is that Landon is strong, particularly on defense, and that the current team is not, that’s just dumb. We may play worse without Landon and we might lose, but not because Landon isn’t in Brazil. I heard their D was pretty porous and they got lucky not to give up more than 1…

    • “With Landon….”

      Right. We all remember how he lit it up last WC against Ghana. Stop using him as an escape goat on the projected, assumption of usmnt’s WC 2014 failure. Yeah we all know “with Landon” usmnt would get out of group stage . As if. If that were the case he would be in the final 23… Duh?

      • No one can possibly know what difference the inclusion or exclusion of a particular player would in fact make. Even with Donovan the USA might not get out of this group. And the USA may get out of the group even without Donovan. But when you exclude a player who, by himself, creates twice as many goal-scoring opportunities as any of the players picked for the team, it’s reasonable to expect that fewer goals may be scored than would have been scored if he had not been excluded. And even one additional goal at the group stage could be the difference between going through or not.

      • +1

        you make too much sense for the juveniles who have taken over the SBI boards these days, but please do not stop posting

      • Thank you advocate.
        interesting , makes me realize people don’t fully understand many points presented. and this is one of them that is extremely polarizing. I have moved on,
        Off course all teams get my unconditional support, that’s a given.
        What do you say folks would you like to stop giving Curtis, Dirk, Julio, and Expat, Baptista, everybody on the farm, and all the Whos it’s, and what nots a break here?.
        or continue to fuel this imbroglio?.

      • +1. Nice to see someone citing the same stat that I saw. That is one stat that is hard to ignore. If we go out on goal difference which is possible in a tough group like this, there will be a lot of explaining to do.

    • All major executives in US Soccer should be fired– Dan Flynn, Sunil Gulati, Mike Edwards, Jurgen Klinsmann, and Andreas Herzog. The problem is, these executives think they are untouchable. In the eyes of the executives, it is acceptable for the players to work tirelessly to qualify and then get unceremoniously dropped from the team and replaced by less experienced, less capable, and less loyal players, but these executives think they should still keep their jobs.

      There is a concept of fairness and justice in the USA, and Klinsmann decisions are both unfair and unjust. They should pay for it with their jobs. Terminate these executives “for cause” with no additional pay or benefits. Let’s see how they like that treatment.


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