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Klinsmann explains decision to leave Landon Donovan off World Cup roster


  1. One overlooked aspect is that when LD is on the field internationally, opposing defenses give him special attention, often keying in on him or double-teaming him, freeing up our other players. Howard was not making up the comment that other teams fear him (even if out-of-form) and it changes the way they play. Have to think that reaching the Quarterfinals is the only way to fully validate Klinsmann’s choice at this point, hopefully that occurs. Go USA!

  2. It’s not personal, get over it, not a conspiracy Landon fans . Jurgen did the same thing in 2006 with the German team (didn’t bring the old guard and went with younger players). How did that work for him and German soccer going forward?? Trust the guy, he has more international experience and success then anyone commenting on this site.

  3. All things being equal, I would probably have cut either Yedlin or Brooks. I would have liked to see Goodson as a defender. Other than that I totally agree that the coache’s choices are quite acceptable. Landon Donovan sunk himself by talking to thew press the way he did. He essentially said that he was not as enthusiastic as he was years ago. That kind of talk is a red flag. If you can’t hack the fitness program, you should not shout it from the rooftops the he did.

    • Ideally that third DB doesn’t make it on the field. I like Brooks over Goodson, because in that Germany game, if the back-line is already getting overrun, I lose nothing bringing in my huge, talented Bundesliga defender (who has played against a ton of those German bad-asses). He just has way more upside than Goodson, and must be having a killer camp. I also think the fact Davis and Brooks made it tells me Klinis is looking to win a game or two late on a set piece. I bet Altidore is having a good camp and Klinsman figures he may win some set-peices late in games for the US.

  4. Having been around soccer for he last 50 years, I think the omission of Landon Donovan off the World Cup team is a grave error on the the part of Jurgen Klinsmann and one of the worst I have ever.seen But, I must remind everybody that this IS Jurgen Klinsmann’s team, the fortunes of the US and JK rise and fall on his selection, and his selection alone.Putting together a team that will be successful requires the team work well together and have no issues with each other.

    I think the back story here, is that JK and LD did not see eye-to-eye on a lot of matters. But both are professionals, preferring to not air the dirty laundry (yet) to the press. Despite all of LD accomplishments and his playing ability, he spoke often that he was not a lock on the team, and that he had to earn it and that he might not be on it. LD could read the handwriting on the wall, and the Wall said. JK does not like you!

    If JK disparages LD playing ability, then we know that the US team is in for a drubbing at the WC, as JK has let his personal views color his selection process and all of the picks are suspect. Should he acknowledge LD playing and ability, he puts himself directly behind the eightball.Why leave him off then?

    Could LD be a problem with team continuity and esprit d’ corps? Hardly. LD is well known and well respected by most everybody, he may not be most “well-loved” but that has never been a requisite for a team player.

    In short JK decision, instead of strengthening the team, now weakens it. If we beat Ghana and Portugal and move out of the Group of Death, the point will be moot no one will ever bring this up again, However if we do not move on, and it’s three and out. There will be a hue and cry for J Klinsmann’s head. And No, a new recently signed contract for another term does not keep his job safe should the US Crash and Burn, as many believed before the selection and many more now.

    By cutting out an American soccer Icon, because of petty differences that serve a damaging blow to the US chances in the WC, JK has put into jeopardy the good and bad things he has brought to American soccer. Failing to advance will have many, including me, that we are better served looking within our ranks for the Men’s head coach.

    And if we do not advance, do we then start thinking what might have been?

    The empathy here should not be for Landon Donovan, he will keep playing soccer, his way, will probably win some more awards and will gain a great deal of sympathy from detractors as well as admirers. But Jurgen Klinsmann and his “Total football” pragmatism is in jeopardy here.

    Lose in the Group of death with LD present and the feeling will be we are still a good team, but just not a world elite team. Lose without LD and a lot will think it was a bad decision by the coach and he should go and many will look upon it as another lost chance., ie “We may have advances had we LD”

    JK has not only made a hard job, a lot harder, but has put in peril, his future dealings with the USMNT.

    No soccer player should have to pay fealty to a reigning coach. Yes, there should be respect and professionalism, but in this case, favoritism and egalitarianism has reared its head and US soccer and it’s fans have been the loosers

  5. Thought experiment: name, in order of need, the players you absolutely have to have on the US squad. answer:

    1. Michael Bradley (by a wide, wide margin)

    2. Clint Dempsey (based on recent excellent form, and past success, in that order)

    3. Tim Howard (proven top int’l caliber goalie who can steal a game by himself)

    4. Geoff Cameron (very good season in Prem, can play two positions very well)

    5. Jozy Altidore (stats don’t tell tell story of his season. Linked well and hold-up play was solid. better than any other options up front)

    6. Fabian Johnson (can play two positions at an int’l level, gets forward well)

    7. Jermaine Jones (only proven int’l level destroyer on squad. Could put him higher than this)

    8. Earliest anyone could fairly insert LD. So relax.

    • Bradley

  6. Rooney, Messi, Ronaldo & Ibrahimovic have 3 World Cup Goals in 31 games! Landon Donavon has 5 goals in 12 World Cup games and he also scored 6 goals in 2013 for the USMNT. He should be on the team. Period.

  7. Klinsmann isn’t telling us the real reason. He said that other guys are “a little bit ahead’ of Donovan. He said that Donovan “did everything right.” All of that is misdirection. So what could be the real reasons?

    1. Donovan is out of shape and can’t get into sufficient shape in time.
    2. Donovan has lost the fire.
    3. Klinsmann hasn’t forgiven Donovan for the latter’s sabbatical.

    Those are the only reasons. Will the soccer “journalists” in this country follow-up or just buy the propaganda?

    • I agree that JK offered the classic “non-explanation explanation” but it typical for him (and probably for most coaches, who are reluctant to spell out a player’s deficiencies in detail). I think there might be additional “real” reasons, e.g.:

      – LD was not going to start.
      – He no longer had the speed to play on the wing.
      – There were too many other forwards with skills that JK preferred at that position.
      – He was unlikely to see much time in the center of the midfield.
      – The guys at the bottom of the depth chart were chosen not because they are “better” than LD overall, but because they offer slightly different advantages (Davis’s free kicks and crosses, Green’s ability to take on defenders, Yedlin’s mad pace).

      • How can you quantify “Green’s ability to take on defenders” he has little ability to do that. With one game for the USMNT under his belt, Green offers NOTHING to the USMNT, except a future promise. If we want to put player with a lot of future promise on the team, bring in the U-23;’s.

        In short LD is better in most positions than anyone else on the team. LD has more Premiership goals than Jozy Altidore and in only a quarter of the games.

        Every opportunity JK gave LD to get out ‘HIS” doghouse for LD sabbatical, Donovan has answered the call and excelled.LD is a big game player and if there are some who expect the US to move out of the group of Death with players such as Green and Davis or Yedlin, then I have some oceanfront property in Arizona I want to sell you, because JK has sold you a load of goods with his explanation of LD’s omission

      • First of all, I didn’t say I bought all of the possible explanations on my list, although I think they are at least plausible. More generally, though, I think your premise — that “LD is better in most positions than anyone else on the team” — is a tiny bit overstated. Would you really start him at striker over Altidore? Or, for that matter, in the middle over Bradley?

  8. With or without Donovan, the starting offense of Altidore, Dempsey, Bedoya, Zusi, Bradley and Jones is underwhelming. I cannot see them even winning in the warm-up friendlies against mostly defensive teams. Our defense on the other hand will be exposed at the WC and JK’s plan to use the wingbacks offensively will backfire since they’ll have to defend 100% of the time.
    Not looking good–hope I’m surprised if they play better than expected.

  9. The World Cup a tournament in which Lando has scored as many goals as Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi and Robin van Persie combined but hey Jozy’s going

    • Yes, yes he is. But I get your point…why isn’t Pele going, while we’re at it.

      The decision is made, regardless of whatever us self deputized coaches think, JK has made his call. I was upset but I am past it and ready to support my team. Our team.

      To hear some say it, we had no chance but without Donovan well now we really have…well, no chance. HmmmmmKay.

    • you’re complaining about Jozy and not Wondo? Or Brad Davis? 31 and 33 year old world cup rookies? Guess we know what youre about…

      • Not that I agree necessarily, but Davis gets a “get out of Jail free card”…he only steps on the field late in games when Jozy or Clint have won a free kick in a dangerous part of the field. Figure Klinsi probably looked at an Excel sheet predicting the probability that one of Davis’ nasty freekicks changes the game in that scenario and said “yeah, I want me some of that”.

    • Jozy Altidore is twice the player Donovan is currently. The extraordinarily frustrating Prem season he just endured will serve him very well going forward, starting in Brazil.

  10. Wondo is a better forward than Donovan? Davis is a better midfielder than Donovan? Chandler is more committed than Donovan? Oh, come on!
    When Klinsmann named Donovan as a forward in the list of 30 (6 players had to be cut to 4) and mentioned that he does not see him in midfield I knew that he will cut Landon.
    Well, Donovan’s name has been written by golden letters in US soccer history, but not Klinsmann’s.
    And a little bit more frustration:
    Brooks is more reliable than Goodson? Yedlin is a better defender than Parkhurst?
    It looks like we are coming back to 1998.

      • central attacking mid most likely. I’m not sure that anyone can make a compelling argument that Mix is better than Donovan as a playmaker or even on D in central midfield.

    • These kind of one-off comparisons, as smart as they may seem on the surface are really shallow. There is so much more to the decision factor that just sitting there and throwing names on either side of an greater than sign on a white board.

      Places were up for grabs and the coach, who has some experience in prepping for WCs – unlike probably 100% of us here – did his thing.

      It’s done. Now we move on.

      • youve got 4 guys who have experienced the pressure of a world cup. Just judging from world cup history, that does not seem to bode well. The young guys dont have strong international track records (unlike beasley and donovan 2002) and then you bring in 3 guys who have never played a meaningful international in their lives at ages 31, 32 and 33, over the most decorated American player EVER?

    • Exactly- LD was setup. He belongs in the midfield making things happen which is what he does best. Other than MB there isn’t another midfielder on this team that could hold a candle.

      JK was pissed that he did so well in the Gold Cup. I think he desperately wanted to dump and “out of form” Donovan then but couldn’t because of his performance. If my old memory serves me right didn’t play in the MIDFIELD!

      Guys like Donovan rise to the occasion and that’s going to be missed. The “Form” thing is an excuse for JK to demonstrate his dominance once and for all. All the German base players understand the drill. That’s why they are there. This was personal plain an simple.

    • Wondo > Donavan no question. Not to mention Wondo is a leader on and off the field and Donavan isn’t really sure he wants to play.Through Donavan’s career he’s always taken the easy out, now he’s fat and not in shape to play for the country, end of conversation!

  11. If only Landon Donovan could have found a fourth division German team to get loaned to so that he could have prepared properly for the World Cup.

  12. Bull$#!%. Only old Landycakes haters and people who have no idea what he brings to the game can argue he doesn’t belong in Brazil. Klinsmann has a personal vendetta against Landon.

    • I think Corona is better than Mixx. Mixx, IMO, is very over rated. He will look good for a half and then disappear. I don’t think he faces competition as good as the Mexican league nor is his league better than MLS.

  13. I know the shock is about LD…. but leaving TBoyd out means Jurgen must change formations if Jozy is injured or suspended…. nobody in the team can play Jozy’s role, the big, physical, punisher, one-forward.

    • Yup, attack a young kid, anonymously while we’re at it, in an internet forum. I am sure you never made a mistake or did anything dumb at that age (well not unless you are doing it right now). Good stuff there.

  14. Let’s stop comparing LD with Davis. Even if LD were starting, which he wouldn’t, he was replaced in the line-up by Zusi. But it’s also arguable that Bedoya or Aron J could “start” in his place.

    Either way, the three players are in better form than LD and have not had their commitment, sharpness, or fitness come into question.

    Davis and Wondo are specific role players; set piece maestro & crosser and a player with a nose for goals. Both are skills that they are better at than LD right now.

    Plus, I imagine the choice must have been pretty clear for JK if he is going to make such a controversial decision.

    Right now I am deciding to trust JK who has watched LD and the other players and made his decision based on much more information than us fans have. So let’s give him the benefit of the doubt and wait to call for his head until after the WC.

    • After Beckham left Donovan took all the free kicks for the Galaxy. He has also taken many free kicks/corner kicks for the national team over the years. He is also a much better passer during the run of play. He has also played both right wing, left wing, forward, and center attacking mid at various points in his career. He is much more versatile and valuable than Davis in whatever position you want to compare them.

  15. Klinsmann is quixotic and bizarre. How do you leave Donovan of the team and take Green and Brad Davis? This smacks of a personal vendetta and his son’s tweet is indicative of that. Beyond this, there are more very questionable decisions with his bias towards the German-Americans. John Brooks in his few appearances was totally not ready for prime time and leaked goals like a sieve. Clarence Goodson and Parkhurst are way better choices. And do we really need Tim Chandler who has been playing hard to get. I see big problems for team morale and wouldn’t be surprised if this team performs like the Steve Sampson team with bad morale. Klinsmann=douche.

    • I fear you are 100% right. Sampson really messed up when he brought in guys like Regis who didn’t contribute one iota to the team qualifying. The similarities are disturbing.

      • Poor David Regis. a really good player who went onto become a solid fullback for the US always getting the blame for a fiasco that had more to do with John Harke’s inability to keep things in his pants.

        You see similarities? Here’s the one that mattered.

        They were in their own group of death, Germany, Yugoslavia , and Iran, three very tough teams.

        They lost 2-0 to Germany, with JK scoring, 2-1 to Iran a game they could have won or tied and lost 1-0 to a very tough Yugoslavia
        David Regis wasn’t the problem. Steve Sampson, beyond his decision to add Regis late, was a precursor to the Caleb Porter Olympic qualifying foolishness.

        JK, Bradley, Arena, Bora, compared to any one of them Sampson could not coach his way out of the men’s room.

  16. I kinda think that a large majority of the squad wasn’t down with his extended walk-about/sabbatical. It took a looooong time for him to come close to gelling with the first team, and I’m not sure he ever truly did.

    That and the fact that he went from a ripped stomach to … well … not ripped … indicates he just wasn’t all that into it.

    I’m nevertheless shocked.

  17. As a longtime fan of US soccer, I’m heartbroken. The idea of fighting our way through Germany, Portugal, and Ghana without Donovan on the field seems unthinkable. That said, one has to respect the reports that Landon is not in stellar physical shape (what’s this about Donovan failing the beep test?) and his self professed loss of fighting spirit.

    Julian Green better have ball’d like crazy at this camp, otherwise, his inclusion is infuriating.

    • Sorry to tell you but I’m fairly certain Julian Green was more of a lock than Michael Bradley, regardless of how his 4th division skills looked in camp.

      • Can you share with the rest of us why you were “fairly certain?” I’m guessing that you were simply speculating based on media reports you came across.

    • All this talk about lack of fitness is totally inconsistent with the Landon Donovan who has been playing 90 minutes for the Galaxy for the last month or month and a half. People who propagate this myth obviously have not been watching the Galaxy games of late.

  18. Well, this sounds just like the German public before the 2006 WC as they were blasting JK for leaving off more experienced players and taking a bunch of youngsters. Those young guys then proceeded to unexpectedly make it to the semis. Not saying we are going to the semis, but the coaches job is to give us the best chance to win based on what he sees happening with the team.

    • You mean the worst performance by a hosting team, compared to the previous cycle, ever? Every other team that has hosted a World Cup has made it at least a round farther than the previous cycle. Only Germany did worse (to be fair, their previous result was runners up) sure, it’s a small sample size. But I assure you that two weeks before that cup, Germany expected better than third.

      • Since you don’t remember, the German public was VERY nervous that they wouldn’t do well. Two weeks before the cup, they wanted to get out of their group, and that’s it.

      • I guess you don’t remember. They performed terrible two years earlier at the euros and were not expecting to even make it out of the group. Klinsmann changed things up and got them third place.

    • You are delusional if you think you can compare our youngsters with German youngsters. Their development system and team depth are still light years ahead of the US.

  19. Only slightly off-topic, but it’s interesting that Chandler is able to ride planes for the World Cup.

    Kudos to him for overcoming his phobia.

  20. I am more furious that Brad Davis is there than I am that Donovan is cut. I would have felt better if EJ was there instead of Davis. He does not deserve to be there, in my opinion.

    It does make me think Green will have a role and will be on the field, whether starting or off the bench.

    Signing JK until 2018 certainly allowed for this type of decision. Only 5 players with World Cup experience, including only one on defense? Yikes. He could be a genius and then we all will praise him in a month from now. However, his track record at Munich makes me beyond nervous.

    I pray this decision does not cause a rift among the players like Howard and Bradley.

  21. Klinnsmann’s son’s deleted tweet:

    Donovan either slept with his mom or more likely was the subject of conversation in the Klinsmann household. My guess is he is the source of the quotes from the Sporting News article that slammed Klinsmann.

  22. Davis is a role player. Landon’s minutes will be given to the younger guys like Green and Johansson to give them a chance to showcase their talents for clubs heading into the next cycle. The moment JK saw our group he began planning for the future.

    Landon isn’t an effective wide player anymore, and he’s weak on defense now too. JK would rather have a left footed crosser than a shadow forward with streaky finishing skills.

    We all know why Green is there. He needs a strong summer to break into the Bayern first team and Klinsmann will give him every opportunity to do so.

    • You really think Bayern cares at all what Green does for the US at the World Cup? If he breaks into the first team it’ll be because of what he does there in training everyday.

      • I think Bayern would love to see Green do well. Then maybe they can cut into Barca’s market share of U.S. jersey sales.

        That drives far more football decisions than we often want to admit.

    • “The moment JK saw our group he began planning for the future.”

      That’s what I think – well, there were two moments, and the other was when he learned he was on contract through 2018.

      • Actually, I don’t know.

        What I thought last week was JK would pick the starters he thinks can take us the farthest now, but would lean toward youth over ability with the subs. I still think that, but acknowledge the idea doesn’t explain those two selections.

      • I have a shocking suggestion. Maybe JK actually thinks these 23 are best for what he wants to do in Brazil

        Hot humid games? Speedy second half subs can be handy. Don’t know about Yedlin but Green spent a lot of time in Tampa so humid should not bother him.

        Close tight games? A sharp finisher to take the pressure off of Clint would seem useful. Think Wondo and AJ , another guy whose chances for PT just got better..

        Set pieces? That is most likely what got Davis here

        People are forgetting about the spine.

        LD or not, Jozy, Clint, Mikey , Jones and and Timmy will all need to be at their best. Besler and Gonzo /Cameron will need to be as good as possible. That is where it starts.

  23. This morning if I had asked you which players are the most important to our WC success would LD have been on the list? Dempsey, MB, Howard, Jozy…

    LD took himself out of the picture.

    • I agree. Even the media was saying that Bradley, Dempsey, Howard, and Besler were more important than Donovan.

      • of course they were, that doesn’t excuse Jurgen making the decision on something other than soccer.

      • Not necessarily. Jozy takes up space and feeds his teammates. If he doesn’t score but provides a consistent stream of knock-downs like the one he provided to Bradley for the tying goal against Slovenia, we’ll be okay.

      • Arthur

        Do you know what Clint averaged for number of appearances per season across all competitions when he was at Fulham (throwing out the first year for acclimation reasons) ?

        About 42

        Jozy had 38 appearances across all competitions for Sunderland. You don’t get that many if you aren’t doing something right.

    • “For me, it’s a very easy equation – if he’s on the field, he’s our top one or two players,” U.S. goalkeeper Tim Howard said last Sunday. “That’s just my opinion, whether that means anything or not, I don’t know. Landon’s humble and I’m sure he feels that way, but for me, he’s easily one of our best players and he strikes fear in opponents.”

    • No player at the World Cup will have done less to justify his presence than Jozy. He has been horrible all season. Again in that ‘last 20 minutes’ scenario


        What a f*ckin’ b-hole. And one wonders how far the apple falls from the tree.

      • If he really sent that then the kid should be severely punished for his stupidity but it wouldn’t be the first time someone had their twitter hacked. I wouldn’t be so quick to crucify the kid if there’s even a chance it wasn’t actually him saying that.

        Of course if he did…then wow. Just wow.

      • So now everyone is an expert on exactly what kind of relationship JK has with his son?

        Is the kid now his dad’s official spokesperson?

        Are you all assuming JK shares his work stuff with his kids?

        Maybe JK’s son had been getting a lot of flak from Donovan supporters all through this process and is tired of it

        A son who thinks one of his dad’s employees is a little pr++k is hardly news.

        There are about a 100 ways to interpret that tweet if it is real.

      • Unfortunately it was real, and he came out and admitted it, and then admitted he then deleted it, then issued an apology. Considering the backlash going on, right or wrong JK will be guilty by association in the short term..
        But winning cures a lotta ills

      • I absolutely do blame Jurgen for this. His kid doesn’t say that unless Jurgen has said some things around the dinner table that were less than professional. Jurgen should be fired, right now. No world cup, that lack of professionalism is expected in France not here.

      • Firing coaches right before the world cup and then paying them until the next world cup…

        When are you running for president of USSF again?

      • It just doesn’t matter. The World Cup doesn’t matter. If I can’t enjoy it, if I despise the man at the helm. This was a petty decision made by a small man. I’m disgusted and I absolutely think US soccer has an enormous black eye. Cutting a superstar is allowed, even if it seems wrong on paper. To do it based on petty personal squabbles (which is son backed up as being the case) is completely unbecoming. I would dismiss and let Beasley or Dempsey be the player coach. The only way to save the locker room would be from within.

      • GW, He is close with his son. He is guilty of being classless and disrespectful. I’ve always liked and routed for Jurgen, not this day. That is the most unprofessional thing US soccer has seen since the days of John Harkes. Jurgen should resign for now living up to his own standards of professionalism.

    • Some journalist better ask for a comment. He is a good BS’er but there is no getting by the fact that his son learned from him to not like Donovan and call him a whiner.

  24. My initial question is how are the 23 reacting. Are they looking at it like Donovan should have brought more game into camp and trusting their coach to pick the players who performed, or are they scratching their heads and wondering what this does to their chances in Brazil?

      • The decision was a bad one on the soccer field, but that is just my opinion. What is fact is that Jurgen and son didn’t handle it with class. I’m embarrassed that they are involved with the team I love most.

    • yup, I can imagine this may have a polarizing effect in the USMNT locker room, especially after Timmy Howard said just this week he thinks LD is the best 1 or 2 players when he steps on the field. I doubt he’s the only one who thinks this. Does this make the players lose respect for their coach?

      • You know what I can imagine?

        I can imagine that Tim Howard was simply giving polite answer regarding a fellow player and long time teammate who had lost a step.

    • Agree completely. What the players think matters. Really at the end of the day it’s all that matters. Unfortunately I don’t think we’ll know for a long time if ever how the players are truly taking this.

      • If I’m one of the 23 I’m thinking

        ” I just achieved a life long dream of making the World Cup!!! It’s too bad that Landon ain’t here but if he couldn’t make it and I did well I guess that is something to be proud of. .”

        That sounds about right to me.along with ” I guess we will just have to prove all of those people who think we will be lost without him that we aren’t too bad”.

  25. You’ve already brought these guys in, why not have a couple friendlies and see who performs? What happens if Green looks like he did against Mexico again or Davis against South Korea?

    • Green looked better than Donovan in that friendly. Donovan looked slow of foot and thought. At let Green took players on. Donovan was stripped by an older and slower Marquez.

  26. JK has done things before that have raised questions with US supporters This is the first decision that I completely disagree with. I believe the team is worse off without LD. Also, the vets will have an idea if JK left him off because of bad feelings. If so, then this will kill team chemistry.

      • NO I am giving my opinion, and if true, it most likely would kill team chemistry in one way or another. Just a few days ago, Tim Howard says LD is one of the two most important players on the team, how do you think someone in the locker room will take it if they believe that. If you are a team leader as TH is, and you see one of the players you think is the best get left off, would you feel better about your chances to advance. Add to that if you think he is that important, and you think there is no valid reason to leave him off, then yes, it could kill team chemistry.

      • On the other hand you have not been in the camp. The players know best. They generally do.

        Maybe it was a vendetta as you say, in which case we will hear about it soon enough. So much for team chemistry.

        Or maybe Donovan truly is just a bit behind the others. And the World Cup vets like Timmy will realize that it could have been them so they will be relieved. They will also realize they now have a greater burden of leadership to provide.

        The WC vets, Timmy, Mikey, Jozy, Clint and DMB have been through worse. More is expected of them now and I think they will respond positively. I notice the US went on quite a run after Boca got the axe.

        As I’ve said before, If the best US player ever can’t make the 23 it tells the 23 that they must be pretty good.

      • Vendetta? Who said anything about a vendetta. Oh that’s right you just fabricated that idea to make your point. And I am so grateful that Timmy will realize that it might have been him so he will be relieved. Guess that makes you a mind reader knowing what Timmy’s mind set will be.

      • MikeV,

        “Who said anything about a vendetta.”

        You did.

        “Also, the vets will have an idea if JK left him off because of bad feelings. If so, then this will kill team chemistry.”

        You implied in so many words there was some sort of bad feeling between JK and LD. I chose to characterize that as some sort of vendetta on JK’s part. Not an entirely perfect word I’ll admit but I believe it gets close enough to the spirit of what you were implying. And it sounds.”edgy”.

        I’m not a mind reader. But then again one hardly needs to be one to think and to expect that all 23 would be relieved to get that final confirmation.

        Assuming they would have that feeling of “it could have been me” is hardly a stretch, since, like a lot of people, I’ve been in vaguely similar situations and felt that way.

        If Timmy had less to worry about than the others it is because he earned that peace of mind by beating off a the challenge of Guzan by having maybe his best Everton season ever and a having a really good WC qualifying campaign.

        Unlike LD who had an indifferent time with the Galaxy and basically just wasn’t around for Qualifying.

      • didn’t Jurgen’s son prove MikeV’s point…. The answer is yes. Jurgen didn’t make a soccer decision. There really isn’t any arguing that anymore. If you want to be naive and say the kid came up with the idea that Donovan was a whiner on his own, fine. You would have to close your eyes and ears to the obvious though. Jurgen cut Donovan because he doesn’t like him, and his son capped it off with class. For that Jurgen will never be fully forgiven.

  27. Well.. I think Donovan has himself to blame. Honestly, after his Cambodia trip he really cornered himslef into having to perform Stellar all the way up to WC. After a great Gold Cup and Descent MLS season he came into this season just out of shape, aching knees, and bad form. Some may point to guys like Chandler as someone who is not deserving but to me at least, certain things are expected out of certain people. I think JK expected Donovan to be a Leader but for whatever reason it seems Donovan just wasnt in it. It appears JK got fed up with it

  28. There are only three ways to see this; either 1) Kllinsi is sending a message to everyone that you have to be at the very top of your game, 2) he is thinking only in terms of the future, or 3) he’s lost his blooming mind! There is NO way that you leave Landon at home and take Brad Davis. I like Davis, but he does not have any of the most important attributes that Landon has. Its foolish not to have him as a leader in the locker room even if you only use him as a sub in the last 20 minutes of a game or two. If the team does not do well now, many of us will know that this error in judgement by Klinsi is a big part of the reason.

    • You assume that the team would have done well with him.

      I am hopeful that they find a way to claw out of the group, but not advancing out of this group has been a strong possibility since it was drawn.

      You’re saying that if this roster fails to make it out, this will have been the single decision that would have made the difference. Not buying it.

    • There is a fourth way: this is an ego trip for Klinsmann. He wants to show that he’s in charge and can do whatever he wants to. It’s not like he gives a damn about US soccer.

      • I think Klinsmann winning a World Cup as a player and playing in two more, as well as coaching in another, should earn him the benefit of the doubt. Plus, he watches every Galaxy game and is there at every NT training session. Just because you disagree with his decision based on your vastly limited information, that doesn’t mean the decision was based on ego.

      • Again, his son’s tweet is very telling. I have almost no doubts that Klinsmann never intended to take Donovan to Brazil and included him in the 30-man roster only so that he can later publicly humiliate him.

      • Ralph your continued defense of jk even in the face of clear evidence that this is a personal thing is baffling.

      • Of course it is personal.

        A manager looks at each player and has a certain set of expectations of them.

        In Landon’s case, the bar is very high because that is where he set it. And he knew where it was set.

        Either he just couldn’t or he didn’t do enough to get it done.

        Either way, Landon did not meet that set of expectations and that is down to him..

      • You right, JK wanted to build a German-Soccer B Team here. Do not cry about LD but be happy with future of the secondary German MNT in the US.

      • His entire reputation as a manager depends on the USA’s performance at this World Cup and the next. So I reckon he gives a damn about US soccer.

    • I think you are way off. Last 20mins of a game im taking the in shape davis with an amazing left foot. Not the out of shape an d over weight LD.

      • We need a goal against Ghana to win in the last 20 minutes and we’re going to get it from Brad Davis???? Sorry dude, you are wishing on a star here.

    • Or another way of trying to spin it into a more positive light and draw on Klinsi’s past roster decision his benching of Oliver Kahn, former Bayern gk for Germany when they made their third place run. That’s when Jans Lehmann came in performed admirably. I think it’s similar with LD except he’s not even on the bench. However, I read an article (pasted below) where he asked Kahn if he minded being on the bench and while he was pissed but said he’d do everything he can to help the team. I wonder if Klinsi asked the same of LD and he refused?

    • If it was all about the future, why would he take Davis and Wondo? I think he has lost his blooming mind. Also, why did he make the decision now? He could have waited until after the Turkey game as I recall. He should have put Donovan in the friendlies with some of the others so the fans can judge who is really better. Perhaps he made the decision now in the hope that the fans won’t notice what a mistake this is.

      • Ghana is a few weeks away. If JK knows his 23 then any sane manager would want to get started putting everything in place NOW to beat Ghana.

        I don’t think it is too much to say every day really counts. The send off games are now best used for testing out a starting 11, schemes, formations, tactics etc.

        Your proposed PR move it just a waste of precious game time that the USMNT cannot afford.

        The decision is made. JK needs to focus on things he can control, not the SBI weeping and gnashing of teeth.

        Beat Ghana, beat Portugal and the bad PR goes away.

      • Hell… Beat Ghana and the bad PR goes away. Portugal and getting out of the group is house money at that point.

  29. Even if Klinsmann sees other players “slightly” ahead of Donovan, doesn’t knowing how to score a goal under WC pressure count for something?

    Maybe Donovan can’t play 90, but if the US is down a goal, & there are 20 minutes to play, wouldn’t Donovan be 1 of 3 to come off the bench?

    • People keep saying maybe Donovan can’t play 90. Well, he has been playing all 90 for the Galaxy including a recent game at altitude in Colorado where he was one of the fastest players on the field at the end. This is a disgraceful decision.

      • WORD! It’s not like LD has been working at McDonalds for the past 12 months. He’s a professional and plays 90 minutes regularly. Mistake. Period.

    • What do you want him to say? “Sorry, but Landon is not in shape for top level international play, he’s overweight and slow.?” He’s trying to be respectful.
      He put it as nicely as he could, but watch the Mexico friendly, watch the snippets of him training in the ESPN series on the training camp. Last to drop to the ground for push-ups, last to get up, unable to dribble by defenders- it’s going to be hot and humid in Brazil, they’re going to play a game against world class athletes in their prime, travel a ton and then do it again, again and hopefully some more. Won’t be like playing once a week in L.A. with a nice breeze and low humidity. Only way we get out of the group is defend like demons for the first 75 minutes and then sprint at them when they’re worn out.

  30. I wonder whom Klinsmann will blame after the disaster in Brazil? The MLS schedule? USSF? The inferior mentality of US players (excluding the Germans, of course)? Bradley and Dempsey coming back to the MLS? Not enough German babies produced by US servicemen?

    Davis and Green, especially with all their vast international experience, are ahead of Donovan right now?? Regardless of how US does in Brazil, Klinsmann is a disgrace. His son’s tweet is much more honest than Klinsmann hypocritical drivel in the video above.

    • David you are spot on, seriously the ridiculous comments that Klinsmann continues to make about American soccer are appalling. I’m sick of him bashing the American player and American soccer in general. Honestly he just needs to go recruit an entire team of German Americans and have it at that. Gulati and Klinsmann are driving this train and no one knows where its going.

      • What sugar coated planet do you guys live on. Id much rather have a realist as our coach then two computer chair analysts who think old totem players should get a pass regardless of form.

      • He is a year older than Wondo and a year younger than Brad Davis, but with 50 times the world cup experience. you think Pirlo is at his peak? Italy damn sure wontleave him off the roster.

      • Pirlo is still performing well at a high level. Notice I said “performing” present tense.

        LD has been inconsistent.

      • GW, Ali Dia and company, I agree for the most part about what you are saying.
        Now regarding worrying about who is going to replace so and so in the flow and over the course of the game?, this should not be a concern. respectfully reason is as your extensive research and knowledge would tell us.
        There is a gauge for that.
        One would hope that all 23 players are not adverse to pressure or as we say in sports “they have ice water in the veins”.
        Go out there do your thing, and play full tilt and go all out.
        in closing, about nine out of ten people are surprised by the LD, omission.
        Not knowing a damn thing about what’s going on behind the scenes I had a few reasons I thought Donovan, would have been poised to make an impact as a part time player/super sub.

        1. He as much as anyone is familiar with Ghana, and would have a lot of fuel to his fire in the belly, to want to make amends for past Ghana defeats.

        2. As is the case with all top players, against Portugal, LD would of had incentive to show that a great American player can compete with a player/players who the soccer world considers the best on the planet.(CR7)

        3. Motivated to show well against Germany, considering he had stints with Bayer & Bayern, and never made his mark.
        For these reason along with his track record over an entire body of work,
        among others I thought LD, would have been a great option of the bench.

      • Apologies Garrincha, I did not see this (amidst the 20 articles Ives has since posted, I’m doubtful you’ll see my response, either).

        But since you spent the time to post a very thoughtful comment, I will give you the same respect. You make many good observations, but I would say on your 3 closing points, it may not be so clear cut. By number:

        1) Familiarity may or may not be an advantage. Fact is, Ghana has gotten the better of us in the last two encounters. And they have a very similar setup. By contrast, we are bringing a team and tactical setup that is very difficult to predict or scout. This could go either way, but the counterpoint would be that Ghana may well be scrambling right now to figure out what our actual gameplan is.

        2) Wouldn’t get too upset here. I suspect we will have plenty of guys who are motivated by that. Unfortunately, I’m pretty sure he is used to it.

        3) Certainly possible, agree. Perhaps JK didn’t feel like sharing this subplot 🙂

        Cheers. I’m sure we’ll all have plenty more to say.

    • “I wonder whom Klinsmann will blame after the disaster in Brazil? ” …shrug…that Group is so NASTY, he already has a get out of jail free card.

  31. This is despicable, no loyalty to an american icon why? Because the guy making the decision is no American. Let’s be honest not even Brad Davis thinks he’s a better choose than Lando.

  32. Brad Davis is in no way ahead of Landon Donovan. Even if you see Donovan as more of a forward, Donovan is a better midfielder than Davis and it’s not even close. He has shown 0 for the Nats even against the CONCACAF teams. And he’s going to contribute MORE than Donovan would have?

    Julian Greene is ahead of Landon Donovan? I’ll withhold judgement on that, but he better show me something down there.

    Even Howard, who everyone respects, recently said Donovan is one of the best players on the team.

    Klinnsman will be in hot water (and deservedly so) if we under perform in Brazil with this roster.

      • given Klinsmann’s son’s snarky laughing on Twitter about Donovan missing the cut, this reeks of petty personal conflict.

      • Agreed. This is a dark day for American soccer. Even Hrant Wahl calling it a big mistake.

      • That comment from his son, was extremely telling. That is the moment we know this was not a professional decision but a personal petty decision. I’m the most die hard US soccer fan I know, I have been for 20 years and I’m not sure I can still root for this guy.or this team anymore. Devastated by the circus Klinnsman just created.

      • You claim to be a diehard fan for 20 years and then say you might not be able to root for the USMNT. Sheesh! This is the USMNT! If you have doubts about rooting for the USMNT go root for Mexico you tool!

      • Dudes.. Get off of LD’s nuts already… I personally would have taken Davis over LD any day of the week. I got two words for you LD nut huggers.. Left Foot!!!!

      • Saw this as well. This tweet screams personal issues with LD. It’s too bad none of the soccer journalist will ask JK about this.

      • Can you honestly read that tweet and think there is nothing more than a “professional decision” in his father’s decision not to include LD? Really?

      • What is he like 15 years old? Making assumptions about the motivation behind a teenager’s twitter timeline is not a worthwhile endeavor.

      • Not all people who use twitter to talk sh*t are the national team’s coach’s son. Especially when the insult was aimed at a player that has had a dubious relation with that commenter’s father.

        Sure, JK’s kid could simply be a punk insulting the greatest soccer Player the US has ever produced whie ignoring 6 others that missed out. However, it sure doesn’t seem that way. JK’s son’s comments were pointed and direct. If there was no “history” between JK and Ld, I’d be inclined to agree with you. But that’s just not the case.
        Believe what you want.

      • I dont think it’s necessarily a personality issue…more a work-ethic/committment issue that developed between them. JK’s son surely was aware of the conflict and enjoyed seeing his dad put LD away. I think some folks are misinterpreting this. Every coach of every sport will deal with personality conflicts, provided they are not also work ethic/commitment issues.

      • It’s down to form and commitment. Davis has been there for Klinsi. Donovan hasn’t. Donovan isn’t playing well at the club level and he even admitted he’s not training hard. Davis is almost at an assist a game if I’m not mistaken.

        Davis is a left winger who offers the best deadball in MLS. He’s a sub guy to bring on if we get a freekick with five mins to go. He won’t start and he’s not the first off the bench.

        I would have brought Donovan. But I see the logic in Davis.

        Green was wheeling and dealing to get him to play for the US. I actually don’t mind it. He’s an exciting prospect off the bench who could create opportunities against tired defenses.

        Along with Yedlin, you’d have to imagine Klinsi’s game plan is to wear down opponents and hit the counter with speedy outside players against slow, tired defenses. The temperature down there is going to be unbearable for 90 mins of playing.

        This World Cup will come down to who can play best in the last 10 mins.

      • If it’s down to form and commitment, then why does Chandler make it? He has to be coaxed into playing for us and is coming off injury. I don’t think there’s any sporting explanation to taking Davis over Donovan. It’s just a petty personal decision that shows JK doesn’t understand the US soccer fan or culture.

      • What does understanding the US soccer fan or culture have to do with wining games in Brazil in 3 weeks?

      • For that dumb question i say this. If not Chandler then who?? Parkhurst? he just lost out to Chandler in camp, Evans? He just lost out to Yedlin and Chandler, Lichaj? He’s hurt, Spector, Beltran? I’m sure you’re not that delusional

      • The reason the ‘dumb’ question is asked, is because most people when you compare Donovan v. Davis straight up, pick Donovan. The ‘deciding factor’ for some people is commitment. If that is the case, and you look at form/fitness/commitment, then Chandler doesn’t deserve to be there either.

        Nutshell: I think people see Klinsmann looking the other way at Chandler’s deficiencies, but hammering Donovan for those some exact deficiencies.

      • The last 10 minutes are pretty pressure packed. You expect Julian Green, or Brad Davis, two guys who have never come close to experiencing that type of pressure before in their entire careers, to be able to handle it?

      • Give up this dumb last 10 minutes argument. Do you play the game for 10 mins or 90 mins? Bench players offer fresh legs which LD doesn’t have

      • This scenario reminds me of the old “It’s 3 AM in America” scenarios/commercials.

        If an out of form Donovan was not even good enough to make the cut to play Azerbaijan I am sure he would have found it rather tough going to take on any of our group opponents.

        Experience matters and there is some on this team, but fearless youth can make a case of its own. What’s done is done. Let’s stop with the complaining and scenario making and get behind our team. Last I checked we were supporting the USMNT not LD’s National Team.

      • This. Very harsh for everyone to take because of what LD has meant. But let’s face it, we were never going to win this thing. Focus on the future now vs go out guns blazing. Pick your poison I guess.

      • So, we spent four years preparing for this World Cup just so we could use it as tool to prepare for the next one? That seems stupid. So tell me, was it a terrible mistake for Arena to not put Adu on the 2006 roster so he would be ready for 2010 & 2014? Also, it’s a good thing Holden was on the 2010 squad, otherwise he wouldn’t bring all that experience to this cup.

      • I don’t like the decision, and I don’t think we’ll ever get the “whole” story. But on at least one level, but I get it and think its defensible. At this point, JK wants to empower the guys he’s chosen. Donovan was clearly not part of his starting XI, and I think that’s what he had to be in order to make it.

        The rationale? Through no fault of his own, Donovan casts a big shadow. How can Zusi/Bedoya or whoever has won the starting spots play with freedom and confidence if they know that everybody expects Donovan to replace them as soon as they misplay 1-2 touches? Donovan on the bench makes everybody on the field wonder if they will be the one sacrificed for inevitability. It might not be fair, but Davis makes for a much better bench option / situational player.

        It might not be a popular decision here (even with me), but I’ll bet there are a few guys in camp (who – at the end of the day – are the only audience JK should give a hoot about right now) whose motivation and confidence got a mighty jolt today.

        At least, let’s hope so. 🙂

      • “How can Zusi/Bedoya or whoever has won the starting spots play with freedom and confidence if they know that everybody expects Donovan to replace them as soon as they misplay 1-2 touches?”

        Exactly because they know they have LD behind them as a type of insurance if their brazen attempts don’t go off. To have LD as a bench player with all that he’s been through and experienced and can offer should (have) mad ethe team more confident all around. This isn’t about what one player brings to the squad it’s how the squad is as a whole. the saying goes the whole is greater than the sum of it parts not the other way around.

      • Travis,

        What makes you think the rest of the team feels as you do about Donovan’s being cut?

        I’m sure Zusi/Bedoya would feel good about Donovan on the bench. It most likely would have meant one of them was starting.

        If I’m Zusi/Bedoya I don’t think the path to their success was based on the idea that there was someone waiting in the wings to clean up their mess. If JK doesn’t have a guy like Donovan as a late sub to rescue them, it tells me that JK thinks that maybe they won’t need rescuing. All pros worth a damn have great confidence.

        It should give Zusi/ Bedoya a HUGE boost to their confidence. Just like it should boost Green, Davis and Yedlin’s confidence.

        If the best US player of all time can’t make the 23 it tells the 23 that they must be pretty good.

      • + 1. Thank you, GW.

        I swear these comments are very strange. I get it you love LD. I love LD but anyone who is being honest should have seen this coming. JK kept giving LD opportunities and LD never owned his chances here. His tepid, lackluster remarks and attitude was enough to have anyone beat him for the spot to be honest. But that is unfair because the guys who won the spot won ’em. They fought for their spot and earned it and in doing so probed that they are good enough to make the final cut. JK a WC winner, experienced and successful WC manager made the call. I can live with it.

      • +1 Oh dear. I just spent about twice as many words in the space below saying the same thing less effectively than you did, GW. Don’t tell anybody please.

      • Sorry but I don’t buy this– it just doesn’t resonate with anything I’ve ever experienced or heard. Top level performers in athletics (or anything I’ve found) do not feel freedom or confidence because there is a popular and very talented person behind them waiting to take their chair as soon as they are deemed incompetent.

        I’m not the world authority on performance motivation, but I’ve read a fair amount and most of the literature I’ve been exposed to on the subject suggests that elite performers crave a few critical conditions, among them maximum responsibility, autonomy, and the trust and belief of their superiors. This gives them the sense of freedom they need to take risks and accomplish significant things

        By contrast, if you undermine them or put them on a short leash, they become nervous and behave fearfully. And if you put training wheels on them, they simply don’t become engaged– what’s the point?

        Great players don’t need or want an insurance policy. They don’t thrive on the feeling that they have a reliable backup for when they let the team down. Think of any champion in any sport and you’ll likely see much the opposite– a guy who wants total responsibility and says “if I don’t do this, who will?”

        These guys are not in AYSO… for a number of them this will be the peak of their professional careers and they probably are aware of this possibility… nobody can afford to think that they will be back in 4 years. If they get a chance, they are going to run with it as far and as hard as they can… and it doesn’t mean they are selfish if they want to be on the field for every possible minute. It means they are competitive. Good thing.

      • I was giving a POSSIBLE answer to the question raised. I didn’t say it was correct. But the popster to whom I was responding was making a claim in which your response could also be directed.

      • I agree. Donovan is a “talisman” type player.

        You can’t have a talisman coming off the bench. You just can’t. If one of your prime stars can’t be on the field, start, and lead…he has to go. Psychologically people are still going to look to him, still depend on him, and he’s going to be that “magic bullet” you stick in when you’re down and people are going to count on that guy, deep down where it matters, to be what he was.

        But what if he isn’t what he was?

        LD can still be the old Donovan – at times. He can also fade in and out of games and his body is letting him down, and I question if he could start and play well consistently in a grueling tournament anymore. When you’re a speed guy, when that speed starts to go, when you can’t recover from a grueling effort anymore like you could…and he’s admitted, out of his own mouth, he can’t.

        The other question is: how hungry is Donovan, and how, well, impetuous is he now? When the deck is loaded against you, you need a bunch of guys who have the attitude: “eff Germany. Eff Portugal and Ronaldo. We don’t care…we’re here to whip your ass.”

        That used to be Landon Donovan. But Donovan seems…careful, these days. Careful in his statements, careful in his demeanor, careful in how he parcels out his effort.

        It was a tough, tough call. It was a ballsy call. But that’s why they pay Klinsmann the big bucks, too….

      • Hate the decision…but what Ali Dia says is one of the few things that makes sense to me. Frankly, I also think he desperately wants Green as a potential sub against Germany, Davis as a desperation Free kick specialist, and wanted an open roster spot from somewhere for Yedlin so he can throw him on to man-mark Ronaldo…..BUT what can Mix give you over LD? Heck what does Mix give you over Corona? Corona didn’t start for Xolos, but he still got loads of minutes, and he DID start in Copa Libertadores… I would have preferred Corona and his Copa Libertadores experience ANY DAY.

      • getting a bald spot as i cant stop scratching…. so who will be our pk guy? Dempsey??? that is a scary thought! a 3/4 Donovan is still better than Davis or a number of the other guys. Sad day for many US fans and it doesn’t help that we have to deal with the ridiculous drama created by a Klinsmann who is not even coaching the team.

      • I was in Vegas last weekend, and one of the sports books had WC Golden Boot Odds. Only USMNT guy on offer was Dempsey, at 175/1. Naturally, I threw down 20 bucks… for a moment, I teased myself into thinking that since Dempsey will be the primary penalty taker then maybe.. nah.

        Seriously though, since we’re probably all pretty burned out on LD for the moment… who would be most likely to take the PK’s if we somehow wound up in a shootout? Hard to know who would be on the pitch in such a hypothetical situation, so I guess the helpful information is…. who do we know to be experienced in this (i.e. who have we seen convert a first-team penalty at club or USMNT level in the last 5 years?) I can think of Deuce, Jozy, AJ, Wondo, Davis, Jones. Others who might be up for the job would prob be Bradley, Green, Zusi (hopefully he doesn’t put his finger down his throat like he did in the MLS Cup Final!), Who else?

      • Klinsmann is a hypocrite plain and simple.

        Over and over and OVER, JK has said players had to ‘earn’ their place on the team but the only player that has really applied to in the press has been Donovan. JK has ragged on him continuously, even during Gold Cup when LD was tearing it up getting JK to say anything positive was rare and usually followed by a ‘but xxx’.

        Altidore has had multiple long stretches where he played like crap for both USMNT and his club. JK backed him the whole way. Dempsey, same thing. Gonzalez hasn’t played a decent game for LA or USMNT since late last year and still not 100% from a recent injury and may not truly be 100% for World Cup. How has he ‘earned’ his place?

        How has an 18 year old with zero top level experience, playing for the 4th level of his club ‘earned’ his way onto the USMNT? Green MIGHT become a phenom in a couple of years or he might be a lot of potential that goes nowhere. Who knows? He hasn’t proven anything. Then there’s Timmy Chandler – he of the ‘I refuse the call ups’ even when they’re in Europe. I don’t care how good he’s playing for his club – he’s dissed the rest of the team by not being willing to put in the effort to help the team get to the World Cup. Now JK gives him a place?! There is no way in H3LL that giving Chandler a WC spot on a silver platter is NOT going cause some locker room resentment especially on top of the diss to Donovan!

        JK should understand that team chemistry is important. Just look at France last World Cup. Look at his own players just over a year ago. Donovan is still a better player than 90% of the guys on the field for the US. More than that he is respected by the other players and looked to for guidance and direction on and off the field. He also is respected internationally and always is focused on by other teams allowing extra movement for his teammates.

        Klinmann’s roster has little to do with bringing the best players and EVERYTHING to do with his own bias and favoritism. Proof is the tweet by his own jacka$$ son. JK’s son obviously knows that his father has something against Donovan and like most teenagers, he hasn’t learned when to just shut up.

        I will always support and root for the USMNT but from now on I will advocate for Klinsmann’s removal from anything to do with soccer in US.

      • agreed, seems to be more of a personal vendetta vs. him really believing LD is not one of the 23 best players in the US

    • I’m going to go ahead and trust JK who has been there observing all the players everyday instead of us fans who remember the LD from previous World Cups…

      • Aren’t you the big person? Good for you. Would you like to purchase my USA-NIgeria tickets? Or perhaps some other fan’s Brazil airfare, hotel game tickets and pop for their food and living expenses while in freaking Manaus? I’m personally feeling a little less motivated to spend money to support this experiment that JK is putting together two weeks before the WC.

      • So, you paid all that money for one player? I thought it was about the team and the experience to see amazing football.

      • I didn’t pay for one player however, JK has put together a team that is merely that. A team. There are the required amount of players. these players have not played together.

        I thought JK would wait until after the the first send off game to make the cuts. My thought was he would want to see the bubble players. I’m glad with the cuts he made (and the players he didn’t even call to the 30 man camp who have been on the A team in the past) he is giving more time for the team to work together.

        I think it’s telling that my wife – who doesn’t watch soccer – responded to me telling her LD is not on the team was 1)isn’t he one of our best (I told her he is getting older but is still very good) 2) did the coach have a beef with him or something?

      • I think your wife anecdote inadvertently undermined your point there- someone who does watch the game would remember Landon’s time in the field in the last friendly against Mexico. Couldn’t dribble past the defense. All but one of his passes in the final third were picked off, and that was the one where the Mexican defense left him unmarked on a free kick. A few years ago there’s no way they would’ve left him alone like that. As it was he barely got the pass off when the closest defender was 10 yards away…he’s absolutely been the best player we’ve had for a long time, maybe ever will. But he’s too slow to play the wing anymore, and you’re committing to two strikers if you play him in the middle.

      • + 100000000

        plus Alexi Lalas knows nothing he’s always wrong and he’s jealous of every player thats better than him

      • Yeah:
        1)”I’m going to go ahead and trust JK who has been there observing all the players everyday”.

        2) We just don’t know what strategy Klinsi and Berti Vogts are cooking up. There is a LOT of speed at DB (FJ, Beasely, Chandler, Yedlin)….Cameron, Gonzo, and Brooks are VERY athletic too. I think Klinis and Vogts are cooking us strategies that consider those DBs bombing forward and giving the US sudden overwhelming numbers as vital to the US having a shot to get out of the group.

    • What is under-performing? Let’s say we lose all three, including Ghana – who we have never beat in a World Cup. I’d like to think we’ll get a point or more against somebody, but there’s a chance we might not, with or without Donovan there.

      Or are you looking for general quality of play regardless of results?

      • Exactly. Everyone making it out like without Donovan we won’t get out of the group are the same people who yesterday said we won’t get out of the group. Donovan hasn’t been a US one-man-show in a number of years. And he’s not one in 2014.

        This doesn’t change anything.

      • What’s your starting XI v Ghana? If the US is down 1-0 in the 65th minute who do you bring in to turn it around? Extend that same question to the other two games.

      • Donovan, the savior on the bench. Perhaps Klinsman was attempting to remove the burden of that long shadow Donovan would cast, from the players who are expected to start.

      • What is up with everyone and these if we are down 1-0 or 2-0 scenario??? Portugal and Germany or any team with a winning mentality isn’t thinking this way. They are in training camp practicing so they are down! or do you think they are doing all this just to go to brazil and bring on a sub after they are losing?? Spain and Brazil bring on attacking subs to further beat down their opponents why can’t we think like them

      • That’s bc we arent Spain or brazil. If u are realistic then u have to assume we will be down at some point in the tournament and would need a spark off the bench. We don’t have one and Donovan would be perfect for that.

      • I’m sure JK has plans for if USMNT is up 1-0 and he necessarily need to have plans for being 1-0.

      • Not trying to insult but being realistic. We have no one with a proven international track record off the bench. Davis, mix, johannsson, wondo, green? While I hope they all have a great wc, can’t say I’m expecting them to.

      • Do you forget that we won some big games w/o LD when he was on sabbatical?

        Even if LD had made, or makes it via injury, he would have started on the bench.

        Face it, the LD from 2006 and 2010 is no longer with us.

      • I’m not going to go on wikipedia and look them up. They were WCQ games so they were obviously important.

      • We also won some big matches without Chandler and Brad Davis, Wondolowski, John Brooks, and they are all here.

      • Those guys aren’t even going to PT this WC. They are investments for 2018. LD obviously doesn’t offer anything past this WC.

      • Obviously JK thinks they offer more this WC than LD does. Both won’t see the field unless we need a goal in the last 30 min. Both are pretty specialized players offering unique abilities that LD apparently can’t at this time.

        Bottom line, LD is not sharp now and probably not in great shape. I’m trusting JK who has been watching LD like a hawk the last year.

      • @Brad C
        The friction from your backtrack will hopefully light a fire under some of those newbies on the roster.

        In the immortal words of Garth, “Live in the NOW!!!”

        If JK is really making that much of an investment in 2018 then he is a fool. The World Cup is only every 4 years. The “investment” must pay today. If JK is choosing players that “aren’t even going to PT this WC” then why exclude Donovan and bring in someone like Davis? LD can help the guys way more that will be playing with his experience and leadership.

      • Big games against who? And I hope you aren’t thinking of friendlies, because, well – Germany is a good example – if you think Germany is going to swap goals with us again like it was some kind of pick-up game, I’m pretty sure it will be a different game.

      • WCQ games in CONCACAF. It’s not the same speed of play and intensity as the finals – even if not in a group of death.

        Don’t get me wrong. I’m thrilled we’re able to do so well in confederation because that wasn’t always the case.

      • I’m not saying he should have started, I’m saying he should have been on the squad. He earned that, and he certainly could contribute off the bench and in the dressing room.

      • If you had Diego Maradona in the side, and he was good enough to make the 23, but not as a starter… would you bring him? I wouldn’t. Even if he put the coke aside and didn’t say a word, the whole environment would be utterly different. The performance of the 11 “best” players would be a sideshow, with the sole purpose of hastily identfying who should be sacrificed. Every media person, every fan in the stadium would be waiting for the inevitable.

        Donovan isn’t Maradona. But he isn’t a role player. He can’t be. Even if he tries his best and says all the right things, he can’t wear a blue collar and blend in. As soon as we went a goal down, you know as well as I do that everybody on SBI would be speculating about when he would come on and for whom, and ESPN would be panning to his face every 30 seconds.

        I feel sorry for him today because that’s not his fault– it’s the ironic price of his massive contribution. And yes, I’m sure there were some other reasons at play here… but that reason alone is credible enough, much as I hate saying so.

      • This. Totally agree.

        Also think there’s some tactical/formational stuff at work here. I look at our midfield roster and I see a lot of central-playing outside mids, like Bedoya and Zusi, who really aren’t wingers. I see a lot of winger/outside back hybrids at outside back.

        I think we see a diamond or a 4-2-3-1 or some sort of gunked-up midfield with a lot of guys tucked in centrally…and with us relying on our speed at outside back to provide width and catch-up speed against the kind of speed we’re going to face.

        Donovan isn’t good enough to displace Dempsey at the false-nine spot, and I don’t think we’re really going to be using true wingers this tournament. Which means…what do you do with him, really?

      • “a 4-2-3-1 or some sort of gunked-up midfield with a lot of guys tucked in centrally…and with us relying on our speed at outside back to provide width and catch-up speed against the kind of speed we’re going to face.”—Edu was tailor made for that. Wonder if Yedlin might get thrown onto the midfield?

    • I don’t question Klinsmann I believe in his coaching methods. F**ck what Alexi Lalas or anyone else say (especially Alexi) they act like they have all the answers but have never played or done anything , won anything at the level Klinsmann has. If it is true that LD didn’t want to come around to Klinsmanns style then LD doesn’t need to be on the team. Its time for everyone to open their eyes and stop being bias. Klinsmann is the best and most qualified coach we’ve had. More that Arena more that Bradley. Those guys didn’t go pro!! so stop crying about the decisions that a guy that actually knows what he’s doing makes or have you all even thought about this…. This isn’t Klinsmanns first WC as a player or coach. How many WC have our past coaches played or coached in?? With the exception of Bora Milutinović all their records were piss poor. and everyone needs to get over Green. it’s LD’s job to beat out an 18 year old and leave no doubt about his superiority he clearly couldn’t do that because if I had a choice between an ascending 18 and a descending 32 year old guess who i’d choose too?

      • Wait, Alexi said dropping Donavon was a bad idea? That is all the proof I need that it was the right choice.

      • What Lalas said was ” I’m ok with leaving Donovan out, but if you’re gonna do it, do it after Cambodia, don’t call him in the 30 and then cut him”
        Which to me is the dumbest comment about this entire issue

      • Bac, when has Alexi Lalas said or done anything intelligent since he retires as an (over-rated) player? He’s all about style, not substance. Always has been.

    • Donovan is also better than Wondo. I am literally shocked and while I have supported JK in the past, he has lost my support now. And although Yedlin has the speed, a player like Ronaldo will embarrass him. If all you care about is speed, he could have taken Marvell Wynne. I’d take Parkhurst ahead of Yedlin. Some of these decisions border on crazy to me.

      • It’s not about taking the best 23 players. The fact that Donovan is a better player than Wondo does not mean he should be picked over him– Donovan has special baggage and unfortunately that matters when you are picking a team. I won’t re-hash the point (I’ve since made it elsewhere on the page, probably hours after you posted this… you can look at it if you still care but prob we’re all a little fatigued of this topic so no need really….)

        Regardless, God bless you for the Marvell Wynne drop. Far and away my favorite USMNT player ever, and easily the most confused. It would not surprise me in the least if he inexplicably showed up in Brazil on June 16 in a store-bought USMNT replica uniform, full of enthusiasm, speaking fluent German and juggling a size 4 ball… then proceeded to sit down on the Ghana bench and take a 2 hour nap.

    • Last friendly I remember seeing Landon play he looked out of shape and not sharp. Whether it’s commitment or physical breakdown, a running player who is not as effective running — is less useful. I think he decided he had enough wing options both sides and in the case of Davis decided to go for bench touch. In a close game deadball ability might be useful, although Davis has rarely shown it for the USA. Streaky with the Dynamo and perhaps over his head with the US. But then Landon’s value was dropping substantially, too. Player who runs right at people and makes a cut — not some hypertechnical stepover master — who was now being stoned when he tried.

      I felt like the more interesting tactical omit was Boyd, because there is no second big forward on the roster now. Donovan, well, you know, we have a fair amount of people who can play that position and it’s Coke versus Pepsi…..particularly once he lost the fire in his belly and became Just Another Player (IMO).


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