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Klinsmann names Donovan USMNT captain for Ecuador friendly

Landon Donovan 102110

Photo by Rick Osentoski/USA TODAY Sports


Landon Donovan’s final U.S. Men’s National Team match was always shaping up to be quite special for him, but now it is even more so.

U.S. Soccer announced via Twitter on Tuesday that head coach Jurgen Klinsmann has named Donovan the U.S. captain for Friday’s friendly against Ecuador at Rentschler Field in East Hartford, Connecticut. The decision should now put to rest the notion that Klinsmann would not start the 32-year-old Donovan in his final U.S. appearance before retiring at the end of the MLS season.

This will not be the first time Donovan serves as captain. He has worn the armband throughout various stages of his legendary international career, though not at all recently under Klinsmann.


What do you think of Donovan being appointed USMNT captain against Ecuador? Is part of you surprised? Picturing Sunil Gulati bending Klinsmann’s arm to convince him to make this move?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. It’s weird that so many excuse the sabbatical. You guys need to get out of your mom’s basement, get a job, ask for 4 months off because you are effed in the head, and see what the result is. You get fired! A lot of people hate their job or jobs, but they do it everyday to support themselves and/or family. Donovan really had no excuse for bailing on his boss or team during qualifying, and personally I am glad Jurgen cut him. He is the best American soccer player ever, but for me he is a poor representative of America.

    • bs. where I work we’ve had people ask and usually get a few months off for various reasons, including to clear their heads.

    • Also, there is a difference between someone who has to work to support his family and a multi millionaire playing a game for money. He could have retired then and lived a fine life, but he came back. Ask any Galaxy fan, and I’m sure they would say that they are more than happy that Donovan came back for a couple more years. If you would have asked any USMNT fan after the 2013 Gold Cup, you would have gotten the same response. And had LD been in Brazil, I’m sure every USMNT fan would still be saying that they are glad he came back. They only ones who wish he would have just retired is Klinsmann and his kin, so that way everyone would continue to think JK does no wrong.

  2. The best there ever was, the best there is and the best there ever will be = Landon Donovan. One foolish little man’s decision doesn’t change the facts!
    LD the legend!

    • The best there ever was, the best there is and the best there ever will be = Landon Donovan.

      Yes, yes! Go on….finally a positive post!

      One foolish little man’s decision…

      Of course. Another headcase with emotional issues.

      • Thanks again, arbiter of reason and mental health. You should realize that your post is far more negative than the one it condescends to, and you seem to be obsessed with these people.

  3. Can’t help but feel like this whole send-off thing is getting stranger and stranger. If there’s a LAG game sunday why not do this thing next month? And then if he’s flying out there, why start LD only to pull him after 20 min? Seems very disruptive. Why name him captain only to pull him after 20? LD has been playing great and could be a good training example for the youngsters if he’s willing, but he’s not even getting there until just before the game? Bizarre.

    • jb, that’s the smartest thing anybody has said on this thread. It seems like everyone involved just wants to get this over with. I would imagine there’s a lot more conflict between Klinsmann and Gulati over this game than we’re hearing. It also wouldn’t surprise me if both Klinsmann and Gulati got Hell from Arena over this idea. especially since the Galaxy is fighting for the Supporters’ Shield. That’s probably why Donovan is going to play just 20 minutes. This whole thing smells all the way around.

      • I think these matches are the last time USMNT plays in US this year. There is not really a better time.

  4. One thing is continually apparent and real Jurgen Klinsmann is very intelligent and generally fair. He
    will continue to guide The US soccer to success for many, God willing!
    Joe Santos, sr.

  5. And this just in…Lando announces that as soon as the season is over he’s off to Cambodia to meditate on the decision to run for President. Gotta love Lando.

      • That’s the “thing” with this Donovan apologist crowd. They work exclusively in paranoia, emotional distress and conspiracy.

        In fact, they share a lot of symptoms with victims and should probably seek psychological assistance.

        That’s not a joke. It’s disturbing.

      • Hey old you’re obviously knowledgeable about the sport and have an interesting angle on things. Of course I don’t agree with everything you put out there but it’s at least insightful. Wow, this post is just bizarre though. Was it written in a moment of anger or emotional haste or is that how you really feel about mental health? I get that you’re tired of people still feeling unhappy about how jk handled the world cup roster but that’s how things go. People will always be upset as history has taught us from other sporting decisions….you know that! And life goes on for every single fan that didn’t agree with Donovan’s exclusion from the WC roster. You think people go on their daily lives obsessed with this subject…..c’mon man. Although there’s plenty of circumstantial evidence to show it was personal and jk is not at all on board with what’s going on, I get what you’re feeling. Just don’t throw your opinions on mental health so loosely. It’s not only insensitive but insulting. I’m not positive but you may be in the “Donovan is weak for being honest and left the Nats high and dry for a sabbatical or vacation” camp. Let me guess…people who are still upset should seek psychiatric treatment but the guy, Donovan, who was in dire need of treatment should have sucked it up and been there for his teammates during qualifying right?

      • There is nothing that Donovan has ever done or failed to do in connection with the USMNT that requires any apology, either by him or by anyone else on his behalf. He has always been courteous, respectful and honest (almost to a fault). In sharp contrast, his treatment by Klinsmann was despicable. No one deserves to be treated that way, much less a person who has contributed so much for so long.

      • Seriously…you two have no friggin’ clue.

        Lucas there are clearly some who have way too much tied up emotionally bordering on the verge of mental instability with their self created delusions about conspiracy theories.

        And Advocate you definitely don’t get why Donovan should have apologized for abandoning the team for a bit of r&r! It goes like this …

        1st Importance: LD
        2nd Importance: Everyone else

        these are facts but don’t let them get in the way if your argument

      • “The TX 2 Stepper”: To say that LD “abandon[ed] the team for a bit of r&r” is an absurd –dare I say clueless — characterization. Wherever he’s been, Donovan has always put his team first. I doubt you can find any past or present teammate who has ever said otherwise. But human beings have their limits. And at the end of the last MLS season Donovan had reached his limit. He was completely burned out, having played almost nonstop for more than a decade. If you have never had such an experience you’ve been quite fortunate and I doubt anyone can explain it to your satisfaction. But just as you would presumably not blame a player who took four months to recover from a physical injury, you should not blame Donovan for taking the time necessary to address his physical and mental exhaustion. Anyone who needs time to heal, is smart enough to know it and is strong enough to do it in the face of a bully like Klinsmann owes no apology to anyone. And I strongly doubt that any member of the MNT thinks otherwise.

      • Advocate: “But just as you would presumably not blame a player who took four months to recover from a physical injury, you should not blame Donovan for taking the time necessary to address his physical and mental exhaustion.”

        Likewise, just as you would not expect a player who took 4 months off to deal with injury to jump right back into the squad and not miss out on anything, you should not expect the same of Donovan.

        (I supported and still support Donovan’s decision to take a break.)

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