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Landon Donovan not on U.S. national team camp roster

Jan 6, 2013, 1:50 PM EDT

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We will have a lot to say about the U.S. national team camp roster announced early this afternoon, about the opportunities ahead for some of the players who will be at the Home Depot Center beginning tomorrow, trying to work their way up manager Jurgen Klinsmann’s depth chart.

But  the discussion needs to begin with the big name not on the camp roster: Landon Donovan.

His absence has big implications, because Donovan is clearly still struggling to figure out his feelings for professional soccer, still undetermined about whether the requisite fire and desire burns for the game.

It’s also important because this means Donovan will probably not be part of the team that begins final round World Cup qualifying in a month.

Klinsmann, speaking by phone on the Fox Soccer Channel show Goals on Sunday, indicated that the decision here wasn’t a tough one.

What he said:

Well, Landon has not been invited, because, obviously, he is taking his break. He is thinking about his future … and he is not at a point yet where he knows what he wants to do. So it is as simple as that. That is why we didn’t invite Landon. We are as curious as everybody else about what his decision will be in the future time, but right now he is not part of this camp.

When we last heard from Donovan, following the L.A. Galaxy’s MLS Cup win over Houston five weeks ago, he seemed to be leaning toward taking a break from the game or even retiring.

(MORE: Yet another retirement hint following MLS Cup win)

Sunday’s news moves Donovan a little further in that direction. Because anyone thinking that the U.S. national team’s all-time leading scorer just needed a couple of weeks to clear his head, that he would then be set and ready to go, well, we see now that’s just not the case.

(MORE: Klinsmann discusses Donovan’s career crisis)

  1. pensfan603 - Jan 6, 2013 at 2:10 PM

    Clint Dempsey was left off i tihnk that means hes not gonna be on the natoinal team anymore to..

    • Steve Davis - Jan 6, 2013 at 2:27 PM

      Huh? No … I think Klinsmann has been quite clear that players currently in season in England, Italy, Spain, Germany etc., would not take part in this camp. It’s a January camp, which always means its mostly for MLS men … like Donovan.

      • joeyt360 - Jan 6, 2013 at 3:07 PM

        I’m sure that was his sarcastic way of saying that it doesn’t particularly mean anything that Donovan’s missing. We do know, however, that it means that Donovan will at least miss the Honduras game (Klinsmann’s already said so, and Donovan will be the only guy in the running who hadn’t played or even worked out very hard in the last couple of months at that point).

    • charliej11 - Jan 6, 2013 at 8:58 PM

      IF Joeyt360 is right and you think it doesn’t mean anything you are wrong..there will be plenty playing who are not at this camp….LD will not be one of them.

  2. pensfan603 - Jan 6, 2013 at 2:35 PM

    Then Why put diskerud on this roster i think its more of the players he isnt 100% on for the national team, players he wants to learn more about and see more of there strengths. He left players like jail antibaba, austin berry, and chris pontius off this roster, i dont understand why anyone is making a big deal about this roster

  3. Dan Haug - Jan 6, 2013 at 2:42 PM

    This is a non-story. Based on everything that has happened over the last 8 months or so, it would have been very surprising to see Donovan to come into this camp. The guy said repeatedly that he was going to take a serious break… a long break.

    I suspect he will show up for the Galaxy camp. If we get to late January, and all the other Galaxy players are in camp (including the guys who are now in the USMNT camp) and Donovan has not reported or made a statement, THAT will be a big deal. Until then, the only real news will be if there is likely to be an official statement from Donovan.

  4. pensfan603 - Jan 6, 2013 at 4:50 PM

    Exactly what den haag said, my point was more, of, of course hes not on the roster he said he wanted to take time off i would of been more surprised if he was on the roster. There were bigger names weither it be austin berry, or whoever that were left off the roster that could of been put on the roster and they were but yet this is the story that gets reported on, plus the fact it wasnt his best squad but yet you report this, i mimicing your blog basicly saying bloging dempsey not on the team would of been just as pointless. make sense?

    • danielofthedale - Jan 6, 2013 at 5:31 PM

      Austin Berry is not a “bigger name” my man. He is not in the class of CB’s with Gonzo and Belser or even a guy like George John yet. Also Dempsey CAN”T be on this camp, its not a FIFA date so Suprs would never let him go. Donovan has been in the January camp numerous times and it is only up to him whether or not to be there now.

      That said it should surprise no one that Donovan is not on the roster. He has made it very clear over the last couple of months that we wants some time off and this is the off season and he is taking it. I don’t expect him on US teams in any of the WCQ in Feb. or March.

      Even though we knew he would not be on the roster it is still news because for better or worse he has been the face of US Soccer for the better part of the last decade. He was the first US soccer player to transcend from being a star among soccer fans to being a star among the sports population in general. When you have that kind of player with that kind of stature begin to transition out of the game it will be big news.

    • Steve Davis - Jan 6, 2013 at 6:21 PM

      Well, we just disagree here. This IS a big story, for more than one reason. Donovan is one of the most successful, most high profile figures to appear for U.S. Soccer. He never actually said how long a break this would be … days, weeks, months … forever? Klinsmann was hoping he would be available for the upcoming qualifiers. The Galaxy need to know ASAP, too. So, sorry if you guys don’t see this as a story. I believe otherwise.

      • charliej11 - Jan 6, 2013 at 9:00 PM

        Final verdict. Steve is right.

  5. pensfan603 - Jan 7, 2013 at 8:54 AM

    Ya cause there are so many high profile players no this team..

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