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Report: Donovan not in USMNT squad for World Cup qualifiers

May 14, 2013, 2:01 PM EDT

Jurgen Klinsmann

Should this news really be such a big surprise?

Um, yeah.

According to reports surfacing this afternoon, Landon Donovan will not be included in Jurgen Klinsmann’s U.S. squads for the crucial World Cup qualifiers coming up next month.

The US Camp begins on May 21, ahead of the friendlies against Belgium and Germany and the crucial World Cup qualifiers in June with Jamaica, Panama and Honduras.

At the moment the only way Donovan could make it into the squad would be due to a swathe of injuries to current national team players.

Klinsmann obviously wasn’t too impressed with the self-imposed sabbatical or Donovan’s form since he has returned.

Donovan hasn’t played for the US since their 1-0 win in Mexico last August and has only played five games for the LA Galaxy since taking time out from soccer from January to March 2013.

But where does all this leave Donovan’s future with the USMNT?

We are all still guessing. Klinsmann has discussed Donovan’s possible future involvement with the US before. We all know how that turned out last month, ICYMI, here is a little refresher on what Klinsmann had to say.

I’m not talking names but there are players clearly ahead of Landon Donovan right now. He hasn’t been part of the development of that team most of the time over the last two years, so chemistry is extremely important. Most of the time, he was not part of that process, that was his choice and I totally understand that, it’s no problem. I’ve always said that we will observe him, like we observe all the other players over the stretch of a long period and then we decide whether he is part of that picture or not.”

(More: Donovan agrees with Klinsmann “I still have a long way to go”)

Those words seem to resonate even stronger given today’s revelations. It seems as if Klinsi has observed Donovan’s return and deemed him surplus to requirements.

If these reports of Donovan not making the US squad this summer are true, then who will take his place? The obvious choice is Graham Zusi. The Sporting KC man has been in fine form this season and Klinsmann has often praised his ability on the ball and to change a game.

Donovan recently said this about Zusi: “I look forward to continuing to battle back and forth with him and hopefully push each other,” he allowed. “He’s a lot younger than me. But don’t count the old guy out yet.”

It seems as if the old guy isn’t being appreciated by Klinsmann. Can Donovan fight his way back in to the USMNT’s World Cup plans?

  1. dws110 - May 14, 2013 at 2:29 PM

    Apart from sentiment, there’s no realistic argument for including Donovan right now based on current form. He simply hasn’t looked good since returning to LA. It’s almost certainly just a question of knocking off the rust, but WCQ’s (especially in this iteration of the Hex) aren’t the place for that. The margins are too close this time around, you go with the guy who’s playing the best soccer, and right now, that’s not Landon Donovan.

  2. dfstell - May 14, 2013 at 3:01 PM

    I’m of two minds about this…. On one hand, we probably don’t need Donovan (even a 100% sharp Donovan) to qualify. We only need him when the competition ramps up in the WC (and that’s only if Donovan can be the player he was in 2010).

    On the other….I’m not sure what is served by calling Donovan into camp. This omission just makes it into a bigger story that will linger on and on. Unsure what the point of that is. Maybe the concern is that they’d call him into camp and he wouldn’t be sharp enough to actually play or start?

  3. charliej11 - May 14, 2013 at 4:08 PM

    We don’t need him, we won the snow game ( barely ). Plus he isn’t playing well anymore anyway. Like everyone else on the US team ?

    JK is a moron. IF he doesn’t lead this team to the WCup, he will probably be the only one for many, many cycles. He is going to risk that, to act like a soccer blogger who has convinced himself that Landon isn’t the answer anymore, because he didn’t move to England. What a marooon….

  4. midtec2005 - May 14, 2013 at 5:18 PM

    I don’t think he has really been in good form either, so I’m not too surprised. He will get there though…

  5. wfjackson3 - May 14, 2013 at 5:32 PM

    “Klinsmann obviously wasn’t too impressed with the self-imposed sabbatical or Donovan’s form since he has returned.”

    Not obvious. For all we know, Klinsmann never expected Donovan to be ready by now.


    Dude, this isn’t texts from last night.

  6. mazblast - May 14, 2013 at 9:07 PM

    World Cup qualifying has no place in its standings for one player’s past accomplishments and once-upon-a-time reputation. You play the guys who can help you win now.

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