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Landon Donovan “proud and happy” about national team success

Jun 15, 2013, 2:26 PM EDT

Mexico v United States Getty Images

If Landon Donovan doesn’t make it back to the national team ahead of next year’s World Cup, it won’t be for anything he said or did during his – well, let’s just call it what it is – probationary period of estrangement from the Jurgen Klinsmann’s group.

Donovan sees what the rest of us see: a team that has pretty much crushed it outside of that initial stumble in Honduras, and one that is wonderfully positioned halfway through the final stage of CONCACAF qualifying.

(I’m so confident of the U.S. chances, I have already begun the process of helping Klinsmann fill out his roster for next summer. I’m sure he’ll be calling to thank me soon.)

At any rate, here’s what Donovan said this week about the United States:

After five games, to have 10 points is fantastic, and considering the remaining schedule, you would like to think we’re going to qualify. And I was as proud and as happy as anyone over the last week watching those two games.”

The money quote is the next one, however. Not as it concerns Donovan’s reaction to all this; he probably understands that some of his choices in the past have affected Klinsmann’s decisions of the present.

Klinsmann has named Donovan to the provisional Gold Cup roster, which still feels a little like a test of Donovan’s ongoing loyalty and commitment – and I still feel like Donovan should probably be past that point. He’s done enough for U.S. Soccer. But it is what it is.

Donovan has said  if he’s chosen for Gold Cup, then Gold Cup it will be! The man wants back in. He misses it – and he says so.

I do miss [being with the national team]. I want to be out there, but the reality is different. So when I get my chance, I’ll be ready.”

  1. mvktr2 - Jun 16, 2013 at 2:01 AM

    Jurgy baby is crazy like a fox! He’s getting exactly the response he desires out of Donovan off the pitch. Now to test the response on the pitch at the GC.

    It’s true, Donovan has done so very much for the USMNT and US soccer in general. However like all jobs outside of the political arena and in the real world results matter. This team has gotten results without LD. I’m sure JKs plan is to have Donovan return as hungry as ever which is exactly what I expect. LD isn’t entitled to a spot on the team. Do I think he’ll be in Brazil with the team? Yes, and most probably starting!

  2. wisconsinsoccer - Jun 16, 2013 at 10:52 AM

    I am indifferent about Landon Donovan playing for the USMNT because he has been indifferent about playing for the squad over the last few years. I respect what he has done for soccer in America but LD is a diva and the team is getting very good results without him. If he comes back to the full squad, I hope he realizes this is Michael Bradley and Clint Dempsey’s team now.

    • schmutzdeck - Jun 16, 2013 at 6:04 PM

      Wisconsinsoccer,

      This run of good results in qualifying is great but it is an illusion. And you are being fooled by it.

      Mexico is all out of whack and all the other teams in the Hex are tough but they are pedestrian. We will qualify but if you think the World Cup will be this easy you are sadly mistaken.

      Qualifying was hard and doing well in the World Cup will be even harder.

      Mikey and Deuce are doing well but they are merely solid internationals. Howard is in decline and the rest of the team, at present, are honest hardworking journeymen and are interchangeable parts.

      That doesn’t mean they can’t do well in Brazil but I’ll bet if you gave MB90 and Clint truth serum they will tell you they want LD back as soon as they can get him. Even if he isn’t exactly his old self, he’ll be very good and his experience, and this is a very inexperienced group, could be invaluable.

      The USMNT will need to improve at least one or two levels if they hope to show well in Brazil and you know JK wants to win the damn thing.

      And the only way this team will get better in the next year is to get LD, Shea, Dolo, Boca, Chandler and maybe even Johansson and Parker, into the mix. Holden is way on the outside edge of possibilities.

      I don’t expect all of them will make the team but if they are in great form and pushing for a place that way we’d know the ones who make it will be the very best the US can get out there.

  3. talgrath - Jun 17, 2013 at 2:15 PM

    The raw fact is this, Landon Donovan has, maybe one more good World Cup in him. If he is on the team going to Brazil, Donovan will be 32 years old at the next World Cup. The chances of Donovan being in good form given his age during the Russian World Cup are slim, he will be 36 by that point. US soccer fans will need to get used to the idea, very shortly, that Landon won’t be around forever. Similarly, Clint Dempsey is getting long in the tooth in soccer terms as well, he’ll be 31 heading in to Brazil. The fact is that very shortly our players to lean on will be guys like Brek Shea (if he can stay healthy), Deandre Yedlin and Jack McInerney, and these players have looked pretty damn good for their local clubs, perhaps even better than the veterans were at their age. Short term, the Russian World Cup will be rough, until these players get more international reps they will be rough and make mistakes, but long term the US will be better.

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