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Donovan hails Mexican youth system as “better than ours,” plans to finish career with L.A.

Feb 13, 2014, 11:03 PM EDT

South Korea v United States Getty Images

You have to consider the audience, but Landon Donovan said some things in Mexico City that are going to have some US Soccer higher-ups scratching their heads.

Not in a “Whaaaat?” way, rather a “Politeness aside, you didn’t have to say that, did you now?” way.

After telling MedioTiempo.com that he thinks the Mexican national team’s brutal 2013 will not affect their chances to “do something special” in Brazil this summer, Donovan lavished praise on the Mexican youth… somewhat at the expense of his home country.

“In my opinion, the youth in Mexico is better than ours,” he said. “We’re looking for ways to improve it, but for me Mexico is one of the best in the world at that kind of progression, with youth, and with the national team it’s almost the same forever, and I think it will continue to be for a long time.”

He also admitted what’s been rumored a bunch; Donovan had opportunities to play professionally in Mexico. That ship has sailed, and he says he plans on finishing his playing days as a member of the Galaxy.

“In past years, I have had some other opportunities that did not work out at that time,” said Donovan. “Now I think I’ll stay in Los Angeles for the rest of my career. I want to be in Los Angeles – you never know what can happen, but I am very happy at home.”

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