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Donovan left out: Klinsmann gives up on 2014

Jurgen Klinsmann apparently has no belief that he can get his U.S. national team through group play at the 2014 World Cup.

Rather, with a contract extension comfortably in hand, he appears to be playing for the 2018 tourney.

There is no other logical way to explain Landon Donovan’s omission from the 23-man tournament roster Klinsmann released Thursday night.

No other rational reason, at least. Nothing that doesn’t consist primarily of, “Klinsmann is still mad at Donovan for his sabbatical, and this is how he sends the message to every prospective national teamer that such actions will not be tolerated.”

Klinsmann seemed too smart for that. Seemed.

Instead, the 2014 World Cup has now become for Klinsmann what appears to be an exercise in recruitment and planning for the future. Yes, this is the means through which Klinsmann plans to solidify the recruitment of some young potential future stars. It’s not enough to cap-tie Julian Green and John Brooks (and to a lesser extent, Timmy Chandler). They need a taste of the glory. The German-Americans could be core pieces of the national team for years to come, and this is how Klinsmann is securing it.

But so far, they have shown no indication they are ready for the international stage. Brooks looked like a mess against Ukraine in March. Green looked, well, green in his one appearance with the national team.

Did Klinsmann promise Green a spot on the final roster in exchange for committing to the U.S.? It certainly looks like it, because the Bayern Munich reserve has shown no indication he is ready to play in an actual World Cup against actual World Cup teams like Germany, Portugal or even Ghana. Neither has Brooks. (Chandler, at least, has a better case, due to the team’s question marks at right back. He now projects as a starter.)

You could extrapolate this further to include the choice of Brooks over better veteran alternatives at center back, but those are situations are grayer. The Donovan situation is black and white.

There is no true U.S. best 11 that does not include Donovan. Period, end of story. Even if you dispute that, surely you can’t claim he is not part of the best 23.

I could sit here and lay out a bunch of reasons why, but I don’t need to. U.S. goalkeeper Tim Howard does it best.

“For me, it’s a very easy equation: If Landon is on the field, he’s our top one or two players,” Howard told MLSsoccer.com. “That’s just my opinion … For me, he’s easily one of our best players and he strikes fear in our opponents.”

You remember Donovan’s heroics in the 2010 World Cup. You saw Donovan in the Gold Cup. You’ve seen him in MLS. (He may have gotten off to a slow start goals-wise this year, but he remains in the league’s top 10 in key passes and crosses, which is where his value lies for the national team.) Nobody needs to tell you what he’s capable of.

And no coach not named Klinsmann would choose Brad Davis over Donovan. Not even Davis’s club coach. Davis’s crossing and set piece ability do not eclipse all that Donovan brings to the table. This aspect of the roster effectively confirms the sentiment that Donovan’s exclusion was a conscious decision intended to send a message.

The U.S. drew the ultimate Group of Death with Germany, Portugal and Ghana, and their chances of getting out of the group never looked good.

But it’s different when I say that as an outsider and when the coach says it with his actions and sends an inferior team to face them.

Klinsmann just gave up on the 2014 World Cup. Not just because he excluded one key player — although that’s a big part of it — but rather because of the message he sent to his entire team. No player is bigger than the team, but right now, Klinsmann certainly is. He didn’t pick the 23 players that give the U.S. team the best chance to win in Brazil.

(Random note: And did you see this bit from Klinsmann’s son about Donovan? Revealing.)

67 Comments

  1. Jonathan Klinsman. So much to learn so much to learn.
    .
    I seem to be appearing late to the party and have just found out this news. Frankly I am stunned but not surprised, if that makes sense.
    .
    I’ve never been a huge Landon Donovan fan, but I respect what he has meant to US Soccer. Your argument is strong Dan and this team certainly is no better without him.

  2. Earl Reed says:

    It’s been said that Gulati hesitated in bringing Klinsmann on earlier as USMNT coach. I’d imagine this kind of self-appropriated “cult of personality” is the reason why.

    • Dan C (formerly of 103) says:

      Reports at the time were that Gulati didn’t want to give full conntrol to Klinnsman. He obviously relented and you now see Klinnsman’s fingerprints all over the entire men’s program. Klinnsman made similar decisions when he steered Germany to a 3rd place finish when he coached them in the cup. He cut veterans and installed a youth movement. His method worked then (Germany finished better then predicted)and hopefully works now. I don’t know if it is a personality issue as everyone is saying as much as it is that this man knows the game as a player and as a coach. He has won EVERYTHING throughout his career and is not afraid to make seemingly drastic changes.

      Don’t forget that he recently reassigned Martin Vasquez, who was his right hand man for years. That was a very telling development that didn’t get the in depth media coverage that it deserved.

      I love Landon, he is my favorite player of all time, but he has lost a step and judging from his comments, he has lost his desire. I’ll judge the move AFTER the cup!

  3. Well this is what Klinsmann was here to do, kinda.
    He wasn’t brought in to get the 2014 squad out of the group stages he was brought in to make the US squad a perennial contender. So that involves cap tieing as many youngsters as possible and getting them involved in the world cup.
    US Soccer knew this when they signed him and they certainly knew it when they gave him an extension.
    That being said there is a certain tone deafness involved in leaving him off the team, Even if you don’t think he can compete at this stage anymore bringing him on the bench has a hell of a lot of experience. A lot more than having Wondo on your squad who really in the end doesnn’t belong there.

    • This is why I am not surprised. Your comments are right on. This is about change and I for one am all for a change in philosophy and direction when it comes to USMNT. The team needs a fresh approach and a fresh direction.
      .
      having said that, I also agree that Donovan off the bench, which by all accounts he seemed willing to do, is a certain game changer. How can you leave Landon Donovan at 32 off the team completely is what gives me pause about Klinsman’s methods.
      .
      If they represent well in Brazil but do not advance and then play in quarters in Russia with a clear direction, philosophy and cohesion we will laud Klinsman for the remarkably daring and dare say necessary first step this was.
      .
      Thanks for the memories Landon.
      .
      My mom was struggling to recover at UPENN after heart surgery and pneumonia the days surrounding the Algeria game and that goal was a welcome, welcome relief and let off of tension at an important moment that summer.

  4. I’d take Landon on my team any day of the week…

  5. Steve H. says:

    Remember what Roger Milla did for Cameroon in the 1990 world cup? We could start a list of players who were, perhaps, past their glory years who made major impacts on their national team’s hopes during the WC.
    .

  6. DarthLos117 says:

    I’m mad too.
    .
    He is a big game player. He just shows up on that stage.
    .
    Although I don’t believe he is currently USMNT stater material, he would have been a perfect sub. The thought of him off the bench really gave me hope.

  7. I haven’t been the biggest Donovan defender over the years, but the fact remains that he is one of the 5 best players available to this team.
    Bedoya, Davis, Diskerud, Green (even with the politics involved). Any of them could have been left off the roster in place of Donovan.
    I understand the argument about planning for the future, but nothing plants the seeds for the future better than success. Flaming out of this World Cup will do nothing to convince future dual-citizens to commit to the USMNT.
    All that being said, our success in this tournament will come down to Bradley, Dempsey, and Jozy, and it was always going to be that way. (Not to mention the uncomfortable backline, but Donovan had no effect on that.) He will be missed, and he should be there, but if these guys don’t perform, it won’t matter that Landon’s watching from LA.

    • Seth Finck says:

      I wouldn’t include Diskerud in that list, but agree with the others certainly. Diskerud proved last summer that he belonged on this team in my opinion. From many of the comments I’m seeing, it looks like JK didn’t think Donovan’s heart was there.

      I will NEVER forget that Algeria goal, an absolute hammer. LD will certainly be missed.

      • Eli Pearlman-Storch says:

        Also scratch off Bedoya. He’s competing for a spot in the 11, not just the 23. He is fast, strong, versatile and playing very well in Ligue 1.

      • Seth Finck says:

        Yeah Eli, I tend to agree, but I haven’t seen him as much for the USMNT.

      • Eli Pearlman-Storch says:

        Really underrated. Likes to play through the middle but can slide out to either side. Good feet. Smart player.

  8. The Realist Brian says:

    https://t.co/EKYfggIlOO
    .
    This was my first reaction when I saw the news last night.
    .
    After sleeping on it, I can somewhat understand that Zusi and Bedoya played him off the team. But Brad Fucking Davis???
    .
    I then think about Julian. The kid is very talented, and very highly regarded by Bayern Munchen. Behind closed doors, he could have blown the camp up and flat out played better than LD. We won’t know until the post-mortem. He could also be the #23 Theo Walcott for this team, and not get to see the field.
    .
    Brooks and Chandler I have no problem with. They play in a league that many of us don’t watch unless you are blessed with ESPN3 or GolTV. The German league is better than MLS (and if you know me, I am a huge MLS fan and believe the game is growing here), so I firmly believe that they see better competition than Parkhurst, Evans or Goodsen see.
    .
    Final thing is: soccer writers are brave. I hand it to Dan et all for calling this out. Post World Cup, will they all be prepared to eat crow if the US progresses? Or the “I told you so” will rule the day.
    .
    Either way, I am psyched this took over the national conversation, and I am even more pumped for the upcoming games. I will try to be open-minded as well.
    .
    Final piece, where is Jeff Gilooly when you need him with Brad Davis?

    • +100 Well thought out response. I agree 100%. People need to remember that in 2006 JK did the same thing with Germany. The German press was all over him for changing the style of German soccer and leaving veterans off the squad and going young. Now I am not saying the US will finish 3rd like the Germans did, but you can see the progress German soccer has taken since 2006. Donovan isn’t the only World Cup veteran to be left off the team. This team has a lot of World Cup inexperience. This is needed to create a new culture. Having Donovan off the team will force players to step up and not have that notion Donovan will save them. You need 11 players that think they can score that tying or winning goal, make that goal line clearance or covering for a teammate and intercepting a through ball.

      • Exactly! I was there in 2006 and saw Germany getting beat by Italy, but they made it to the semi’s with a very young team. so everyone should calm down! Also if you listened this morning to Men in Blazers on SiriusXM then you would have heard from someone (Roger Bennett) who was daily at the practices in CA that Donovan was huffing and puffing in CA, where it is not even that hot compared to Brazil. The guy is totally out of shape and is not inspirational. He is too downbeat and not a leader I would like to have on my team.

      • Hew Johns says:

        The 2014 team is actually older than 2010, but to make up for that, they are less experienced. (I kid not.) Germany has a broad, deep pool of talent. Their youngsters are always ready to complete with the current squad. We do not have that luxury.

      • Hew Johns says:

        z

  9. Everyone back away from the ledge. Landon is a US legend, but to base his inclusion off of what happened in 2010 is foolish. Also, Landon Donovan isn’t going to beat Portugal or Germany by himself. This team is going to need every ounce of luck to get through the stage with or without him.

    Frankly without his massive shadow casting from the bench, I think this team will be able to create their own identity.

    • Also, all these writers saying Klinnsmann is giving up is such an easy stance. They are in the Group of Death, so their advancement is going to be extremely difficult. Can’t wait to hear all the “told you so” articles.
      .
      Julian Green’s inclusion is a landmark move. When you show up at the next Gideon Zelalem or Julian Green’s house and you tell him your serious about an 18 year old coming to the WC if he gets citizenship, you have credibility.
      .

  10. Obviously, LD saw this coming. You could tell based on his recent comments. He has accomplished much for the US and deserves our respect. I don’t agree with the decision to leave him out of the squad but I hope he is at peace with it.

  11. All he has done is put a huge target on Green and the foreign born US recruits. I think most people assumed US would not get out of the group stage this year even with Donovan on the team. Now without Donovan if they don’t get out of group people will have an easy finger to point to say we didn’t field our best team. When they look at the guys who made the team instead of Donovan there is no question that Green will be in the crosshairs. Knowlegeable soccer fans might accept that wooing dual citizens is part of the process . . . but I don’t think casual soccer fans will have a favorable reaction to it. With Donovan on the team it would have passed without any real notice (I doubt most people have ever heard Jermaine Jones speak) But I think it will now be a front burner issue for the press and US soccer detractors to latch onto. Just my two cents

    • Who cares about casual fans? They are the same ones who will say soccer sucks in the next breath.

      • Dan C (formerly of 103) says:

        Agreed. I want to win, not impress the xenophobic masses of casual soccer fans once every 4 years.

    • I think Green and Brooks are safe from the crosshairs, cos all they’re gonna do is sit on the bench and watch, just like Donovan would have been doing if he was on the team. The casual fan won’t even know anything about those guys.

      And Landon Donovan hasn’t been the face of US Soccer for at least couple of years now. That now belongs to Clint Dempsey. When I go into the soccer merchandise section of my local Dick’s Sporting Goods store, I don’t see Landon’s face on the big display, but I do see Clint’s. I see plenty of Dempsey shirts on the racks too.

      This is Clint Dempsey’s team now. He is the face and the captain of the team. He is the one in the crosshairs, and he should embrace that.

  12. So does this mean that Landon will be with the Galaxy when we play them Saturday night? With a chip on his shoulder? And the ability to set the MLS all-time goal-scoring record with one more goal?

    Sigh… I think it’s going to be a long night for the Union….

    • Kyle Martino tweeted the same thing this morning. He will be available, but hopefully he’ll be too depressed to play…doubt it.

    • He was not playing much for the Galaxy before anyway. Doubt he will see a lot of time or make any impact.

      • Eli Pearlman-Storch says:

        When Landon left for camp, the Galaxy had played 7 games. He started in all of them. And while he wasn’t scoring, he created a large number of chances that went unfinished. Saying that he will not make an impact is silly. He is still a great player, for club and country. The Union will have their hands full.

  13. I don’t think this is personal or sending a message. Personal issues aside, there is no way that a coach is not going to take what he thinks is his best squad. He’s not going to risk his reputation and success just to spite a player. I don’t believe that argument.
    .
    Klinsman doesn’t make this decision unilaterally. He has a host of staff, including Tab Ramos, who made this decision together.
    .
    There is a method to this “madness.” Klinsy is big on 2 points- fitness and positive mental attitude/team player. For everyone screaming for Landon, have you watched him play for Galaxy lately? If you have, then you know that he is at least 8-10 lbs overweight and has little pace left. Donovan’s past speed and fitness is what made him such a great player. He doesn’t seem to have that now. As for the locker room mentality – who knows. I think he’s a question mark, but we saw by the omission of EJ that this is a big deal to Klinsy.
    .
    So…I don’t really agree with the decision (I think even an unfit Landon is better than several on the squad), but I don’t buy the argument that it was purely for personal spite.

    • Dan Walsh says:

      I don’t think it’s purely for personal spite. It may not even be for personal spite at all. (That might be a small component, but I don’t know. I don’t think so. I think Klinsmann is bigger than that, no matter what.) I don’t intend to make that argument.

      And coaches often choose rosters that are not the team with the most ability to win right then. It’s common in rebuilding in other American sports. I obviously would not have expected to see it in a tournament held every four years.

    • re: fitness http://i.imgur.com/nDTRASi.jpg yikes. maybe its just his posture or something but he isn’t looking fit there

  14. Thanks for the post Dan. I was stunned at the news when I heard it yesterday.

    I’ve had mixed feelings about Donovan over the years, but I think that his experience and skills could have been useful off the bench.

    While I understand that this might be part of a larger effort by Klinsmann to develop youth (or cap-tie as many youngsters as possible), that doesn’t mean I’m happy with this decision. We’ll just have to see what happens.

    Also, I think it is difficult to compare what Klinsmann did with Germany in 2006 with the current US team. The level of success with German soccer is way above that of the US (and Germany was in the finals only 4 years earlier). So though he went with youth in 2006, I might argue the pool of skilled players available to him then are better than the current pool of younger US players now.

  15. I am meh about this.

    This is all about the future and 2018 and turning the USA into a legit top 10 national team.

  16. It’s good this is a national debate, but if you’ve watched some of his performances lately he hasn’t been all that good. They won in Italy without him. I think the only people he scares now play for El Tri.
    Juergen’s son “the goalie”, seems like a dick and I hope he got put in his place!
    I think it’s funny no one on this site is even mentioning Edu, our player, lol.

    • Seth Finck says:

      Were we watching different Gold Cup games?

      • No, I was watching the us play Italy in Italy and win without him. Gold Cup? Gold Cup? No one but us brought they’re best team. Gold Cup? We’re talking about the Gold Cup?

      • Seth Finck says:

        That Italy team wasn’t their first choice lineup either AND it was a friendly. Also, who’s to say they wouldn’t have won WITH him? I highly doubt that Donovan would have caused a loss.

        I understand the GC is not a tournament with world powerhouses, but Donovan was head and shoulders above everyone in that tournament. Also, we DIDN’T bring our best team. It was, in fact, a decidedly B-side, only 6 of which made this 23.

      • Your clearly in love with him. Good luck with that.

    • Does this mean that Edu can play CB for the Union now??

  17. I’m honestly pretty disappointed to be reading a piece like this on PSP. I genuinely enjoy how often when there is a controversy of some kind brewing with the Union, you guys will look at all angles of it, rather than flat out saying something like “Hackworth should be fired” or doing something that will take a side on a story. This is the same kind of sensationalist stuff I have been seeing from multiple soccer writers on Twitter, and it has GOT to stop. This is almost British-like cynicism here with headlines like these regarding Donovan.

    We are all putting words in his mouth if we say that Klinsmann is preparing for the next World Cup. It is simply all speculation, and that’s what this article feels like: jumping to conclusions with a hot sports take. Disagreeing with the decision is one thing, and there’s plenty of room in journalism for that. There’s even room for some analysis on why he would have been good to bring or not good to bring, which was provided. But jumping to a conclusion like this…there’s no place for that. Nor is there any place for comparing what Jonathan Klinsmann said to what his father’s thought process was. There is no solid ground to link the two together. Let’s wait and see what Klinsmann says at the press conference at noon…perhaps there will be answers there. There was certainly some in that INSIDE U.S. Soccer interview with Klinsmann and Donovan. Look back on that, there was some interesting stuff from BOTH of them in that clip.

    Bottom line: this is a gamble. A big risk. That much we know for certain. But we also know this: for all he has done and for how great of a servant to US soccer he has always been, Landon Donovan is still one player. He is not even currently the best player in the national team picture. It’s going to take a team to be able to navigate Brazil. Was it a mistake to leave him off? We all have our opinions, but it’s the coaching staff’s opinion that is the final say and they have obviously seen enough to feel that he’s not. To say they are quitting on this World Cup is a BIG statement to make, and probably one that writers should not be making right now. There are other things to look at here beyond jumping to conclusions. If he was not deemed to CURRENTLY be one of the best the U.S. has, then Jurgen is going to have to own that. But only after we see the results.

    • Dan Walsh says:

      Well, I wrote this knowing that we had a broader piece coming from Jeremy Lane today. Sometimes, we write out pieces knowing what the overall content of the day will be for PSP. So I wrote a narrow, focused piece zeroing in on Donovan and Klinsmann. Jeremy put together the bigger picture. The two pieces are intended to compliment each other.

      That said … sometimes, you trust your gut when reading the pulse on the news of the day. On this, I felt it was very simple. Yes, I could have written a longer piece exploring the tactical implications of this (where does LD fit in a diamond? etc., etc.), but sometimes, you just keep it simple.

      And yes, it’s a big statement that I made, but I meant it that way. I read some analysts trying to be even-handed last night, even though they clearly thought this was a bad move. (Matt Doyle, for example, wrote a very good piece at MLSsoccer.com.) I’m not inclined to offer false equivocation. I am one of those people who genuinely believed the US COULD get out of their group, and I think the likelihood of them doing so just dropped drastically.

      • Hi there Dan. I appreciate you taking the time to directly reply! It’s nice to read a little bit of the backstory behind putting it together. If it’s a compliment piece to the more “even-handed” one that was planned, that definitely makes much more sense. I can understand that it’s about creating discussion and providing a little bit of reaction too.

        One question to follow up though: do you really believe the chances of progression HAVE dropped drastically because they did not include a guy who’s place in the starting XI was a question mark anyway? His fitness and form right now had been questionable so he may not have been the difference-maker we are used to seeing. Donovan himself admitted his consistency is not the same, and Klinsmann demands a lot from training, since that’s how he was coached in Europe.

      • Dan Walsh says:

        Yes, I do really believe that the US chances without Donovan are significantly worse than they are with Donovan.

        (I also wonder if JK is secretly banking on someone getting hurt so he can bring in a very motivated but very not entitled Donovan as an injury replacement.)

        And no worries on the direct reply. I try to read all the comments. We have some smart readers here. It makes for good discussion. As a writer, you learn from the feedback when you nail it and when you have missteps. (For example, I think this column would have been stronger if I wrote that JK was looking more toward 2018 than 2014, rather than giving up on 2014. A reader pointed that out on Twitter, and I think that’s a better way to say what I think.)

  18. I respectfully disagree, Dan. While I also would have taken him, (over say, Brooks for example), I can understand why Klinsmann didn’t, and I think it has more to do with the present than you’re giving him credit for.
    .
    Donovan has not exactly been lighting it up for the Galaxy this year. He has looked slow and out of shape. He more or less stated that he hasn’t been able to give it his all in training. For me, his experience and skill would win out, but I can understand why it didn’t for Klinsmann.
    .
    While I agree that this move is partly about blooding young these players for the future, I think it’s also geared towards challenging them in the present. Klinsmann is telling these guys to step up, show us what you can do, and is hoping that at least a few of them will respond with a performance. In fact, I think he actually BELIEVES that this can happen.
    .
    Is it a gamble? Absolutely. If we go three-and-out in the group the narrative is going to be dominated by Donovan being left out, and many will be calling for Klinsmann’s head. It will be a tremendous disappointment that will raise a ton of question marks. But right now, I don’t agree with the notion that JK is “punting” on the tournament.

    • I don’t think he’s punting on the tourney either but as Dan has written — there is no way this is the best 23 possible leaving arguably the finest, most clutch player the US has ever had in sunny Los Angeles.
      .
      Not even on the 23 man roster? not even a sit down with JK- “hey Landon you ain’t starting but be ready when I call your name because it is going to matter.”
      .
      We’re sitting on 3 points in the 68th minute in a tight 0-1 game against Germany and we need a goal — Jurgen looks to the bench for ‘that player.’ Is it going to be the boy from Bayern? Wondo?
      .
      because i’d be pretty happy asking Landon Donovan to score it.

  19. I’m in agreement that this looks like a big mistake. Even if not the player he once was, I’ll take his track record, experience, and the chance that he’ll deliver a few moments of brilliance off the bench over guys who don’t seem ready for the big time yet (Yedlin, Brooks, Green) or someone who happens to be left footed (Davis). A lot can happen in 4 years – I want the team with the best shot of winning in 2014.

  20. The Black Hand says:

    I think that Klinsmann made the right call. Donovan has experience, but his level of play is waning.
    .
    Go with youth. Build a strong club. It’s not like the selections are worse than Donovan.
    .
    Green is going to break out, in the fashion of Raheem Sterling!

    • Brad Davis can’t hold a candle to Donovan

      • The Black Hand says:

        At one time, you’re absolutely right. Now, I value Davis (beating players with pace) to Donovan (attempting to take on a defender, then flopping). Neither player has any real impact on the future of this team.

  21. OneManWolfpack says:

    For me, simply put, I think he deserved it out of respect. I think it’s more personal with Donovan and JK than it is soccer and I thought JK was better than that. I don’t hate what JK is doing, in fact, I like it. But to not have him as the last guy on the bench out of respect is a tough one to swallow for me.
    .
    With that said, this is a black and white decision. They bomb out, JK is gonna get killed… they make it to the Round of 16 (or better), he’s a genius! No middle ground here.

    • The Black Hand says:

      It’s the nature of sport. Players get left behind.
      .
      Landon didn’t exactly show the greatest respect to Klinsmann and the USMNT, when he “retired”.

      • OneManWolfpack says:

        Fair enough.

      • The guy played with less than a month off for 15 years straight! I can understand he needed some time to clear his head and get motivated again. Who knows if he had other personal reasons as well.

  22. Dick_Wolf says:

    Perhaps he saw in LD a waning desire to be his best, as has been noted ad nauseam. Perhaps he wanted to see some (read: any) fire out of LD after demoting him from the USMNT all together. Perhaps when he didn’t see that he wanted LD to give him a reason to put him on the plane outside of reputation and past success.

    Perhaps he’s the manager and picked the team he wanted.

  23. it’s about the team, not LD. his past performance has been great – his current performance good, but you can question his desire and his commitment, not to mention his ability to be a good teammate. he’s earned his ego but not sure that helps the team. not sure he would start as midfield needs to defend for team to advance, and if he is not starting not sure how good he would be coming off the bench, since he probably thinks he should be starting. other countries leave off big players for the WC, especially when they are older (like Tevez, Kaka, etc.) or are jerks (Nasri). our best chance is through the young guys with something to prove and I think JK would have made this decision with or without the extension. you don’t take a 3 month vacation to a beach if you believe you still have something to prove.

  24. Why am I one of the few not surprised? Why would the coach take a player to the World Cup who quit the game during qualifying?

  25. Dan Walsh says:

    As a postscript to this, I should note that the most plausible alternate scenario to what I wrote above is that Klinsmann is using this as a final motivational trick for Donovan, and he plans to call him to replace an injured player prior to the World Cup.

    Yes, that’s my most plausible alternative. I still give no credence whatsoever to the idea that Donovan is not one of the best 23. 😉

    • if he was intending to use him as a sub, maybe. is LD in your starting 11?

      • Dan Walsh says:

        As of right now, yeah, he is. But if Bedoya and Zusi significantly outplayed him in the friendlies and practice, he’d be an impact sub for me.

    • Agreed Dan….I wrote the same thing on some other sites….Think I put it on Klinsmanns’ twitter as well.

      Trying to make some logic out of it as well.

  26. Klinsmann a fun German!!!!! Enough fukn said….HE IS NOT AMERICAN!!!!!!!

  27. Fire the German!!!!! HE IS NOT AMERICAN!!!!!!!

  28. +10 Thank you Dan.

    I couldn’t of said it any better than that!

  29. Hire a German coach and that’s what you get. Ruthless and focused on what advances his master plan (in this case, the 2018 WC). This was about sending a message to current and future players, not about building a team for this World Cup.

    The fact that America’s best player of recent times lost his last chance to go to the big stage means nothing to Klinsmann, it’s not his country. I doubt his son’s reaction came out of thin air. Clearly that lack of respect came from somewhere.

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