CARSON, Calif. -- Landon Donovan could not hide his disappointment from being excluded by the U.S. National Team for the 2014 FIFA World Cup, but the 32-year-old refused to allow the shock to envelop him.
Donovan spoke to the media for the first time on Saturday ahead of Sunday's match against the Philadelphia Union where LA head coach Bruce Arena has already declared that he'd be available to play. In a nearly 15 minute discussion with members of the local and national media, Donovan said plainly that he did not agree with the U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann's assessment that he was a step below his teammates at training camp, even going as far to say that he "not only thought [he] was part of the 23, but thought that he was in contention to be starting."
Much of the conversation regarding Donovan's exclusion has centered around a potential personal issue between himself and the U.S. boss and on Saturday when asked if there was an issue, Donovan revealed his thoughts.
"I thought that if I was only judged on what happened in camp, I deserved to be in Brazil," said Donovan.
But now that Donovan is back in the white of a Galaxy uniform instead of the red, white and blue, he's only looking at the future.
I think it was very important for me, from both a personal and a professional perspective, to address it and speak about it, but after today I won't be speaking about it anymore," said Donovan. "I want to focus on the Galaxy and doing what I need to do here, and I really urge people to support the team, because going to a World Cup is an unbelievable experience, and there's a lot of guys who are going for the first time, and they need support.
"There's a lot of guys who are going for a second or third time, but it's still such an exciting experience, and I don't want there to be a negative tint to any of this. We're all professionals. We're all men, and we have to handle things like this. I think it's important that we support our team and support our nation. They need us."
More to come.
Former U.S. National Team boss Bruce Arena gives coaches' perspective to cutting players ahead of World Cup
CARSON, Calif. – Landon Donovan’s omission from the U.S. World Cup roster is still sending shockwaves through the American soccer universe.
In my latest piece for LAGalaxy.com, I get the Galaxy’s reaction to Landon Donovan’s ouster from the U.S. National Team’s World Cup squad.
Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena, who led the U.S. National Team to the 2002 and 2006 FIFA World Cups provided some insight to reporters on Friday about the coaches’ perspective when making cuts for a World Cup.
“When coaches make decisions, you’ve got to support those decisions unless they’re proved otherwise. The last thing that I’m going to be is a Monday morning quarterback like everyone else in this world,” said Arena. “These are hard decisions, I’m sure that Jurgen has his reasons for it and you’ve got to respect that. It’s never easy. If it was my decision, he’d be on the team, but it’s not my decision. I have to leave at that. Only time tells if these things make sense or don’t make sense.
“In all fairness, I’m going to tell you from the coaches’ perspective, I’m not going to listen to one fan about how the team should play or you people [reporters]. Not to disrespect, but it’s our job to make those decisions,” he added. “You make those decisions and you live with them. That’s the decision that he made. He has his reasons and that’s in his realm of responsibility about how he wants to articulate that and move his team forward.”
There's no announcer in American soccer quite like Ray Hudson and on Friday, the always vocal Englishman sounded off on Landon Donovan's exclusion from the U.S. National Team at the 2014 FIFA World CUp.
In an interview with Sirus XM FC's "The Football Show" the former Miami Fusion and D.C. United head coach and current beIN Sport announcer stated that Klinsmann had missed the mark by excluding Donovan.
Listen to the interview -- which may be my second favorite Donovan reaction to this site from former MLS Digital member Shawn Francis -- below.
It was no surprise that Landon Donovan's exclusion from the U.S. National Team's 23-man squad for the 2014 FIFA World Cup was the hottest topic at Friday's press conference on the campus at Stanford University.
During the nearly 30 minute long press conference, Klinsmann stated that he felt that other players were a "step ahead" of Donovan at the time being but was quick to mention that the Galaxy forward is eligible to come in as an injury replacement by virtue of the stand-by list. Klinsmann also addressed the incendiary tweet by his son Jonathan which directed at the Galaxy forward.
Donovan will be available for Sunday's LA Galaxy match against the Philadelphia Union according to LA head coach Bruce Arena.
Check out Klinsmann's press conference below.
CARSON, Calif. – Landon Donovan will be available for the LA Galaxy for Sunday’s match against the Philadelphia Union.
The message was loud and clear from LA head coach Bruce Arena who addressed the media a day after Donovan’s shock exclusion from the U.S. World Cup squad. Arena told reporters that he was “disappointed” and “somewhat surprised” by the move to drop Donovan but was quick to declare that he’ll be available for the match on Sunday.
“I expect Landon to be available on Sunday,” said Arena. “He’s doing well given the circumstances. … I would think that he’ll be available to play on Sunday for sure.”
Thoughts on Donovan playing?
CARSON, Calif. -- Lost in the shuffle of Landon Donovan's shock exclusion from the 23-man U.S. National Team's squad for the upcoming 2014 FIFA World Cup was the addition of LA Galaxy center back Omar Gonzalez.
The 2014 FIFA World Cup will be Gonzalez's first after the centerback became a regular -- alongside Sporting Kansas City's Matt Besler -- with the U.S. during the Americans' strong qualifying campaign. But whether he'll start still remains to be seen as head coach Jurgen Klinsmann has a variety of options including the versatile Geoff Cameron and John Anthony Brooks who could all start come June 16.
But I leave the question to you: will Gonzalez start against Ghana?
CARSON, Calif. — The disappointment is understandable for LA Galaxy forward Landon Donovan.
On Thursday, the Galaxy stalwart who has starred in three World Cups with the U.S. National Team was not named to the Jurgen Klinsmann’s 23-man U.S. roster for the upcoming 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil. The squad will include his Galaxy teammate Omar Gonzalez who will be making his first ever trip to the world’s biggest stage.
Donovan was named as an alternate along with the rest of the seven players cut for the squad. Hours after the announcement, the forward who has scored five of his 57 U.S. National Team goals at the World Cup issued a statement via his official Facebook page.
“It has been an honor and privilege to have represented the US National Team in three World Cups. I was looking forward to playing in Brazil and, as you can imagine, I am very disappointed with today’s decision,” Donovan said in a release on Facebook. “Regardless, I will be cheering on my friends and teammates this summer, and I remain committed to helping grow soccer in the US in the years to come.”
Is Landon Donovan's career with the U.S. National Team over? Who knows.But if it is, then what a ride that it has been.
In my latest piece for LAGalaxy.com, I look back at Donovan's accomplishments with the USMNT.
After Thursday's shocking news, take a look at all 57 goals and 58 assists that Donovan tallied in a U.S. shirt.
Check it out below.
Jurgen Klinsmann on omitting Landon Donovan from the World Cup: "One of the toughest decisions" of his coaching career
Landon Donovan is not heading to Brazil and in an interview with U.S. Soccer, Jurgen Klinsmann discusses Landon Donovan's omission.
Klinsmann calls the omission one of the "toughest decisions" of his coaching career and admits that Donovan took the news "professionally" but was "crushed" by the news.
Check out the video below and leave your thoughts below.
CARSON, Calif. – There will be no fourth World Cup for U.S. Soccer’s leading goal scorer Landon Donovan.
Donovan, 32, was not named to U.S. National Team head coach Jurgen Klinsmann’s 23-man roster for the upcoming 2014 FIFA World Cup. However, the forward will have an opportunity to join his Galaxy teammate after being named as a stand-by list. The announcement will deny Donovan, who currently leads U.S. Soccer in goals scored (57), assists (58), the chance at adding to his tally of five World Cup goals.
But before we wonder what is next for Donovan, let’s look back at some of Donovan’s greatest accomplishments as the face of U.S. Soccer.
FIVE GOALS IN THE FIFA WORLD CUP
There’s no secret that Landon Donovan has always shined brightest on the biggest stages.
In the World Cup, the striker from Redlands, California has starred by tallying five goals which is more than international superstars Cristiano Ronaldo, Robin van Persie and Lionel Messi combined. The goals all came in the most important moments as Donovan tallied goals in World Cup goals against Poland and Portugal in the 2002 FIFA World Cup as well as three goals in the 2010 FIFA World Cup against Slovenia, Algeria and Portugal.
ICONIC MOMENT: ALGERIA
But who can forget his epic last minute stoppage time goal against Algeria, a goal that remains a true watershed moment for American soccer and the American public as a whole.
The goal came with the U.S. teetering on the brink of elimination as the U.S. heaved numbers forward in hopes of breaking the scoreless deadlock. The moment appeared to come slowly for Donovan who was able to smash home a deflection in the penalty area to send the Americans through to the knockout stages for the first time since 2002.
Who could forget where they were when that moment came? As national attention swirled around Donovan, MLS and U.S. Soccer. Some even going as far to say that the event could have been the biggest moment in the history of American soccer.
Now what's next for Donovan?
Share your thoughts below.