Donovan “ready to go” for U.S. World Cup Qualifiers
Rest assured, Landon Donovan is “ready to go” and set to participate in the United States’ National Team’s upcoming World Cup Qualifiers against Antigua and Barbuda on Oct. 12 and Guatemala on Oct. 16.
Donovan was called up on Monday to the U.S. National Team’s squad by head coach Jurgen Klinsmann, who raved about the Galaxy captain’s condition during a 40-minute long conference call with reporters. Donovan’s participation in the U.S. squad seemed doubtful after last Saturday when he was forced to leave during the latter stages of Saturday’s 2-1 defeat to Real Salt Lake.
However, Klinsmann laid many of the concerns to rest during Monday’s conference call.
"We were in touch over the last few days, obviously. He was supposed to do an MRI this morning in L.A. and he skipped it because it improved a lot during the day,” said Klinsmann. “We spoke last night and he said that if [the knee issue] is even better in the morning then he would skip the MRI and come straight to Miami, which is the case."
"We have been in touch with [the Galaxy] medical team, our trainer Ivan Pierra (a member of the Galaxy staff from 1996-2007) knows everybody really well so they communicate back and forth,” added Klinsmann. “We communicated with Landon back and forth. So, first thing he comes in here this afternoon, we'll check him out, but as he said to us, the reason why he's on the plane [to Miami] is because it looks really good."
This is the first time Donovan has been called up by the national team since the U.S.’ victory over Mexico in an August friendly when the Galaxy captain picked up a hamstring strain that caused him to miss three MLS matches as well as the U.S.’ qualifying matches against Jamaica.
With Donovan finally back on track, Klinsmann admits that he may have to shuffle his lineup to find a place for Donovan on the field.
"[He will be used] definitely as an attacking player,” Klinsmann said. “If he comes wide or if he comes behind two strikers, what we need in these two games is to create chances and we need to score goals.
“Obviously, we are happy that Landon is part of these two games. He kind of shook off that knee issue that he experienced on Saturday night so he's ready to go, if he plays wide or comes through the middle, as long as we create chances and we score goals then its all fine with me."
Adam Serrano is the LA Galaxy Insider. Read his blog at LAGalaxy.com/Insider and contact him at LAGalaxyInsider@Gmail.com