PORTLAND, Ore. – Landon Donovan’s pursuit to reach his fourth FIFA World Cup is on.
On Monday, Donovan and Galaxy teammate Omar Gonzalez were named to the 30-man U.S. National Team preliminary roster ahead of the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil.
Donovan, who has shined at the World Cup with five goals in 12 games played, will be seeking to reach his fourth World Cup. Meanwhile, Gonzalez will hope to reach his first after bursting onto the national team scene a year ago.
After publicly stating his desire to go into camp with confidence, Donovan shined in LA’s 1-1 draw with the Portland Timbers on Sunday as Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena went as far as to label him as the “best player on the field."
Donovan, who told reporters in Portland that he intended to take two days to rest ahead of the rigors of training camp, admitted that he’s finally hitting his stride.
“I feel great. I feel fit and I feel sharp. I feel like I’m coming into form and I’m confident. I feel good and ready,” said Donovan. “I’m excited [for camp]. It’s a long month-and-a-half and there are a lot of pieces that go into it, but for me, it’ll be nice to be in camp and that will be the sole focus for the next two months.”
Although Donovan has yet to score his MLS regular season record-breaking 135th goal, the forward has started all seven matches this season for the Galaxy, tallying two assists. Meanwhile, despite being sidelined with a left knee injury that forced him to miss LA’s clash with Portland, Gonzalez has started six matches as the main anchor in the Galaxy defense.
With both players away, the Galaxy know that they’ll need to step up in their absence.
“We have players that have to step up to the plate and take the opportunities that will come their way,” said LA Galaxy forward Robbie Keane. “This is what it means to have a squad of players, we’re certainly going to miss those two, but it’s important that everyone pulls together. Whether you’re starting or on the bench, everyone has to be ready. It’s important that they all take advantage of the situation and make the most of it.”
“There are a lot of guys that have competed well and want minutes and this is their chance. We need to keep playing well and we need to get some results,” said Donovan. “Fortunately, we have a lot of guys with experience who have been waiting for their turn and it’s time to prove that they belong on the field.”
Amid all the chatter that says that Donovan may not be a lock for Klinsmann’s 23-man roster, the Galaxy and U.S. National Team stalwart is doing his best to stay focused on the task at hand—earning his spot on that plane to Brazil.
“I’m going to control what I can do,” said Donovan. “I’m going to play well and I’m going to compete, I’m going to be good in every way and at the end of the day, it’s not my decision, but I’ll do my best to make the team.”
Adam Serrano is the LA Galaxy Insider. Read his blog at LAGalaxy.com/insider and contact him at LAGalaxyInsider@Gmail.com.