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.