Thursday, May 22, 2014

No sacred cows for Klinsmann - Donovan left off World Cup roster

A bit of a shocker from the US Men's National Football team - Landon Donovan will not go to his 4th World Cup. There had been some rumblings that the face of US Soccer might not be a guarantee to head to Brazil. Donovan had been struggling with some injuries and if anyone watched the ESPN expose on the national side there was some interesting statements from the player himself saying his body just wasn't able to keep up. But it is still a gutsy call from Klinsmann.

You mean to tell me that the US could not use a player of Donovan's World Cup experience to potentially come off the bench late in a game to chase a goal? Landycakes is clearly not the player he once was, and granted this blogger never thought he was that great a player then either, but he does bring some qualities to the side. US soccer fans all remember the goal he scored 4 years ago against Algeria to send the US through to the knock out stages.

Landycakes can probably not be count on for the full 90 minutes anymore. But leaving experienced strikers such as Eddie Johnson and Donovan off the roster, Klinsmann is banking that some of his less experienced players can make up for the loss in veteran leadership. With one of the most difficult groups of the World Cup - Ghana, Portugal and Germany - it seems a mistake to leave someone of the experience of Landycakes at home. Granted Klinsmann still has players such as Howard, Dempsey and Bradley he can turn to, but would have been good to have someone of the stature of Donovan as well - and a player that can come in late on to chase a goal! I just cannot imagine that there was not a role for this veteran on the roster. Coming from someone like me, who has been very critical of Donovan, says something!


John R said...

A bit disappointing, however I think everyone needs to get past it now. As a France fan you should know how damaging the media can be for a squad. Better to have the distraction now of him being cut, then the distraction during the cup when he is sitting on the bench.

GFC said...

I agree that having a distraction on the squad is not good for a team. Speaking of Les Bleus, taking Viera when he was clearly injured didn't help the Euro 2008 squad and keeping around an aging and less than useful Henry was not good for the 2010 World Cup side. But I think Donovan has something to bring to the squad. And unlike a France side, the US does not have a wealth of depths and talent. A big gamble by Klinsmann.