Donovan gives eye-opening TV interview discussing his state of mind and future

Photo by ISIPhotos.com

Landon Donovan has been opening up quite a bit lately discussing his current state of mind and his future in the sport. ESPN aired an interview on Wednesday night that showed a somber-looking Donovan talking about the uncertainty that surrounds his future in the game.

Here is a link to the ESPN interview, conducted by U.S. Women’s National Team legend Julie Foudy.

The video shows a somber Donovan who looks to be fighting just to get through the current MLS season. He looks like a player who needs a break from the game, like a person with too much on his mind to enjoy the game of soccer like he used to.

Watch the interview and let us know what you think. Starting to lose faith that we’ll see him be in the U.S. national team mix in 2013 and beyond? Think he just needs a break from the game?

Share your thoughts below.

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171 Responses to Donovan gives eye-opening TV interview discussing his state of mind and future

  1. TomG says:

    At a time where parts of the Eastern seaboard are under water, dozens of people dead and millions of others recovering from the biggest hurricane to hit the Northeast in a hundred years, it’s important to remember the real victims: ungrateful football players who make millions of dollars to play a game for a living.

    • mikeandike says:

      what are you doing reading a soccer blog then? Get out there and help out

      • Weaksauce says:

        @ Tom G

        At time when the Eastern seaboard is under water

        1,000,000 people just celebrated the SF Giants World Series Parade on the West Coast

    • Monty says:

      Why are you reading this article? You shouldn’t be reading a Football article when people are recovering from the biggest hurricane to hit the Northeast in a hundred years.

    • Ryan says:

      It’s not ESPN’s job, nor SoccerByIves’ job to report or talk about the aftermath of Hurricanes. Nor is anyone suggesting that this in anyway compares to the grief accompanied with such storms, save for you, angry internet commenter, who by way of leaving idiotic comments like the one above establish the only link between the psyche of Landon Donovan and Hurricane Sandy.

    • mr_coolio says:

      This is a SOCCER site, Ives lives in the area that was struck by sandy, I think he has some perspective in regards to the storm. Get over yourself.

    • Steve B says:

      @TomG, I think I speak for everyone in this entire country when I say our hearts are sincerely with those who suffered through Sandy, but whether we want it to or not, life goes on across our country. For students, doctors, waiters, and even soccer players. I think it’s time that we SBI Commenters stop comparing every unrelated happening in life as insignificant to the aftermath of Sandy (Aimed at all posters, not you specifically Tom).

      I have been a life-long Galaxy and USMNT fan, and I’ve come to realize that he’s given so much of his life to this game, he should not be faulted for feeling burned out. I don’t think he’s the selfish one for wanting a break, I think we’re the selfish ones (myself included) for expecting him to continue to give 110% for more than a decade straight, when his passion tank is running low right now.

      All that said, I think if Klinsmann handles this properly, LD will be back by next summer, energized and ready to make one last push and take the USMNT further than ever in the World Cup (Post 1932; when we tied for 3rd).

      • poonjason says:

        Amen.

        Nothing wrong with being tired and wanting a break. We all want a vacation from our jobs too.

      • Louis says:

        I agree he does not owe anything to anyone, I think he’s played this game at times trying to satisfy his critics and the fans, his stints in Europe, playing through injury on the National team, and so on. What I would give to have money in my pocket and just say, I can sit back and enjoy the rest of my life, he can do that and more power to him, the guy is burned out on Soccer, why would he lie about that, we are built different.

    • Kodi says:

      Go to the weather channel for storm coverage bro. This site is for soccer info. And like Mr. Coolio said, Ives is affected and seems to have perspective. That said, my thoughts go to all East coasters. Living on the gulf coast, storms like this have become the norm for us, and I can definitely sympathize.

    • THomas says:

      Come on TomG….you know better.

      • TomG says:

        Hellooooo!! It’s called putting things in perspective! LD is whining about how tough his life is (again). Juxtapose that with REAL problems. I really don’t think my comment is that difficult to follow. I’m not sure how you guys get, “don’t read soccer blogs” out of what I said, especially in context of the LD story. Weird. Do I really have to spell it out for you? Okay, here we go: L-a-n-d-o-n i-s a w-h-i-n-y b-a-b-y and him whining about his life at this particular moment, with all that’s going on is i-r-o-n-i-c.

        • Monty says:

          You misused the word “ironic”. And everyone understands what you were trying to say it was just a very obnoxious statement to make.

          • TomG says:

            No I didn’t and no they didn’t. You need to read everything again.

            • THomas says:

              Okay, okay, all else aside…You definitely misused the word ironic.

              • TomG says:

                No I didn’t.

              • PD says:

                LOL….

                from wikipedia:

                Descriptions or depictions of situational irony, whether in fiction or in non-fiction, serves the communicative function of sharpening or highlighting certain discordant features of reality. Verbal and situational irony are often used for emphasis in the assertion of a truth.

              • TomG says:

                Ugh, I can’t believe I have to spell this out (again), but I guess I do. No worries, education is important. Situational irony exists when there is an incongruity between the actual result of a sequence of events and the normal or expected result. During a tragedy, you’d normally expect people to appreciate the good things in life even more. Instead LD just keeps whining about how tough it is to be a millionaire playing a kid’s game, hence the incongruity.

              • THomas says:

                Correct…which is why he is stepping back from the game to reflect on the truly important things in his life like family.

              • Monty says:

                Your example doesn’t work because Hurricane Sandy has absolutely nothing to do with the story. You attempted to insert it into the story.

              • THomas says:

                Hence, no incongruity and no irony.

              • Pirithoos says:

                There is, however, some incongruity in TomG whining about Landon Donovan being whiny during the aftermath of a hurricane, isn’t there?

              • TomG says:

                Dear everyone: I’m terribly sorry that you don’t understand or are deliberately misunderstanding the meaning of irony, but I can’t spell it out more clearly for you and have no desire to continuously clarify your increasingly humorous attempts to twist what I’m saying. If there was an irony hotline that I could send you to, I would (but they would probably put you on hold). Best wishes.

              • jloome says:

                Someone talking about something good while something bad is going on is not ironic. Someone talking about something that is bad as if IT were good is ironic.

                No, you clearly don’t understand the meaning of the word.

              • Darwin says:

                TomG, I think that we all can agree what stubborn, and ignorant mean.

                When the two are dominant characteristics of someone, the sum does not equal its parts.

                So, do us a favor and swallow your pride and learn from what the SBI community is trying to tell you…the true definition of the word “irony”. Otherwise, to sum it up, you have these dominant characteristics.

            • Monty says:

              @Pirithoos There is always something terrible going on in the World. So we are always in the aftermath of something tragic. That doesn’t change the fact that people still have their own personal issues to deal with.

          • jloome says:

            Tom, it’s stupid because a) you’re assuming the interview was done yesterday, and not last week and b) she didn’t ask him about the f’ing flood.

            Christ, are you that desperate to attack someone that you need to point out Landon Dononvan has a pretty good life? I don’t even remember him saying otherwise.

        • David JS says:

          The problem is YOUR inability to put things in their proper perspective, not Landon’s. I’m 100% sure if Landon was in a setting where Hurricane Sandy was being discussed, he wouldn’t interject his own relatively minor problems into it. He is giving an interview to explain his prior comments as to his future. Why would you expect him to discuss anything else? It’s not like he sought out this interview as a platform to b!tch about life, people like those who comment here on SBI, including you, are the ones who want him to explain himself. Not to mention you have no clue about any of the circumstances surrounding this interview other than what aired. Get off your high horse, bro.

          • TomG says:

            I’m sorry that you don’t get irony. The world must be a very dull place for you.

            • David JS says:

              Nope, just didn’t find anything redeeming about your comment. Don’t feel too bad for me, there are real problems in the world if you haven’t heard…

              /irony

            • Jay says:

              TomG, you aren’t a very bright person are you?

            • Jamie Z. says:

              You’re fighting a losing battle, Tom. Your original post was pretty ridiculous and you’ve been lashing out against people’s justifiably mystified reactions to it with weak arguments and nitpicking. I’d say that, in the context of an interview with Landon Donovan about Landon Donovan, Landon Donovan acquitted himself very well and very reasonably without whining or doing any of the things you accused him of doing.

              Him refusing to answer candid questions in a sports-related interview due to a storm thousands of miles away would have been akin to me cancelling lunch plans with a friend due to the HIV/AIDS epidemic in South Africa. Perspective is a two-way street.

              And irony isn’t what you seem to think it is.

              • MemRook says:

                ^This.

                Thanks for that. TomG’s pompous attitude and condescending tone are really grating. I wonder if he has any idea that in all his attempts to seem more educated and informed, he actually comes across as a complete tool? Probably not.

              • TomG says:

                Well, you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him understand irony.

            • Lucas says:

              Dude, just stop!

            • Ben says:

              You been stupid and were called out, so deal with it. Situation irony is a weak understanding of irony born from the stupidity of the 1990s. It is not what irony is, hence the qualifier “situational.” Now, go away.

    • Ross says:

      Let’s also not forget people come to websites like this and watch sports in general for escapism. To forget about all the problems in their lives and have some fun.

    • MemRook says:

      (in reference to this comment and all subsequent replies you’ve made towards everyone:)

      Hey TomG, you DO know that for every person replying to you and calling you out, there are probably hundreds of readers who see every single thing you write. And every time you attempt to make yourself appear more educated or self-important, those hundreds of people are laughing at you, or in the very least shaking their heads.

      Just a friendly reminder, before you go inferring everyone needs more education etc. in regards to an opinion or viewpoint. It makes you look reallllllllllllllllllllllllly ignorant.

    • josh says:

      @TomG: Keep typing, it is definitely helping.

    • The Imperative Voice says:

      I take what you’re saying up to a point, having rode out two of these things, the most recent being Ike. You have no power, no water, no gas, no cell service for days if not weeks. The rest of the world goes on. The US is that big a country.

      But, let’s be real now, his timing could be better in the big picture, but you’re talking about a seemingly heavily troubled person with concerns that due to his importance to club and country, are fungible and time-specific. Divorce, motivational issues. He may be trying to talk them out by speaking with the press. He may just be trying to explain himself to people watching his form erode.

      And there is also the Altidore-esque question of messages being sent through the media, eg, “can you just leave me out for November and January,” perhaps. We are about to call up Russia game players. He waits to make you happy and maybe Klinsi calls him up before he gets around to it, then we have another Chandler situation, people’s personas and public pressure tied into everything.

  2. Tom says:

    TomG

    Thanks for your comment. I was just starting to forget about my hometown getting washed into the Ocean. Tell me when its time to stop wallowing in my misery.

    • TomG says:

      You need to stop feeling sorry for yourself. There are grossly overpaid football players who are struggling with real problems here!

      • Joe says:

        Comment section hijacked!!

      • DanO says:

        Give it up already man. The only thing worse than Landon’s whining is your carrying on about how “ironic” it is… Lame

        • TomG says:

          What’s lame is accusing people of carrying on when they are simply correcting people who didn’t understand what they wrote. I’d be happy to stop when people like you stop misunderstanding me!

          • DaveInSLO says:

            No, TomG. We understand. You’re terrible. Now go away.

            • TomG says:

              Sigh, there’s just no getting through to some people.

              • whoop-whoop says:

                I find it ironic that someone can be confronted with a barrage of opposing comments, yet instead of acknowledging the possibility that he is ridiculously out of line, sees it as a mandate to educate everyone else about their ignorance. TomG, the wisest thing you posted today is that there is no getting through to people. True that!

              • MemRook says:

                Now THAT’S irony!!!!!!!

              • TomG says:

                Wrong is wrong, dude. I could really care less whether the whole world disagrees with me or not. The bottom line is that a whole bunch jumped on me for criticizing the story and the blog and that’s a ridiculous misunderstanding of what I said. The whole slew of folks who pretend to know what irony is but clearly don’t….. well, that’s just fun for the whole family. So, sue me if I get a kick out poking fun at some people. Is that the worst thing in the world?

          • DanO says:

            @ Tom G

            Whether I agree with you or not is not the issue. The issue is that you are incessantly carrying on here. Take the hit and move on.

            • TomG says:

              Hahahaha! You’re keeping it going, yet telling me to that I need to move on. Hmmm there’s a word for that. If only I could think what it is….. This is fun.

              • MemRook says:

                No. What’s fun is all the credibility you’ve lost on this site from now on. Anyone who has read what you wrote today can’t and won’t take anything you say henceforth seriously any more :)

              • DanO says:

                @ TomG
                Dude, you have posted a comment at: 12:50, 1:29, 1:35, 1:36, 1:41, 1:46, 1:49, 1:58, 2:07, 2:18, 2:19, 2:33, 3:04, 3:05, 3:08, and 3:14…. I’m not even going to look below here… I stand by my lame comment.

              • THomas says:

                The word for that would be hypocritical, not the word that shall not be named.

          • jloome says:

            Again, this is sad. They DID understand you. It just wasn’t funny or ironic. You’re in denial, thinking the ONLY way that could be the case is if they misunderstood you.

            Denial is a terrible thing.

  3. mikeandike says:

    the new info I gleaned from the interview was the rift between Klinsmann and Donovan. LD made is seem as if Klinsi is questioning his commitment to the team and the true extent of his injuries.

    Furthermore, at one point Donovan referred to the USMNT as “that team”-which means that Donovan has put up a barrier in his mind between himself and the team (otherwise it would be “this team,” or “our team”)-he no longer feels a part of the USMNT program, whether due to his lack of desire, or injuries, or rift with the coach, or all of the above. At this point I would bet on Jozy returing to the USMNT before Donovan does, if he does at all in 2013…

    • Tony in Quakeland says:

      EXACTLY. And I don’t know why this is not being discussed. It is clear Donovan feels dissed by JK. You know what, managing egos and feelings of players is part of doing the National team job. Klinsmann should be doing a little outreach and damage control to the guy who has done more for US soceer than anyone.

      • Old School says:

        You know, Donovan talked a lot about people questioning him based on his physical injuries, fatigue, etc.

        That’s his perspective.

        However, I think 95% of fans (perhaps including Jurgen) aren’t questioning the physical side of Landon. They question what’s most obvious: his heart and obvious wavering desire to play the game, not just with the Nats but the actual game.

        JK doesn’t need to be Donovan’s Mother and hug him. Landon is a grown man…if he doesn’t have the desire to play the game, no manager is suddenly going to rekindle that flame.

        JK also isn’t Jozy’s babysitter. If he’s requested he play harder, play within the system and play for his teammates and Jozy declines or doesn’t show the willingness to do so….JK is doing exactly what he should: expect a professional to be professional and appreciate representing your country as a privilege. If you don’t? You’re not called up.

        While I respect your opinion, Tony in Quakeland, I’ve grown quite tired of the continual apologists to someone that barely has the desire (Landon) and another who routinely struggles with effort and perhaps appreciation (Jozy).

        I get the whole “managers need to be man managers too” but what you and several others (who have quieted down with good reason) are forgetting: JK is in fact man-managing. As in not calling up players that lack the desire or professionalism to perform. That’d be disrespectful to the other 22-23 players in camp to do so.

        That’s man-managing, you just don’t see it, appreciate it or respect it. That’s on you.

        • Shane says:

          It is $hitty man-managing. Bradley, Moyes, Arena didnt/dont have this type of problem with Donovan. It is likely Klinsmann’s ego that is the problem here.

          • Old School says:

            Shane, Shane, Shane.

            If you’re comparing the player Donovan was for the managers you’ve mentioned to the one JK inherited, posting a logical reply to something so ridiculous is completely pointless.

          • Josh D says:

            Donovan hasn’t shown committment since Klinsi’s day one. Donovan is slowly morphing into the whinging player he was when he first started off.

            It was he who put himself into this position by heading over to England to play for Everton when he needed a break. If he wanted to go over there and prove a point, go over there and prove your point. Playing two months isn’t enough to say “See I could have succeeded.”

            He’s been a big fish in a small pond for far too long and now that his role as the supreme USMNT player is winding down, he’s having a tough time dealing with it.

            But the fact is, the team has moved on. Klinsi doesn’t have time to waste away with Donovan. He has tried and the team can’t be held back by Donovan. We’re trying a new system and bringing in new players. We’re a better team with a committed Donovan.

            But playing Donovan now gets us nothing more than the kind of performance that saw him subbed out of the Mexico game.

          • The Imperative Voice says:

            One thing I’m gonna put out that people seem to omit is the guy’s barely had a break in years, done here, go on loan there, accept a callup here, hence he has all these different coaches you’re comparing. He’s lucky he didn’t blow an achilles like Beckham, or a knee like Gonzo, and that we’re just discussing a worn down player with some knocks and illness and motivational issues.

            Which to me is where Klinsi comes in, he was promoting this whole loan-a-rama, I think he under-estimates the wear and tear of the overall scheme, and in particular a MLS season. People need their rest. If you don’t get it body and/or mind break down. I mean, I used to want time off after a club or HS or college season…..but he’s like Mr. Indispensable to everyone. Maybe he wants to be a little less foundational to all concerned. Or maybe he’s just over it.

            Now, you do that, you’re trading quality of life for soccer. But he has played a long time and it strikes me as reasonable after playing since he’s 18 to ponder whether he’s had enough fun.

            FWIW, Jordan quit, Schumacher quit, they both came back.

            • Old School says:

              I don’t believe people are omitting the reason behind his obvious fatigue.

              I also am not willing to blame JK for this either as Donovan did this before JK even became manager.

              In fact, many of us that loved to see his loan move (and were hoping it would become a permanent move) with Everton were questioning the logistics and wear and tear on his body….Beckham was also referenced as an obvious downside to this, at the time.

              If we could go back and look at SBI pre-World Cup, you’d see a large amount of people loving the ambition but questioning the sanity and fearing losing our best player.

        • Bob34 says:

          I don’t post much but that was a friggen awesome post!!! I guess I must be ‘old school’ too…

        • BigDogg says:

          Difficult players exist in every sport; they have also on championships in every sport. Shaq made a habit out of using the regular season to play his way into shape (routinely struggles with effort) and won 4 championship rings. This year’s world series MVP’s weight falls somewhere between overweight and obese. On a team that has been notoriously rich in character and heart, there is a point where you can work through one or two difficult players without losing the locker room. I would hope everyone can agree that the inclusion of Jozy and Landon doesn’t put the USMNT in danger of a “France at the World Cup” style fiasco. If Klinsi is attempting to send a message to Jozy and Landon, that may be useful to the team moving forward. If instead this is Klinsi’s first step in moving forward without two of our most talented players, then I would be seriously concerned about the future of the team under Klinsmann’s watch.

          • Judging Amy says:

            A well reasoned post BigDogg. To counter, I’d say that the sports and situations are different (and no offense but Jozy and LD aren’t comparable talent wise to an all time great in his sport like Shaq).

            In absence of knowing what actually goes on behind the scenes (it could be that Klins is a terrible manager with a huge ego and has alienated good players that could contribute, or it could be that these good players are being complete divas and no manager would be able to coddle them into being good contributors for the team, or it could be that neither of those is true and its a less dramatic situation), I personally give Klins the benefit of the doubt while not necessarily faulting the players for the situation.

        • babygotback says:

          Wow, you just got to bring Jozy into this. You are such a Klinsy lap dog. Old school you too funny.

          • Old School says:

            Appreciate the hate.

            I didn’t bring Jozy up, I responded to his name being referenced and cited his case as a perfect example of “man management”.

            Your JK hatred clearly blinded your reading comprehension, unfortunately.

      • smokeminside says:

        Tony, Mikeandike, I agree with you both! But it’s not being discussed here because there’s a clusterfk going on about the true meaning of irony. Where’s Wayne C. Booth when you really need him?

    • David JS says:

      He wants to feel the love he got when he was THE indispensable guy for the USMNT, because he’s gotten it for the last 10 years when he was that guy. All it will take for Landon to be happy again is an olive branch for Jurgen to make him feel the love again. Very good point.

  4. JJ says:

    Let him take about 6 monthes to recharge the batteries and im sure he would want to come back.

    • jim morrison says:

      Take off the rose colored glasses, JJ

    • Old School says:

      Being away from the Nats (previously and currently) and having another true off season will hopefully do wonders for him physically, emotionally and mentally.

      If not, I hope his ride off into the sunset is peaceful. He’s earned it.

      • downintexas says:

        Well said Old, he needs a break. Taking a break in my opinion is no way, shape of form a lack of commitment to the Nats.

  5. Anthony says:

    I have no sympathy for Donovan. Don’t broadcast your worries/anxieties over a teary-eyed interview. The whole interview is set up to make us feel bad for the lad.

    • Monty says:

      Donovan is one of the few athletes who is very open about his emotions. He isn’t looking for sympathy he is just opening up. I rather have someone who like Donovan than here most athletes spout off cliche after cliche.

    • David JS says:

      Right, because I’m sure it was Landon who was begging ESPN to give this interview so he could b!tch about his life. Get real, it’s people like those here on SBI who wanted to know where his head is at, so don’t get all self-righteous now that he’s been honest with us.

      • jb says:

        +1.

        I think the combo of his divorce plus having to deal with more serious injuries for the first time is what’s bothering him. I’d bet that a full offseason of rest and a long vacation would do him wonders. I’ll still be surprised if he isnt back for brazil 14.

  6. Kevin_Amold says:

    All this stuff is noise to me until after this offseason when he’s had a chance to rest.

  7. ChrisTheLSUTiger says:

    A lot of people have been jerks about the Landon situation.

    Donovan has been the star of American soccer since the age of 20. 10 years now he has been expected to take the dreams of US soccer on his back with no one else (until Dempsey’s recent great run of form) to back him up. His body is taking a toll. He’s tired. Can you blame him? Who amongst us can say that we understand his position? No one.

    Donovan is frank. He tells it like it is and you guys act like this is some sort of fault. Fans accuse him of acting a bit off and when he comes out and explains why he feels off, people jump his ass. Back off. Donovan has done more than enough for the US program to merit respect from US fans, respect that I feel many here aren’t giving him.

    When has Donovan not given it all for the US? Meaningless friendlies? Look at the 2002 WC, the 2010 WC, Confed Cup, 2007 GC, and essentially every competition the US has played in and who have we relied upon to make the big plays? That’s right. Landon Donovan. I’m no pro soccer player, but between starting every game for the past 12 years and having to do international duty, travel, and play one of the most taxing positions on the field, I think the man has a right to say, “yeah, I’m exhausted.”

    So what if Landon quits? The US moves on. His career can’t last forever. Is he an asset to the team? Absolutely, and the US plays better when (a healthy) Landon is on the field. I want him to suit up for us in 2014. I only wish him the best from now until then, and I hope he finds whatever inspiration is necessary to rejuvenate him and get his mind right for the big dance in Brazil. Until then I will continue to support him, as he has more than earned my respect with what he has given us throughout the years.

  8. T$ says:

    Didn’t care 2 years ago, last year, last week or today.

    LD-go eat some lamb pizza and shut up.

  9. Jimmy Bobo says:

    Did it appear to you that Donovan’s eyes were bloodshot as if he had been crying? I thought there were tears in those eyes. I watched him play the other night against SSFC and it looks like his confidence is totally gone. He didn’t look to have his typical pace and he would not take defenders on one-on-one. He needs a nice long rest. In the end, I think that Donovan and Klinsi need one another. If there is a rift then I suspect we will see a rapprochement.

    • atd says:

      Maybe he’d been crying because those two Robbie Keane misses the other night cost him the MLS season assists title. (Agree with you about the pace; but remember it was his first game back, and he was still plenty effective. Agree with you about JK also.)

    • The Imperative Voice says:

      Perhaps this is where we talk about the fact he’s crested that magic mark of 30, and is a player with one aspect of his game being that he is like a distance runner in soccer cleats, and if he’s breaking down and losing speed, he needs to start shifting towards the technical and lunchpail sides to stay relevant. You know, goalies and David Beckham (to a lesser extent) can keep playing when the wheels fall off because they offer a “very specific set of skills,” a la the Taken movies.

      And the thing is, I bet he’s already Mr. Takes Care of Himself and Works Out, at which point all he can do is adapt and play Old Man Soccer. Learn to pull and tug and nudge like the rest of us. If he can’t stand that type of play then maybe it’s just about over.

  10. THomas says:

    It’s incredible when he says that he could go at less than 100% and get by, because he can. He can win an MLS Cup and he can play with quality in the EPL while giving less than 100%. That’s incredible to me.

    The quality that he still has, and has always had, is of course missed. But if he were to take a few months off, do his thing, and come back at 100% for part of the Hex, Gold Cup, Everton transfer, World Cup…the best could be yet to come with Landon.

  11. BCC says:

    LD is going to be 40 years old, wishing he could still play the game. I know he is in the midst of an existential crisis but I think he is losing sight of the fact that his time as a professional athlete is relatively short.

    Hard to know what you’ll regret later on when you’re 29, 30 years old.

    • skyman says:

      Great point. I myself am torn between sympathizing with LD, and appreciating the honest, to feeling disgusted that anyone would take for granted those golden years of opportunity to play for the USMNT.
      In the end, it’s probably best to try to see it from his perspective: He’s burnt out, for good reason. He hasn’t had a legitimate break for many years. I say let him rest, take the Peruvian ayawaska retreat, and hopefully come back better than ever.

  12. barnie says:

    the last thing u need on the nat’s is a player that does’nt want to play no longer. Landon has done a great deal for u.s. soccer, and we should be grateful for that. Hopefully he’ll come back better and stronger, maybe a sports phychitrist (sp) would help. Notre Dame has a great one!

  13. Rowsdower says:

    At the end on one of the bits last night my wife with a disgusted look on her face says “grow a pair, landycakes.” I don’t think that is the response Donavan was going for.

  14. KC Gunner says:

    LD comes off as a smug, self-centered chump in this interview and the one he did w/ Grant Wahl a while back. He just wants to be alone, wallow, and then bestow on the world his experience? Please. I’m so sorry you’ve spent your whole life doing something most others would give an arm to do and making a truckload of money for it!
    That said, riches don’t make someone suddenly not a human being or remove a person’s right to feel normal human emotions like sadness, fatigue, etc. If he’s really lost perspective so thoroughly, then he should step away for a while. Maybe he comes back, maybe not, but he isn’t helping LA or USMNT to keep going in such a state.
    I’ll also buck the trend a bit and say I’m with Klinsi on the USMNT stuff and don’t buy LD’s perceived slights. Yes, he’s made a huge contribution to US soccer, but that doesn’t mean JK has to coddle him when he’s (a) injured (b) not at his most committed by his own admission and (c) bereft of any perspective on his life in general. The best thing for the USMNT is for JK to put some distance there, even if it hurts LD’s feelings for a while. Let LD figure crap out while the team progresses without him bringing them down. Invite him back into the fold later on.

    Lastly, everyone on Twitter should follow @saddonovan. Hilarious.

    • Judging Amy says:

      “I’ll also buck the trend a bit and say I’m with Klinsi on the USMNT stuff and don’t buy LD’s perceived slights. Yes, he’s made a huge contribution to US soccer, but that doesn’t mean JK has to coddle him when he’s (a) injured (b) not at his most committed by his own admission and (c) bereft of any perspective on his life in general. The best thing for the USMNT is for JK to put some distance there, even if it hurts LD’s feelings for a while.”

      Who says all this drama is happening? LD says some pretty vague stuff which could be interpreted in many ways, one of which could be a rift with Klinsmann. Why do so many feel the need to branch off into Team Klinsmann, Team LD camps?

      I swear when you girls get together… worse than a sewing circle.

      • downintexas says:

        No I don’t think JK needs to coddle him, But LD has had some health issues this year. And JK has talked alot about commitment and desire to play for the NATS. Not sure if that was directed at LD but LD might have picked up on that, or they had a personal conversation. Either way JK is suppose to be this great sports psyc he needs to watch his words.

  15. Monty says:

    He will probably be back at the start of the next MLS season. He doesn’t strike me as a player who would retire early.

  16. gigi says:

    landon just needs to get laid. he needs attention. i hate it, absolutely genuinely HATE it when players do this.

    thanks for what you have done landon, but we must and will move on.

    • Dimidri says:

      So if he said a bunch of trite cliches and lied to us that would be better?

      People want athletes to tell the truth until they don’t like what they’re saying. He’s not trying to get attention, I guarantee you ESPN approached him and he said sure why not. He’s just speaking the truth. He’s tired, he’s played with the USMNT since he was 18, he’s been the face of US Soccer for almost as long without really wanting to, he’s played probably more than anybody in the pool the past 3 years with their club team, he turned down a call-up with the nats to win a championship and got shat on for it, people constantly hate him for staying in the US when in reality I don’t think he even wants to anymore and hasn’t for a while but MLS won’t let him go.

    • Old School says:

      Well, he’s already planted his seed in England. Perhaps we can hope he makes it to the World Cup to plant his seed in Brazil too.

      An English and a Brazilian offspring of Donovan could be epic 18 years from now.

  17. Gary Page says:

    Most athletes would love to represent their country in one of the biggest sporting events in the world watched by billions. While I understand he has played a lot and done a lot, he gets paid $2 million for playing a game. He is set financially for life because he was lucky enough to be athletically blessed. Meanwhile, in the real world, 20 million in this country are unemployed or under employed. Close to one in 6 are in poverty. When I was his age I had already served 4 years in the Air Force, put myself through college and grad school via work and scholarship and just gotten my first real full time job, making $10 k a year (probably the same as $30 k now). I find it hard to sympathize with these spoiled athletes who find it difficult to be motivated. Is it any wonder that so many athletes can’t handle life after sports because they are used to being coddled and can’t handle the real world? I always liked Donovan as a player, but give me a break.

    • Monty says:

      I really hate this type of argument. Should I never be upset about something in my life because someone probably has it worse? If someone has a tough day at work should they not complain because well at least they have a job? Or if they get dumped by a significant other should they not be saddened because at least they aren’t living in poverty? Everyone has their issues to deal with no matter the age or income.

      • Judging Amy says:

        Agreed. This type of piddling resentment towards the successful is poisonous. Its a crappy mentality infecting our country more and more every year. Celebrities are no longer human, athletes are no longer human, the rich are evil…Kurt Vonnegut’s Harrison Bergeron nightmare coming to life.

      • Marco says:

        Agreed. Another part of Gary Page’s argument that is always disrespectful is ignoring how hard many athletes do work at their craft. Yes, Landon was blessed with ability, but it wouldn’t mean a thing if he didn’t have the same or greater amount of work ethic Gary Page used to put himself through college. Landon has obviously put many, many, many hours into become a great soccer player. Being upset for him leaving that “ability” on the table and not using it until it’s gone (i.e. body break down) is one thing. But, criticizing him as if he hasn’t done anything but skate by on born talent is ridiculous.

  18. 2tone says:

    Time for Klinsmann to look at other options while still staying in contact with Donovan. Klinsmann and Donovna need to sit down and have a heart to heart in January. Find out if Donovan is ready to committ fully to the USMNT these next two years, or decide that it may be in the best interest of the USMNT program to part from Donovan for a little bit if not forever.

    Will always be grateful to Donovan, and he will continue to be one of my favorite players to ever grace the USMNT program if he decides to hang up the boots.

    Gatt, Pontius, Bedoya, Shea, and possibly Gyau and Deleon have all just seen their stock rise in the USMNT picture.

    • The Imperative Voice says:

      Without getting into the whole commitment discussion and its fairness or lack of same, his recent unreliability does suggest we should be working on Plans B and C. And there is a question based on the Antigua/Guatemala set of whether Klinsi is thinking far enough down the depth chart that if certain people aren’t up to it, who does he go to next, or does he just perseverate.

      I also think we in his absence have some definite issues at CAM and/or wing mid. Bad enough where like Chandler and wingback, you might want to cut serious slack because the next options are a serious drop off.

  19. Ben says:

    There’s no question that Landon has been stuck inside his head, badly, since he was a teenager. He’s a very thoughtful guy, but has never been a macho nor well-grounded type.

    So I really do ask how much this could be explained as simply the reactions of a guy who miraculously went through 25 years of soccer without any serious injury, and has found out recently that he is human after all. Having never been heavily injured before, he has no understanding of the limits of his body (and so assumes the worst — that he’s not what he used to be). Physically he has two more years at peak before the physical decline really kicks in. Finish those, then move on, Landon.

  20. ex_sweeper says:

    LD has been extraordinarily free of injuries over his career, particularly considering how many hits he takes. He has never had a lengthy rehab for a major injury. Considering that he started playing professionally when he was 16 and went on several loans during MLS breaks, that’s a lot of soccer mileage. So if he says he needs a break, that’s very understandable. Accept it and move on.

  21. LA Andy says:

    The especially strange comment by Landon for me was the one about whether the other USMNT players even want him there anymore. Seemed a very strange thing to say given his prior dedication to the team. Why would they suddenly turn on him just b/c he had a slightly injury-plagued year?

    This told me that either he’s clearly fishing for sympathy or there might actually be a serious rift between him and the players that we don’t know about.

    • LA Andy says:

      Which if there is a rift between other USMNT players and him, that’s a much bigger issue to deal with when/if he ever decides to return to the team.

    • The Imperative Voice says:

      That sounds like a depressed person. Period.

  22. STV says:

    It’s really too bad that disagreeable guys like Landon Donovan and Tim Howard are the faces of U.S. Soccer here and abroad. Here, they do nothing to dispel the obnoxious stereotype that soccer players are whiny pouts, and abroad that they’re suffering from delusions of grandeur.

    I’d love to see more personable players like Graham Zusi and Kyle Beckerman gain a higher profile and represent U.S. Soccer to the wider public. Sure, they’ve got to play on a level that Donovan has, but here’s to hoping they will and that they eclipse guys like Donovan.

  23. jeff says:

    So much hate for a guy that you want to play every USMNT match. The guys being honest and speaking to the fans. Nothing wrong with it, the guys is human, he doesn’t owe you a thing.

  24. Rey Pygsterio says:

    I thought this was a very intelligent interview.

  25. primoone says:

    *cough..p***y…

    • biff says:

      ha-ha-ha…oh, man. I disagree totally with that, but, just can’t hold it in… ha-ha-ha…don’t know why…

    • Yo-Joe says:

      I agree. I’ll always appreciate his goal vs Algeria in the last World Cup, but his namby pamby-ness is annoying. Just play, or don’t play.

  26. em says:

    Donovan never reached his potential because he is a player with limited drive, at this age he should be playing in Europe and fighting to get his team into a world cup not sulking. That interview summed up his career, he could have been better but he lacks the drive that makes players great. I’m sure Messi etc. have issues in life, as does every human, but the great players have another gear I desire to always give their best, Donovan lacks that.

    • Peter says:

      Totally agree!!! This is the best player the USA has ever produced and he lacks ambition!!! If he only had the drive of Dempsey we could only imagine the global star he could have become. We can maybe compare him to Messi in that he has had his country’s pressure on him since he was 20. Also I’m sure he has problems as well i guess its on how we all deal with issues. I watched this interview with my Daughter and she asked me why is he look like he’s crying? He gets to play soccer for a living!!!

      • Monty says:

        I have always thought Landon Donovan was too sensitive. In many walks of life sensitivity is an admirable quality but, not for a professional athlete.

        • MLS_Soccer_Talker says:

          Hate to agree..But Yes. Donovan lacks the ambition, that propels him through obstacles and to reach new heights…Sigh..He’s always had the talent… but he never wanted out of his “comfort zone”…. I think since he has tasted success with Everton at the next level… he feels “comfortable” playing there and therefore wants to play only for Everton… Then you see a guy like Deuce… who plays with a chip on shoulder and with the desire to prove himself at new heights….. Donovan lacks that!!!…

    • Josh D says:

      I agree 100%.

  27. beto says:

    football is an exhausting and emotional game at times and he is burnt out!!! Thats what it will do to you when you play like he has the past few decades. I think his managers (Arena, Bob & Jurgen) and agent should have stepped in and been less demanding at times but it was his choice.

    I hope for a break after the playoffs and a summer transfer, 2013 Gold Cup Return and 2014 World Cup send off! Keep your head up and exit in style not like this…

  28. elmatador says:

    his divorce played a huge role..no one would understand that unless you’ve gonne thru one, but it is one of those situations that can make you or break you. He says he’s human(and he is), I don’t think he’s been able to overcome his divorce just yet. I mean, a girl like Bianca is pretty hard to top, but maybe he just needs some time to himself, do some soul searching and find another hottie while he’s at it. And yes a few laids here and there certianly wouldn’t hurt him.

  29. DaveInSLO says:

    It’s hard to know if LD is just tired, burned-out or distracted by other issues outside of the game. If it’s just exhaustion from the game, the best advice I’ve heard is you never want to make an important decision when you are angry, tired or hungry. Maybe a little time is all he needs, but I do agree with BCC above: You don’t want to be 40 years old trying to remember why on Earth you hung up your boots in your prime. If he wants to pack it in, that’s fine. I hope he is at peace with his reasoning and not just bored with the moment.

  30. H94 says:

    Am I the only one that doesn’t think pro athletes are overpaid?

    • Monty says:

      I don’t think pro athletes are overpaid. With the large amount of interest sports get players should be able to benefit the most from it. You rarely hear people complain about how much say Leonardo Dicaprio or Lady Gaga gets paid.

      • mikeandike says:

        by definition, pro-athletes are not overpaid, not any more than hedge fund managers, other well-to-do types. They all operate in a free-market, there isn’t a government mandated minimum million-dollar plus income level for pro athletes. If they were “overpaid” then thousands of similarly or better abled people would gladly step in and take their jobs for a fraction less pay. This would then continue a downward spiral until athletes were “properly” paid on a global scale-witness what has happened with manufacturing in the US vs China & mexico over the past 15 years…

        Some would argue that the union sets the pay level so high, BUT the leagues also operate as monopolies in each given sport (with anti-trust exemptions), thus collective labor vs league monopoly is a fair match-up of market forces in pro sports…

    • THomas says:

      I agree that they are not. They are paid what the market is willing to pay them. Fact is none of us can play soccer at the level of Donovan (obviously) so of course he deserves to get paid for what only a small fraction of Americans can do. Same goes for surgeons, engineers, etc.

      Plus, if we all thought they didn’t deserve to get paid so much, we wouldn’t spend so much to go watch and support them. So they get paid exactly what they should get paid. I agree w/ H94.

  31. Mac says:

    Seems more like a goodbye to LA then a goodbye to soccer. He defiantly will be calling it quits for mls, its if he goes to Everton or not.

    • MLS_Soccer_Talker says:

      Yeah, that’s how perceived it as well. Seems like he is tired of MLS. Understandable… But, then he rambles on about the his USMNT team mates questioning him… that I don’t get…

  32. jb says:

    I have never understood all the hate towards LD from fans. He has been the most productive player ever for the Nats (you cant argue with the stats – most goals/most assists) and he has been playing for club and country for 10 or 12 straight years. That’s a lot of miles. Then add in the mental stress of being the face of American soccer, which he did his best with, but doesnt seem to have the personality or ego to handle. That has to be a drag. So now he’s burned out and needs a break. I for one don’t begrudge him that at all. I have a great career but I sure as he** get burned out too. The fan in me hopes he can pull it together for Brazil 14, but if thats not what he wants, I get that too. And btw, it pisses me off when I hear this “landycakes” sh**. I guess fans can say what they want, but it just seems ignorant considering how much he’s given the USMNT over the last decade.

  33. Nick says:

    No one is forcing him to share this info with the general public. If he had already made the decision to step-away from soccer/US nat’l team, then a subsequent interview about his reasoning would seem logical. Fans would be obviously interested; however, that is not what he is saying nor doing as of yet.

    So what is the point of imparting this info onto the public and fans other than for some other self-aggrandizing reason?

  34. Charles says:

    You know when I guy keeps telling you what he thinks over and over and it seems like he is trying to convince himself he actually believes it.

    That is LD right now. How many times can he say, I can walk away anytime ? If one were comfortable with it, they would tell no one.

    Of course there is something that no one seems to be mentioning. Contract negotiations. LA has money. LD wants money. Keane is worth how much more than LD ? Why ?

  35. MLS_Soccer_Talker says:

    When Teary-Eyed Donovan, says in the interview that team mates question his genuineness and wonder if he is faking injuries…Does this allegation even have any substance??! …I find it hard to believe that anyone would openly say that in the locker room…I think it’s all a fabrication in his head.

  36. RedCard10 says:

    Sad to see Landon Donovan question whether the National Team wants or needs him. Really sad.

    • MLS_Soccer_Talker says:

      The USMNT does need/want him. That’s why he was called in during the Qualifiers (but couldn’t play due to injury)..

      He’s is just creating these “they don’t need me. I am no good to them” fabrications in his head..

      It seems to me that Donovan is seeing that he no longer is “The Guy” on the team. The USMNT no longer needs him to carry the team like they did years ago and I guess he feels not needed anymore.

      Although we have proven that we can play without Donovan; he could still be a big asset to the team going forward. The USMNT simply doesn’t need him to put the team on his back anymore… maybe Donovan has a hard time dealing with this?

      • RedCard10 says:

        Overall, I agree. He may be going through a bit of depression with the injuries and realization that he no longer is the main man on the National Team. I just find it sad that he of all people questions his ability to contribute to the team he worked so hard for the last 10+ years. This situation must be the result of some “knowns” and “unknowns.” Donovan has too much quality not to be in the mix for 2014. When fit, he, at the very least, should be coming off the bench late in games to make an impact. Though he could be fabricating things in his head, I believe there must be something else going on here. Klinsmann isn’t the type of coach to embrace this kind of attitude (just listen to his interviews where he talks about guys making choices to train more and not stray from strict routines). He comes from a footballing culture that doesn’t tolerate this type of public self-analysis. We are seeing all this come to a head now, I think. And when Donovan met up with the team during the last qualifiers even though he was injured, that was an example of him feeling like he had to make the effort and show up to ‘prove’ he cared. Even if he had a good idea he wasn’t going to be able to play. Just an unfortunate situation all around. If Donovan takes a break, I hope it does him some good. And I hope Klinsmann doesn’t write him off. FYI, I am a big Donovan supporter and Klinsmann supporter.

  37. Mc says:

    my question is the same after i read articles like this. Landon, why is it anyone’s business but your own? There are probably a thousand players out there thinking the same way, but don’t give several interviews about it. You are a legend of US soccer, true fans are behind you, whatever your decision, but they don’t need to be involved in every detail of the thought process leading up to it.

    • biff says:

      even as a big Landon Donovan who last week was touting him as the next USMNT captain, I tend to agree with you. As long as there is a chance Landon would totally commit to the USMNT for WC 2014, then it is probably not a good idea to be spilling your guts in front of the whole world (and your club and national teammates). The fact that he is doing it now is starting make me think that maybe subconsciously he has decided the end has come. And/or it might be that there are serious issues involved that he should talking to someone about in private.

      Bottom line for me: I hope he can get it together and become a part of the team for the trip to Brazil, but if not, well, life goes on and his void in the USMNT will be filled (as voids always are).

  38. Carlos says:

    I believe the real issue here is that everyone, including myself, expected LD to continue being the ambassador of soccer in the US by playing late into his 30’s(much like Del Piero). I can understand him being exhausted of having to carry LA and US on his shoulders for so long. He hasn’t been given the respect he deserves by the media and maybe JK. This is a guy who will go down as best American player, at least top three, to date. His wishes should be respected. The question of LD whining and lacking heart comes from him refusing to go overseas on past occasions to REGULAR European ball( not just a loan). Unfortunately for him it will be one of the things he will be remembered for. LD is still good enough to be a critical piece in 2014, just has to be managed correctly.

  39. pancholama says:

    Coach Arena once said on the air, when asked about Landon’s potential, and about recent comments he [Donovan] had made, (not an exact quote, but close) – “With Landon you always have to keep in mind, that it is most always all about himself.”

    Landon is self centered individual – he gets interviewed, feels cornered, and he doesn’t want to have be beholden to anyone, or live up to others’ expectations and his heart-mind closes down and he doesn’t realize the impact of the things he says – he starts to “relate,” and talk about his feelings and he loses perspective as to how his thoughts and words affect his national team, his team-mates, his coaches and most of all the fans.
    He take a lesson or two in how to keep his public persona this side of PR perfect by listening to David Beckham.

  40. Nick says:

    I agree with @Mc.

    I’ll freely admit to not being a LD fan. But I do agree that he has done more than his share for MLS and USMNT, and does not have any obligation to the fans to continue playing if he does not want to.

    All that being said, I don’t think he needs to be a) publicly sharing this process looking for sympathy and b) dragging the process out. If you don’t want to play anymore fine, make the announcement hold all the interviews you want and then lets all move on. This kinda continual hemming and hawing seems more like attention seeking.

    Make a decision and be done

  41. WorldCitizen says:

    This came as zero surprise at all. Donovan may have done quite a bit for the Nats, but he’s lacked the mental toughness and hunger to go further that has characterized better players like Dempsey and Bradley ever since he first got homesick as a teen in Germany. Props to the guy for his accomplishments, but at the same time, Lando’s career will ultimately be defined more by a lingering sense of “what might have been” than by anything he’s actually done. The U.S. needs to be looking to the next generation in a big way right now, because we’ve relied much too heavily for far too long on this too-timid reluctant wunderkind who tends to disappear in games at least as often as he’s ever dominated them. New (and stronger) blood is needed, and it is needed soon!

    • Todd says:

      Hey I have an idea…how abbout we thank him for his time and move on. I as much as anybody would love him to get recharged and play in the world cup but if he is done..then he is done.

      He has meant a tremendous amount to the program and to soccer in the US but he is/was one of many. We didn’t over rely on him more then we did on Brian McBride, Claudia Reyna, Tab Ramos or any of the world class goal keepers we have produced. They were the best of a generation at their positions…and none of them has ever been replaced. Think about it…okay maybe we have done it with goal keepers. The problem is that we don’t have the player base yet…and one can only hope for the future.

      We can say that these guys along with others, for sure, have lifted the awareness of soccer in this country and have paved the way for all Americans who have played abroad. AND that includes Landon regardless of how many of his attempts failed or even succeeded. So thank you Landon Donovan for all your good work.

      Now the bigger question….who’s next? Who will elevate and inspire the next generation of of budding soccer stars. Who will break all of Donovan’s records…because history tells us it will happen.

  42. beachbum says:

    it’s pretty clear that some see Landon one way and others see him another. He’s always had a massive group of folks who can’t wait to call him soft or whatever no matter what his accomplishments, nothing new here.

    The belief from anyone that the US team is better off without him reveals much. IF there is a rift between him and Klinnsman I think it’s hilarious to accuse LD of being the problem after his career service to USSoccer both internationally and domestically, without actually knowing the situation. Just more revealing BS form the same crowd as usual.

    no surprise LD is burnt. this happens, it’s normal. His entire professional life going back to his teen years he’s been THE face of US soccer. needs a break, get revitalized. Being away from the game is EXACTLY the medicine to reboot the fire, my opinion.

  43. Sarasota says:

    It is hard to fathom that Landon Donovan, the most talented player in US soccer history, would choose to end his great career with such a whimper. How can a soccer player of his quality not be excited about ending his career with the World Cup in BRAZIL????? It would be a perfect exclamation point to his glorious career!

    Sad and very disappointing!

  44. Dan says:

    Donovan is just brutally honest and doesn’t BS at all. Tells it like it is. If only more athletes were like him. No canned answer crap from him.

  45. Liga says:

    Landycakes.

  46. chris says:

    Does LD have any foundations, academies or charities which he runs? Like Steve Nash or Becks. I think this guy needs somewhere else to channel his energy and passion. He looks and sounds depressed; mid life crisis stuff.

  47. ChuckinBham says:

    The man has been called many things by many people, but one thing he has NEVER lacked has been commitment. Now, +10 years into his prof career and for the first time having to battle injury knocks, he is uncertain’ about his playing future. Are you kidding me???? OF COURSE HE”S UNCERTAIN! I’d be more worried about his mental state if he wasn’t contemplative.

    He does not owe us (US soccer fan) ANYTHING, actually, quite the contrary.