Klinsmann: Donovan USMNT return not guaranteed

KlinsmannDonovan (ISIPhotos.com)

By IVES GALARCEP

ARLINGTON, Va. – If you were expecting Landon Donovan to just walk back into the U.S. Men’s National Team set-up easily, think again.

U.S. Men’s National Team head coach Jurgen Klinsmann sounded like a coach who isn’t totally convinced just yet that there is a place on the current U.S. team for the all-time career leader in U.S. national team goals.

Donovan returned from his lengthy sabbatical after missing a trio of U.S. World Cup qualifiers, and his time away from the team (which included missed games in 2012 due to injury) has left some real questions about just how he fits into the team at the moment.

“There are questions,” Klinsmann said in a media gathering near Washington. “Looking back now in the last two years we’re in charge of the program we’ve seen a lot of players coming through and making big impacts, showing that they are a thousand percent committed to the cause and to the team and built themselves strong positions.

Donovan’s impressive performance in the Galaxy’s 2-0 win vs. Sporting Kansas City provided a reminder about the quality that he can bring to the table, but Klinsmann was careful to point out that Donovan’s time away from the national team has allowed other players to move past him in the team’s pecking order.

“Not talking out names, but there are players clearly ahead of Landon Donovan in how we see things,” Klinsmann said. “Again, things will develop over time. We see now how he will do in the next couple of weeks, months, and we’ll look at the entire picture and make our calls.”

While Klinsmann wouldn’t come outright and say it, some of his comments about Donovan seemed to suggest that he wouldn’t necessarily be a comfortable fit on the team now after featuring in just eight of the team’s past 25 matches, and missing the team’s past eight matches, including three Hexagonal Round qualifiers.

“We observe what the players are doing in camp, how we’re going through that stretch of very difficult qualifying games. We see the chemistry of the team developing and we try to have a clear picture of every individual player and what they brings to the table in moving this team forward,” Klinsmann said.

“Most of the time (Donovan) was not part of that process,” Klinsmann said. “That was his choice, and I totally understand that, and it’s no problem, but at the same time we’re moving forward at our speed.

“There is a chemistry being developed of a group and you always have to feel where this whole thing is moving towards, and he hasn’t been a part of that development of this team most of the time over the past two years.”

When asked whether an in-form Donovan would be tough to keep off the team, Klinsmann made it clear it will take some time for him to work his way back into the conversation.

“It’s not down to one game, where you score one goal and say ‘I’m back on the team’. It’s not working that way.

“We’ll observe him like we observe all the other players over the stretch of the longer period and then we’ll decide if he’s part of that picture or not.”

Klinsmann and Donovan have not spoken since Donovan returned to action with the Galaxy, even though Klinsmann attended the Galaxy’s recent win against Sporting KC, a match that Donovan delivered a goal and assist in.

 

“We spoke at length at the end of January, where he said he didn’t know yet when to come back,” Klinsmann said. “Obviously he made this choice to come back at the end of March when we were busy with Costa Rica and with Mexico.

“I’m just glad to see him back on the field,” Klinsmann said. “He’s catching up and is trying his best. I’m watching, and I was actually at that (LA Galaxy-Sporting KC) game.

“Down the road I will make my decisions in terms of who I see in front of him in the depth chart we have,” Klinsmann said. “In terms of where we see him right now in terms of the roster and then I will decide whether to bring him in or not bring him in.”

So is Klinsmann serious or just posturing? More importantly, who exactly are these players currently ahead of Landon Donovan on the USMNT depth chart? Based on Klinsmann’s comments, it sounds as though concerns about team chemistry are a bigger obstacle to a Donovan return than his competition for a roster spot.

If Donovan returns to dominant form with the Galaxy, it will be tough for Klinsmann to leave him off the U.S. squad, but if Klinsmann’s concerns about team chemistry are legitimate, even good form might not be enough to earn him a call-up in May.

What do you think of Klinsmann’s comments? Think he has a point in being hesitant to bring Donovan back? See the team being able to win consistently without Donovan?

Share your thoughts below.

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230 Responses to Klinsmann: Donovan USMNT return not guaranteed

  1. Yusef says:

    Fair enough.

    • keithbabs79 says:

      Agreed. Same goes for Holden. However, we are definitely a better team when both of these individuals are in form.

      • Hogatroge says:

        But the crucial difference is that Holden never chose to leave the team.

        • whocares says:

          The crucial difference IS understanding the sabbatical, or acting like a vengeful 2-year old and leaving him off the roster if/when he becomes the best wing option

    • The Imperative Voice says:

      He couldn’t have watched his last game, and you’re talking about a player rounding into shape and form.

      Klinsi is outsmarting himself, a 90% Donovan is better than most options we have in the midfield and forward. And the idea he wouldn’t be at least on the bench boggles the mind.

      • the unmistakeable Ronaldinho says:

        Agreed. Even if he isn’t in the tip top form he is still good enough to be on the roster. If his concern is chemistry with other players….How can he build chemistry if you keep him locked out?

        • The Imperative Voice says:

          Team chemistry? He’s played with most of these guys for years, and I don’t hear any complaints about How Dare He Go Away Then Come Back being voiced in the press. And it’s not like he’d be breaking up some goalscoring machine, they had a poor Honduras game, a goal off a richochet almost against CR, and then a goalless draw in Azteca, which while a positive result is not how many goals we managed starting Davies and Donovan in Azteca last time.

          I mean, I understand giving him the Chandler, earn your spot treatment, but this is abstracted nonsense. He could say that without getting into shaky speculation about how a NT stalwart will somehow throw off the chemistry.

          Last thought, on a basic level he supplies speed and fitness on the wing — attributes we need — that players like Zusi cannot supply. He then supplies roughly their finesse, but without the physical limits of a pure finesse guy. Easy decision, really. I understand a little tough love but no sense tossing away credibility by suggesting Zusi or Williams or EJ is actually better, or will have better chemistry.

          • the unmistakeable Ronaldinho says:

            I’m hoping this is just tough talk from Klinsmann to show that he is in charge. Leaving Donovan off the roster, assuming he doesn’t have 4 terrible games between now and then, would just seem vindictive for many of the reasons already stated.
            1) LD is better than the players we have been using
            2) He fills a huge need for the US team’s attack (wing play, creativity, speed, work rate, ect)
            2a) He scores goals. We have really struggled to create chances much less score goals.
            3) If the concern is team chemistry…How can Donovan build this chemistry if he isn’t called in?

            • Sam R. says:

              I totally agree. Klinsmann is trying to show that he is the boss and nobody is indispensable (even though in reality they may be!). I think he just wants to make Donovan work like the dickens and make Landon feel like he really needs to earn his spot. If Landon focuses on performing on the field and staying out of the press, then I think he will be back.

  2. Old School says:

    …and that’s the way it should be. Honestly, it’s up to Donovan to make himself such a force that Klinsmann can no longer ignore and/or or *not* call up.

    A lot of the elements Donovan brought to the Nats have been missed, there’s no doubt (ask Jozy, who’s numbers have drastically declined since his absence).

    Whether or not Donovan still has these traits, is able to find his form and can utilize them ahead of Brazil is another question.

    In a perfect world, Donovan lights MLS on fire and helps make our side less stagnant but nothing is guaranteed and I’m absolutely ok with that approach (for all players).

    • ChiTown says:

      Ditto,

      • Blokhin says:

        can you each explain the difference between LD and Chandler-why does one get a pass and the other does not?

        • Grant says:

          LD has carried US Soccer for over 10 years. His overall body of work gives him that pass. However, with Klinsmann’s comments he points out that LD doesn’t have an automatic ‘pass’.

        • AzTeXan says:

          There is no rational explanation other than the fact that LD is a Diva and his fanboy following enable him to do as he pleases. At least this behavior isn’t on the heels of him putting his former Diva teammate on blast in a best selling book for doing the exact same things.

        • SBI Troll says:

          One plays featured for his club team over long stretch of games and starts regularly in a top 2 league.

          The other missed preseason, missed important WCQ for personal reasons, and is now starting to become match form. He also hasn’t featured for a national team in almost a year.

        • Josh says:

          Because LD has proven for the past 10 years he’s the most important player on this team. Chandler hasn’t proven anything in his call-ups so far. Seems pretty clear cut

          • CroCajun1003 says:

            thank you.

          • WJ Marx says:

            Klinsmann has his ego on high speed forward and his brain in reverse. Initiating a pissing contest is silly, adolescent & destructive.

            Donovan has been & remains the USA best player. His exclusion from USMNT at this time would be tragic. After kissing Chandler’s butt, a mediocre talent, for 2 years Klinsmann cannot possible think that threatening Donovan is a good idea.

            • Eurosnob says:

              When the team needed help for their wo toughest road qualifiers (at Honduras and at Mexico) and a tough home game against Costa Rica, Donovan declined to play even though the team was decimated by injuries at his position. What do you expect the coach to say? Should he say, “Boys, I have to cut one of you who were in Honduras and Mexico for the critical WC qualifiers and at the snowstorm battle against Costa Rica so that Landon can ease back to his starting spot?”

        • David M says:

          Chandler is German — hence the pass.

    • Colin in MT says:

      Well said Old School

      Klinsmann has been consistent. He didn’t call Jozy when he felt his performances for the Nats were lacking. He didn’t call Bocanegra when Boca wasn’t getting playing time for Santander. He doesn’t put a single player ahead of the team.

      We’re still a month out from the next call up. Klinsmann can’t say he’s going to call up Donovan after a month of games. It would send the wrong message to the players.

      I also tend to agree with the posters below who bring up Chandler as an example of Klinsmann’s inconsistency. However, Chandler is a young up-and-coming dual-national who plays a position of need.

      • Riggity says:

        Yea, JK has been consistent but I will be interested to see if he stays true to what he says. I would guess Zusi is ahead of him? Gross. I’m all for paying your dues to work your way back and show you are dedicated to the cause but LD showed last match Zusi can’t hang. All I gotta say is that Donovan better be on this team before Brek Shea is again. LD is about to get a great stretxh of matches to help him regain his fitness while Shea will be luckily to get 2 more appearances before the season ends. I’m sure Shea will be called into camp to help him get ready for GC & WCQ and if that’s the case Donovan should be there too.

      • biff says:

        Am I understanding you correctly, Colin in MT: Are you saying that Klinsmann has been and needs to be consistent with all players except with Timothy Chandler, who deserves special treatment because he is a young up-and-coming dual-national who plays a position of need? In my opinion, that sort of preferential treatment for Chandler, who does not appear to real popular among fellow USMNT members and who put Gonzalez on the injured list for 9 months ruining a golden opportunity for him to move to Europe, does not sound like a very good way to bolster morale in the USMNT locker room.

        • Colin in MT says:

          That’s not what I meant biff, but I can see how it would be taken that way.

          I began commenting about jurgen’s consistency and then read more comments which brought up chandler. I couldn’t make the argument that jurgen was consistent without mentioning chandler. I should have just left it at jurgen was inconsistent with chandler and not come up with possible reasons for the inconsistency.

          Point taken

          • biff says:

            okay, Colin in MT. when I read it the first time it seemed that you were advocating that different treatment for Chandler. Now on a second read I see you are explaining why Klinsmann might be treating Chandler differently. And that might be the case. But for whatever reason he is doing I still think it is wrong and potentially bad for the locker room.

      • TomG says:

        Their biggest need is width, so LD fills a much bigger need than Chandler did, so I’d say there’s a bit of inconsistency with JK.

    • AzTeXan says:

      Of course JK will say this and act tough, but like the other LD fanboys the only question JK will have for LD is whether he should use syrup or jelly.

      PS I hear LD prefers syrup.

      link to youtube.com

    • kelso says:

      What should be guaranteed is that if you are the best option, in form, and willing to do the work, you should be in the selection.

      We’ll see if Klinnsman agrees or if there’s some ego to play a part as well.

      The team chemistry excuse is blarney. As others have pointed out he’s called in players last minute and had them play in key matches (e.g. Beasley).

  3. the unmistakeable Ronaldinho says:

    Seems like posturing to me. Obviously, he can’t get back on the team with 1 good performance. With that said, I’d be very surprised not to see Landon on the roster next month. The variety he gives us in attack is something we have sorely lacked. Unless LD puts in some real stinkers between now and decision time it would seem vindictive of Klinsmann to leave him off.

  4. Dinho says:

    I respect JK’s position, but if LD continues to improve his performance, he should probably be brought back into the fold. But, at the same time, LD is not exactly Mr. Popular with all of his teammates (on any squad), so I also get the team chemistry thing.

  5. filfisher says:

    And why should he be guaranteed a spot? He’s only one of our many playmakers on a team whose offense seems to be humming along like a Ducati.

    Wait, WHAT?!

    • Hillbilly Gusto says:

      Agreed. The USMNT needs to shift its focus to developing a decent keeper for once.

      • lprevolution says:

        Noooooooo stop the sarcasm. Trolls! We need a couple more holding midfielders to try out.

    • Michael says:

      + 1 Maybe JK should look at our recent offensive performance, or lack thereof, before he makes such statements about LD.

    • Bobb says:

      I know, right?

      Maybe if Klinsmann knew how to put together a successful offensive plan he could make these sorts of declarations without looking like a joke.

      Who is going to keep Dononvan out of this team? Zusi? Torres? Kljestan? Don’t make me laugh.

      • kelso says:

        I do like how JK refused to name any names. Obviously no coach would ever name players in this situation, but this is funny because if he did he would get laughed out of the press conference. As if we have Gareth Bale runnin down the flanks

      • Jason says:

        McInerney

  6. James says:

    For the next two home games I won’t be surprised if ld isn’t there. But there’s no way he’s left off later on when it’s crunch time.

    • Dinho says:

      Assuming he continues to play well, I agree.

      • Michael says:

        That’s like saying ‘assuming the earth continues to rotate.’

        • CentralScrutinizer says:

          Donovan has been a consistent performer for so many years, but he was clearly rusty and lacked confidence in his first couple of games back for LA. He did not look like a candidate for an automatic call-up for the US. I missed the KC game, where I understand his play was much improved.

  7. Zaqataq says:

    That’s good coaching, but Donovan is still the most indespensible player on the USMNT. He’ll be in Brazil.

    • Marvin says:

      exactly! JK has to say this, its all part of being a coach. When JK needs him he will be there without a doubt, if things go well without him he will at least be part of the Gold Cup but if things start to crumble than expect him to be called up for qualifiers. In the end, LD>Zusi

      • MiamiAl says:

        +1 Klinsmann is playing this perfectly. Both for the team, and lighting a fire under Donovan. Klinsmann sends a clear message to all parties concerned.

  8. Joshua says:

    I like Graham Zusi, but his fifth gear = Donovan’s third gear.

  9. Ryan nanez says:

    I like JKs stance, but we all know that with continued game time LD is more than likely to make the roster. Plus in my opinion LD on a bad day mixed with not having played in months is still better than Zusi and I’m a person who highly rates Zusi probably the only one besides Gonzalez and besler I rate from mls

  10. Tom says:

    Please, if Donovan is in form there is no way he keeps him off the roster in June. I can’t see 10 players on recent 23 man rosters more important than an in-form Landon.

    • PanchoMiguelMoralesdeConejo says:

      Fer sure….Klinsman just cracks me up. “clearly ahead” so let me see…in last 6 WCQ games here are the starters on the outside:
      MEX Zusi – Gomez
      CRC Zusi – Gomez
      GUA Zusi – Johnson (Gomez up top)
      ATG Zusi – Johnson (Gomez up top)
      JAM Zusi – Torres (Gomez up top)
      JAM Jones – Gomez (in the famed every DM we can find formation)

      So…Who exactly are you sold on Herr Klinsmann? Zusi? Gomez? Are you enthralled with the 1 goal they were able to produce over the last two games? Or maybe its Johnson who was ailing a bit in the last pair of games who is your preferred starter on the outside – after all they were able to post 3 goals against Guatemala at home…

      Face it coach K…if you can’t coach tactics you need individual brilliance and Landon paired with Duece will give you the best we have to offer. Is it worldclass…maybe not…but it’s the best we got.

  11. Joel says:

    Well he allowed chandler to return. Don’t see many players better.

    • Blokhin says:

      that’s completely different! why? well, because…I’ll let the Klinsi fanboys explain, they seem to explain away everything else he does

      • CroCajun1003 says:

        I don’t see why it would be in JKs best interest to shun any player for any reason. This isn’t high school basketball. This is big business top level athletics with top level athletes and a lot of money on the line.

        Klinsman has bosses, his bosses have bosses. Everyone has fat in the fryer. Everyone gets rewarded for wins and punished for losses. JKs job is on the line and his next job is on the line. He’s gotta put himself in the best position to win. Sometimes that means conceding to divas.

        LD is the most prolific scorer in the history of the national team. He’s the most creative player in the field and is by all accounts the missing attacking spart JK has been desperately needed. JK really has no bargaining chips to play hardball.

        Timmy Chandler is an incredibly promising prospect that’s won a starting roll in the bundesliga in his early 20s. At a time when the talisman right back who’s held down the position for many years is near the end of his career, turning your back on a prospect like Chandler, a guy who could potentially end up being one of the top RBs in world football, would be absolutely insane.

      • Kevin_H says:

        Is this ‘fanboy’ talk going to start taking over the site? God forbid someone’s a fan of something.

      • Al17 says:

        ROFL!!!!

    • broadsthooligans says:

      Chandler’s a bit younger and theoretically has a longer shelf-life in the national team so it’s not an exact comparison, but there’s no way Donovan isn’t back on the team come next summer. He might not be here for the next game but he’ll be around soon.

    • Jordy says:

      1-Chandler’s return came while Cherundolo was injured and we were incredibly thin at right back, right after we almost didn’t make the hex, and going into the black hole called el Olimpico in Honduras. Not a bad time to call him up. 2-He’s young, he plays in one of the top leagues in the world for a pretty good team, and he has to defend some of the worlds best goal scorers on a weekly basis. Some pretty good qualities to have if you want to make a World Cup run. 3-He told the States no because he had a slight chance of playing for world super power Germany, not because “he didn’t love playing the game any more.” Things didn’t work out with Germany, tough luck for Chandler. Still doesn’t destroy his chances with the MNT. Donovan decides he could care less for the US team during the most competitive qualifying cycle ever, then wants to come back just when things are starting to look up without him? Yeah, I’d be sceptical too.

      • EspinDOHla says:

        Well, we’re not exactly bursting at the seems with quality playmakers are we!?!? I don’t think it would be a stretch to say we are actually “incredibly thin” at that position as well.

      • Lil' Zeke says:

        Jordy you’re out in the group stage (at best)

        • Jordy says:

          At this point, even with Donovan, I would still consider making it to the group stages as an achievement. Not trying to be negative, just realistic. And I didn’t say I wouldn’t accept him back, I’m just saying its two different players in two different situations, so I would be cautious to throw him right back into the mix. And speaking of Mixx, I would love to see him there to be one of those quality play makers.

          • kelso says:

            Yeah it is different, and I give LD a lot more leeway.

            According to Kevin Baxter of the Los Angeles Times, Donovan has averaged one game every eight days for 12 years. It’s no surprise that he needed a break. “The feeling I have right now, I want to last,” he said. “And I’m gonna work very hard at making it last so that I can still play this game and enjoy it and contribute, hopefully to numerous teams.”

  12. heyduck says:

    Altidore Gomez
    Dempsey Bradley Holden Donovan
    Johnson Gonzalez Besler Cherundolo
    Howard

    Guzan
    Jones
    Zusi
    McInerney
    Chandler
    Cameron
    Shea

    • Noah says:

      What is this? 2014 projection or for the May-June games?

      Cause if it’s the May-June games…Holden ain’t anywhere near ready yet to start for the Nats. Jones will start.

      Also, Besler is the left centerback, Gonzalez is the right centerback.

      Other than that I mostly agree. Not sure about putting Dempsey back on the left, but I like him there better than Gomez. I think I would start Dempsey up top, put Donovan on the left as an inverted winger and keep Zusi in the lineup on the right.

    • Dinho says:

      Dempsey needs to be up top. If he’s played out wide, we will have even less width than we already have (if that’s possible). Switch Gomez and Dempsey. Yes, yes, I know Gomez is not a winger, but he stays wide and works harder defensively.

      And, I’m not sold (yet) on Omar. I’d take Cameron in his spot – more athletic, better with his passing.

    • Andrew says:

      How did Holden make your lineup? He hasn’t even gone 90 on loan. Fairly sure Jermaine Jones will be holding down the spot next to Bradley.

      • broadsthooligans says:

        Yup. I’d also assume that Cameron is still a starter come the next game. Cameron hasn’t been around long but he’s established himself. Bieler will get another sho, but he’s not the starter yet.

  13. matt says:

    Who are these magic players that are better than an in-form Donovan? We have nobody on the outsides and it shows. Zusi is overrated, just like how Klinnsy likes Beckerman. I’d like to see him start bringing in some of the younger guys and give them a run – Gyau, Corona, Johnsson

    • 2tone says:

      How is Zusi overrated?

      • Dinho says:

        Because he is.

      • PanchoMiguelMoralesdeConejo says:

        I can’t agree that Zusi is ‘overated’, but neither is he lighting up the Nats:
        1 Assist & 1 Goal in 2012 (6 games) and gooseggs in 4 games in 2013 in both categories…not exactly all of his fault…but he isn’t ‘driving’ he offense either.

      • jlm says:

        mostly because of his speed with the ball. i have loved him as a player for the last three years and think that he can contribute (maybe not at World Cup level) internationally, but the truth is that he needs to improve his speed on the ball to be a frontrunner as a starting candidate

        • FCA says:

          “speed on the ball” is an extremely broad statement. Are you refering to dribbling speed? Ability to make first decision part of his first touch? Technical skill speed? Speed of play? Speed of though?

      • SBI Troll says:

        While, I won’t dispute this comment, calling someone over/under rated is the most cliched phrase in sports.

    • PetedeLA says:

      Klinsmann obviously wasn’t at the game on Saturday. Or if he was, he didn’t have his eyes open. Zusi was great, but he was second banana compared to Donovan.

      Donovan’s left footed cross to Sarvas past Collin– Awesome.

      If Zusi keeps it up, he’s got a bright future, though.

    • solles says:

      I dont think Zusi is overrated, he’s just not as good as Donovan when Donovan is on form.

  14. jw7 says:

    Klinsmann must have forgotten how well this kind of talk worked with the French team in 2010.

    It is not the coaches team, it is the players team. A coach should never forget what the ultimate goal of his job is. To create an environment where his players love fighting for their shared common goal.

    Coaches and administrators always want to be in control of the team but in the end they are only in control when the players let him. This act will signal the end of a coach that has now proven he does not have the proper experience to run a team at this level.

    • biff says:

      That is a very good point, jw7. And with the player failed player mutiny still fresh in the memory he should be smart enough not be beating his chest and publicly criticizing a player who has given all for the team–until a new coach entered the picture and then came the whispers (and tweets) of incompetence and an offense that we all can see (no secrets here) is generally impotent with not even a hint of the counter-attacks that Bob Bradley orchestrated. Disappointing that the coach is going down this path again.

      • Nel says:

        ^ This

      • Xystus says:

        “And with the player failed player mutiny still fresh in the memory he should be smart enough not be beating his chest and publicly criticizing a player who has given all for the team”

        Biff you’re a troll. Kinsmann did not criticize LD he just said he has to earn his place. I love it when all you trolls blast players who are older and say “well the past doesn’t matter it’s what you do in the now”, but when it’s LD he should be in the team because all he has done.

        If LD plays well he’ll make the team if he doesn’t the team moves on.

        • biff says:

          Oh. So, Xystus, I’m a troll for expressing my opinion. Before I respond, I would like to ask you a question:

          Do you usually comment regularly on SBI under a different username and not under Xystus, which I have never seen on this board before?

          I would not be surprised that rather than addressing me under your normal username you made up a new name that you will use only this one time before reverting back to your normal SBI name. In my book, that is being a troll.

        • kelso says:

          “I love it when all you trolls blast players who are older and say “well the past doesn’t matter it’s what you do in the now”, but when it’s LD he should be in the team because all he has done.”

          No… what people are saying is that LD should be in the team because he’s the best option.

      • jon says:

        France 2010? Aren’t you guys being a little melodramatic? Here’s my take — Klinsi saying donovan has to earn his spot back from other guys that have stepped up in his absence, motivates donovan to bust his butt, and makes the other guys feel good that Klinsi has their back. I’d have said the same in Klinsi’s shoes.

        • Ed says:

          The problem with that is Donovan definitely doesn’t need Jurgen Klinsmann to motivate him for anything. He and Dempsey are untouchable as long as they are healthy and playing games. Donovan knows it and JK knows it, this is silly posturing.

    • BCC says:

      Kilnsmann is a bit eccentric, but he is nothing like Domenech. No comparison at all. Henry and Zidane were the de facto leaders of the sucessful France teams, and when they were gone or essentially forced to the fringe, the world was able to see that Domenech was a terrible coach.

      • FCA says:

        ?????? Zidane retired from the french national team after the headbutt in the world cup final….

  15. biff says:

    Klinsmann: “…we’ve seen a lot of players coming through and making big impacts, showing that they are a thousand percent committed to the cause and to the team and built themselves strong positions.”

    Follow-up question from biff: Are you saying, Jurgen, that you want Landon Donovans committment to the USMNT to be at the same high level displayed by Timothy Chandler during the WCQ process? And would you judge Chandler’s commitment to be one thousand percent?

    Klinsmann: “We observe what the players are doing in camp, how we’re going through that stretch of very difficult qualifying games. We see the chemistry of the team developing…”

    Follow-up question from biff: Can you tell us, Jurgen, how Chandler has contributed to developing the chemistry of the USMNT considering that he has only played (miserably) in one WCQ game, and only two games in all during the past 18 months? Not to mention skipping the Gold Cup two years ago when Bob Bradley was still coach (and, who, by the way knows how to coach a team to do counter-attacks).

  16. biff says:

    There is one key Klinsmann quote in the story above where the name Donovan is inserted in parentheses. I assume because Klinsmann used the personal pronoun “he.” Got me to thinking how the quote would read if the name Chandler were inserted. Yep. it works.

    Most of the time (Chandler) was not part of that process. That was his choice, and I totally understand that, and it’s no problem, but at the same time we’re moving forward at our speed. There is a chemistry being developed of a group and you always have to feel where this whole thing is moving towards, and he hasn’t been a part of that development of this team most of the time over the past two years.

  17. Tony in Quakeland says:

    If Klinsmann does not bring back Donovan, than he is as big an idiot as I think he is.

    If it’s posturing, then fine – go ahead. But it’s another example of JK making up the rules as he goes along. All Chandler needed to be invited back was to stop saying “nein”. But the greatest player in national team history who is clearly better than the alternatives needs to jump through hopes. Sure.

  18. laboy says:

    He’s posturing. Or he’s a fool.

    A fit Donovan is a serious weapon. We don’t have any other players with his speed, experience, and skill. He can change a game with one play.

    I see him as first player off the bench if we get down a goal in qualifying.

  19. biff says:

    Maybe it is time for Klinsmann to shine the spotlight on Timothy Chandler just a bit, rather than a man who has proved his commitment to the shirt time and time again for over a decade. Timothy Chandler sits on his butt all last summer rather than join the USMNT for WCQ games and sat on his butt in the summer of 2011 rather than help the team in the Gold Cup.

    Timothy claims he is now 110% committed to the shirt so I bet he would have no problem playing in the Gold Cup this summer to show USMNT fans how committed he is to the shirt. And also, Gold Cup competition would help him develop chemistry with the team and give him experience playing against Concacaf opponents. And, quite frankly, I would not be surprised if Timmy has already in his personal phone calls with Klinsmann volunteered for Gold Cup duty because he said he is now 110% committed.

    • FCA says:

      So, if I’m following you correctly, you think that Jurgen publicly calling out TC in a press conference is what this team needs to build chemistry? Or is this just selfish fan banter that is centered around some inner desire you may have to vindicate the previous absences of TC?

      These players are individuals and judged on an individual basis. Chandler is a young prospect who had to make what might have been the biggest decision of his young career. Donavon is a veteren who called in and took off work for months. There is really no comparison.

      • CG says:

        People still act like Donovan didn’t/doesn’t care and just called in so he could sneak out to the pub with a few friends instead. We still don’t – and likely will never – know why LD needed a break. It may have been “the biggest decision of his… career”.

        And if JK’s reasoning for keeping Donovan out remains to be a commitment to the team/chemistry and not his play, then there absolutely is a comparison. This, however, has been covered pretty well on here so I’ll just agree with everyone who thinks this is going to be a big fat nothing for all sides once LD rounds into form.

  20. bottlcaps says:

    Its just posturing. Players have done abhorrent things on and off the field, yet embraced with open arms when they return. Donovan did nothing but take a break to recharge his batteries. I know JK wants to fair, but give me a break LS is STILL one of the best USMNT players and should be welcomed back with open arms…and quickly i might add.

  21. a says:

    How do you talk about chemestry and keep brining in guys that are flavors of the month/week. if we are gonna talk about chemstry there should be solid core of 30-35 players that constantly get called up.

  22. 2tone says:

    Uhm it’s posturing, but Klinsmann has to say the right things, or what he perceives as the right things to say about Donovan right now.

    There is not one single new offensive player that has made an impact for the USMNT in 2012/2013.

    I like Zusi, and I still think he should be a starter at RW with Donovan playing on the left as a LAM.

    We all know Donovan should be back in the team in June. Either as a starter, or as an impact sub in a few games before becoming a starter again. June is the crucial month to pick up points at home, and an in form Donovan gives the USMNT the best chance to pick up both home wins which will result in 6 points. I could see Donovan used as an impact sub against Jamaica, but at home against Honduras and Panama I expect Donovan to be a starter.

    This is the starting 11 I would like to see at home.

    —————————Jozy—————————–
    Lando——————Deuce———————Zusi
    ——————-Jones———-Bradley—————
    FJ—————–Besler———–Gonzo———–Dolo
    —————————–Howard————————-
    Subs: Guzan, Cameron, Chandler, Kljestan, Gomez, Boyd, Beasley

    • David JS says:

      I’d put LD on the right and DMB on the left, with Zusi moving back to the subs’ bench but I think this is pretty much spot on.

    • atd says:

      Strong, strong team.

    • chris_thebassplayer says:

      I think left flank is LD’s best position. Everybody is playing up the Zusi vs. LD thing as if it’s an either/or situation. It’s not, they both should be on the field.

      • Danny M says:

        I like where your heads are at. Any line up that looks like that would work magic on the playing field. I can’t wait to see this team in action this summer.

        I agree they both should be on the field, especially in a championship game. Building the chemistry is at the top of the totem poll right now. I have no doubt LD will see the pitch sooner than later. He can’t catch amnesia of the last 5 or so years building chemistry with players such as Bradley, Dempsey and other familiar names in the midfield. And we are speaking about a wing position that the nats have a lack there of.

        Same thing.
        ——————Altidore/Gomez/Johnson————–
        —E.Johnson/Jones—-Dempsey——Donovan/Zusi–
        ——–Bradley/Jones——-Zusi/Williams/Beckerman———–
        –F.Johnson—Goodson/Besler-–Gonzalez–Cameron/Castillo
        —————————Howard/Guzan————————

        JK can mic match all he likes leading up to the tourneys. Instead I’d have Besler as a sub and other MLS and U-23 phenoms like Kitchen, and other up and comers.

  23. Nel says:

    I think it’s absolutely fair that Landon has to work his way back on the team. But…

    just who are these players who are so CLEARLY ahead of Donovan…and why haven’t they been performing for the national team. Because I’ll tell ya, the players who have been taking his spot on the field have been stinking up the joint, not producing good flowing football that Klinsi has promised.

    And chemistry? Please. LD has never been a player who couldn’t fit onto a team, much less one he’s been a part of for something like 12 years. Yes, players come and go, but LD has plenty of chemistry with the guys still on the team. For heaven’s sake, he got off a plane and stepped straight into an Everton lineup and contributed without ever playing with any of those guys before save the goalie.

    Funny how Landon seems to have to jump through all these hoops for Klinsi, but he let Chandler hem and haw for a couple years…will he commit, won’t he commit.

    I also find fault with Klinsi saying it was all Landon’s choice. Excuse me, Herr Klinsmann, but since when has being injured been a fault of the player? Especially when his injuries started by first getting injured player for Klinsi vs. Mexico – pulled a hamstring and then it was nothing but one injury after another. He even tried to come back and play when he tore up his knee – flew across the country only to be told he had to return, he was too injured to play. The only thing that was LD’s choice was his sabbatical that he took at the beginning of the year and Klinsi seems to have his panties in a wad over it. But I think it was actually good for LD to do it and looks to be a better player for it.

  24. Michael F. SBI Mafia Oriinal says:

    Whatever doubts I had about Klinsi before have now been confirmed. He’s an idiot. Who is ahead of Donovan? Zusi? Not even if Donovan had one leg. Gulati and National team powers that be would never let this happen for reasons that go beyond soccer.

  25. ChiTown says:

    Sounds like Klinsmann is telling Donovan that the players who didn’t take a sabbatical resent Donovan’s actions.

  26. Anthony says:

    I’ll take Donovan over Klinsi any day.

  27. Javier says:

    I think what JK is saying is that Donovan needs to earn his way back on the USMNT. I think he agrees that Donovan had a good performance vs Sporting KC, but that one performance is not enough. Are the rest of his statements posturing? Maybe. But in my opinion he’s sending a message that no one is guaranteed a spot on the team no matter what they’ve done in the past. He’s clearly not happy Donovan took time off away from the team during qualifying. Perhaps the only concern I have in JK’s remarks are that of team chemistry. I don’t know if he’s saying that Donovan will be disruptive to the team chemistry, or he simply won’t fit in. And is he saying that team chemistry over performance will be the deciding factor on whether or not Donovan is allowed back on the team.

    In Donovan’s defense I have read several articles where Donovan has repeatedly said he knows he needs to earn his way back on to the USMNT. Donovan has seemed humble in those articles showing respect to Jk and the USMNT, and Donovan understands his current situation. In my opinion he almost seems to be reaching out to JK and saying he knows he’s not guaranteed a spot and must work very hard to get back on the team.

    Looking at the local level even Bruce Arena didn’t guarantee Donovan a starting spot with the Galaxy when he came back so in that respect it’s understandable that JK wouldn’t guarantee Donovan a spot on the USMNT. But a player like Donovan with his skill, his speed, his knowledge of the game, the understanding he has of how his teammates play is tough to keep off the pitch. He’s showing that with the Galaxy. If he continues to show that it will probably be hard for JK to keep him off the USMNT team. Unless JK feels that whole chemistry thing is enough to keep him off of the field. Or if JK is so upset with Donovan for not being 100% committed to the national team in the past that JK uses chemistry or another excuse not to call him back.

    • ChiTown says:

      Sounds like they agree with each other.

      You’re just left with a handful of USMNT fans that hate Klinsmann irrationally.

      • Nel says:

        Absolutely Landon needs to earn his way back on the team. Nothing wrong with that.

        But throwing the other crap in there – others clearly ahead of him, others 1000 committed, team chemistry – when he didn’t hold other players who have done FAR LESS for the US Soccer program than Landon has, is completely uncalled for.

        A simple “we are watching how Landon progresses and will continue to monitor him. Hopefully he will continue to improve and we can go from there” is sufficent.

        • ChiTown says:

          Graham Zusi is ahead of him. And yeah, team chemistry is important. And several players have essentially said that they had an issue with Donovan abandoning the team.

          Bradley comes to mind. Howard too. They both spoke on it.

          • bottlcaps says:

            Well. compare the Galaxy VS SKC game on Sat. Donovan was clearly heads and shoulder above Zusi. An assist and goal against the top team in the east that didn’t allow a goal in 5 games. A Donovan who admitted he is not yet in full form

            Zusi is a good player yet he was a stopgap effort to fill in the hole left by LD. He did an admirable job. But Zusi cannot yet even shine Donovan;s shoes much less fill them.

          • Michael says:

            What did Bradley and Howard say? I haven’t seen those comments.

          • Michael says:

            Also, Zusi won’t be ahead of LD for long. He’s a promising young player, but he’s got a ways to go to match #10.

          • Amru says:

            If you truly believe Zusi is better then donovan you’re off your rocker

            • ChiTown says:

              Right now he is.

              Even Donovan admits he is.

              • chris_thebassplayer says:

                I think LD is being very polite and diplomatic when he says Zusi is ahead of him, but don’t count the old man out just yet. In LD speak, that means he’s going to bring it full force, the dude thrives on competition. There’s room for both, they’re not really in competition with each other.

          • Nel says:

            please, on Donovan’s worst day Zusi is not ahead of him.

            And what are you talking about Bradley and howard saying LD abandoned the team. Nothin but your made up BS there.

        • solles says:

          Well whatever, Klinsi hasn’t said anything Donovan didn’t say when he came back.

      • Tony in Quakeland says:

        Nothing irrational about it. It’s been well earned through nonsense like this

        • ChiTown says:

          Back your crap up because you’re wrong. This is good coaching. Period.

          • Tony in Quakeland says:

            Talk about irrational…

            • ChiTown says:

              Yeah, you are.

              You don’t even see how ridiculous you sound. This is exactly what the coach should be saying.

              • Tony in Quakeland says:

                You claim (more or less) that people can only dislike Klinsmann because they are irrational. Then you go right into insulting. Nice try. Come back when you’re ready to behave like a grown up

              • ChiTown says:

                Very nice.

                Act like a grown up. You’re on the Internet disparaging our head coach for acting like an adult and managing his team and you think that’s all good.

                One person here needs to act like a grown up and it isn’t me.

          • Kelso says:

            What about when klinsmann refused to use Bradley in his starting 11 at the beginning of his reign? He would trot beckerman out there instead. It reeked of holding a petty grudge. I think he also had a grudge against Jozy for some time.

            Obviously this still has to play out but would it surprise anyone if by the end of this it appeared klinsmann was holding a grudge for this sabbatical?

            • ChiTown says:

              You mean when Michael Bradley didn’t have a club team and his club career was in chaos and he wasn’t in form?

              • PedroVB13 says:

                MB90 was in great form even when his club situ was in shambles. Go back and watch those matches, he was near MOTM in a couple of those, and he used his opportunities to play for USMNT to GET himself into form.

                I agree with you, ChiTown, that JK said what he had to say in regards to earning his spot again. However, saying LD threatens team chemistry & there are players ahead of him is plainly ludicrous, and borderline irresponsible speech for a head coach.

              • kelso says:

                So if there was a WCQ or other important match back in those days, your pick would’ve been Beckermann over Bradley??

                I agree with Pedro. LD needs to show he deserves a spot, but it should be nothing more than that. Holding a petty grudge or claiming it will affect team chemistry to call him in would be a selfish move on JK’s part.

                Obviously this hasn’t happened yet so it’s unfair to criticize JK for these comments, but i’m interested to see how this plays out.

  28. bryan says:

    pretty standard comments IMO. LD will have to do this over multiple weeks to be considered. makes sense.

  29. jon says:

    Yes – posturing and expected commentary from Klinsi. No big deal. But if Klinsi doesn’t acutually call LD up for the next hex games and Donovan has been playing half decently for Galaxy, then it is a big big deal, and Klinsi is a vengefull idiot.

  30. Jake says:

    It sounds to me like JK is giving Landon a higher bar to come back into the team because of his self-imposed break. I don’t know that that’s fair. If he’s good enough to help the team win (an average Donovan fits that description in my opinion) then he should be brought into camp. I get that Klinsmann want’s to make this HIS team, but leaving off a player who could easily help would be a mistake. This all presumes Donovan is in good form. He doesn’t need to be at the top of the scoring leaders in goals or assists, but needs to be making an imprint on Galaxy games. If he’s able to do that, he should get his shot back with the team. My fear from these comments is that JK is holding him to a higher standard for some reason.

  31. the original jb says:

    Haha, total posturing. Maybe posturing isn’t the best choice of words, it’s simply what JK has to say publicly to let all the players know he wasn’t exactly “cool with” Landon’s extended vacation. I’d bet privately he understands better than most Landon really needed the break to be of use in Brazil.

    The thing about “team chemistry” is complete BS. Landon is a team player and always has been, in fact he’s too unselfish if anything. If any of the other players really do have a problem with his break, I’d bet that won’t last long. I don’t remember hearing anything any player said negatively about Chandler, you know the guy who wasn’t sure which country he wanted to play for…

  32. The Squad says:

    So Klinsmann stays on message and there’s controversy…..who knew??

    He’s been beating the same drum for about two years now in the media..

    Play/perform play/perform

    USMNT midfiellder Landon Donovan has not played for club in umpteen months.

    What credibility does a person with the leadership reponsiblities and scruntiny does Klinnsamn have if he does not declare Donovan nothing more than a candidate just like everyone else.

    Sure, he is who he is…

    Sure he’s a proven commodity who’s talent quotient remains as high or higher than many on the recent rosters.

    Sure he’s a World Cup vet and goal scorer…

    As a leader on the field and in the lockeroom would LD want it any other way?

    JK is just replying to a media question. Plain as that

    The private conversations and the stuff thats seen on behind closed doors really matters

    Of course Donovan, if fit, wil be heavily in the mix…

    Regardless of Zusi or anyone else for that matter

    • Brain Guy says:

      Agree 100%. There’s really no story or anything controversial here.

    • kelso says:

      he’s not saying play/perform. He’s saying play/perform, and then he will consider negative effects to “team chemistry” by calling in LD. The proof will be in the pudding.

  33. Advocate says:

    Most of what Klinsmann has been saying is just plain silly. Yes, Donovan has to demonstrate he’s match fit and in good form. But he’s gone 90 minutes in each of the last three Galaxy games and his sharpness has clearly improved with each. He’s almost certainly within a couple of weeks of being at the top of his game. He has returned seamlessly with the Galaxy; there’s no reason to think it would be otherwise with the national team. And most importantly, aside from Dempsey, Klinsmann has no one on his roster that is remotely close to being Donovan’s peer at left wing, right wing or forward. Would Klinsmann really play someone who is clearly inferior ahead of Donovan because he demonstrates greater team spirit? I think not. In any event, if it were me, I’d play Donovan up front with Altidore (and hope for the kind of chemistry Donovan has shown with Robby Keane), play Dempsey and Beasley on the wings and Bradley and Jones in their usual positions.

  34. byrdman says:

    There are a number of essential facets to a coach’s job: Tactics, training, Motivation and “team chemistry” to name a few. I am a baseball player, that’s my collegiate background. Small college player at that. Coached high school ball for 15 years. I’m certainly no expert. But in my experience, nothing can destroy a team like perceived unfair or inconsistent application of team standards. Sure you give the best guys a little leeway, but if you allow the players to determine when and how they will play, you will have problems. I’m pretty sure every high level athlete(I”m not including myself here by the way) understands this.

    To me, it’s coach speech. Saying the right thing, holding the right public line. I’m sure JK is a little miffed that LD has done things his way. But at the end of the day, JK knows he needs LD. The team needs LD. But JK knows that the team needs to believe that they can do it without him if injury occurs or he goes Timmy Chandler on them (that was for you Biff) :)

    • biff says:

      ha-ha. Thanks, byrdman. No doubt this phrase, “goes Timmy Chandler,” will be in the next edition of Webster’s dictionary.

  35. Shane says:

    Go Feck yourself Klinsmann. “Chemistry”, give me a freakin’ break. You didnt care about chemistry when you were bringing all the Germans in on free passes relative to American trained players. Chemistry is just an excuse from an egotistical, not very bright guy that is trying to exact some revenge because Donovan wouldnt kiss his . . . if I typed it moderation would kick in.

  36. Dan says:

    I was at the Galaxy/ SKC match last weekend. Donovan isn’t even close to being fit for National team duty. Honestly, unless he can change his game I don’t think he ever will be. His speed is gone. He still has his quickness though which lends me to believe he could be like Pirlo.

  37. Juan says:

    Klinsmann is playing mind games. Sure Donovan cant just show up and go right back to the first 11 and Klinsmann is sending that message. I have to laugh though about players moving past him. Who exactly would that be? Beasley? Zusi? Eddy Johnson? Herc? I dont think so. If Donovan wants it, he’s in the starting 11 and if we have trouble in the next game…that will happen very fast. We’re not exactly in a great position in qualifying and can’t afford not to play him just to save face.

    • ChiTown says:

      We’re not in the best position? We’re in amazing position.

      • Riggity says:

        No, the best position is first place and they are not in it. Amazing would be having 7-9 points right now and we have 4 out of 3 matches. I know, we played some of the toughest teams, but 4 points isnt amazing it’s a quality start.

  38. Jason says:

    I understand that JK can’t just let Donovan walk back into the team. Or at least, he can’t say so.

    But the idea that ANY of our wide attacking players (Zusi, Shea, Gomez, EJ, Beasley, Danny Williams, etc) are ahead of Donovan is insane. The idea that SEVERAL of them are, is complete bat guano or sexually procreating male bovine excrement. Take your pick.

  39. dude says:

    “Not talking out names, but there are players clearly ahead of Landon Donovan in how we see things,” Klinsmann said.

    Really, can’t name names, huh? Why don’t you just say them. Graham Zusi. Herculez Gomez. On the wing, both are basically water carriers. Graham Zusi lately contributed one incredible defensive recovery, and Gomez has done a lot of grunt work. If they were going to make big plays from that position, they would have already done so.

    Let’s not kid ourselves, the players on the roster in no way justify his exclusion. The USMNT needs Donovan back in the midfield to generate offense, create plays, and blaze past defenders with speed. He’s also the all time leading goal scorer, which might be important to a team that lately has managed two Clint Dempsey goals in qualifying, and that’s it. We need another leader in the attack, or we will struggle mightily.

    I understand the sentiment, but this isn’t a good time for JK to act like he’s a good coach, someone who’s got a handle on the roster and a deep appreciation for what makes the players tick. Quite the opposite. Nor is it a time for fans to vent their frustrations in a show of support for this decision. Donovan should walk back onto the team because he is special. Everything else is just posturing and thinly veiled pettiness.

    • ChiTown says:

      Speed?

      Have you watched him play? He no longer has speed.

      • dude says:

        I watched the KC game. He has speed. Is he as fast as he was at 28? No. But if you seriously think that Donovan doesn’t have superior speed, skill, goal scoring ability, creativity, and I don’t know, experience, compared to the other people in front of him, you might seriously be a hater.

        • Dan says:

          I’m a Galaxy fan so not a hater in the slightest. Just giving a truly honest assessment of his play of late as opposed to some who simply say he scored a goal and had an assist therefor he had a good game. He had numerous turnovers, played terribly on defense and in transition.

          • dude says:

            That’s fair. Personally, I just saw someone who’s understandably rusty.

            That he can have a goal and an assist and still have things to work on in the coming games is a problem the Men’s National Team could use.

        • Nel says:

          Again, I’m right there with you, dude.

        • ChiTown says:

          Whatever you want to believe, go ahead. But you’re not watching him. He doesn’t even have the pace to outrun MLS defenders right now. Ives has commented on it.

          He couldn’t take defenders on.

          • Riggity says:

            Ya he’s not as fast as he used to be, but he is still faster than Zusi and in about 3 weeks after Donovan has consistently outplayed him you can lean on the team chemistry excuse for him to not play. Like it has been stated before, it doesn’t matter how good Donovan is compared to his form years ago, it matters how good he is in comparison with our other options and just about everyone but a small few of you recognize that once LD is fit there is no option we have that will give us the consistency a Donovan playing in his final International tournament of his career will. It’s a no brainer, but I appreciate the advocates of the Devil himself.

    • Nel says:

      I’m right there with you, dude.

  40. dan knight says:

    Donovan will be back for the next friendlies.

  41. Georg says:

    Landon stepping away when your country needs you is a serious decision, coming back may also require some serious decisions. Landon if you make it back it better be to contribute because the U.S. does not need fair weather players.

  42. Franklin says:

    So Timmy Chandler is allowed to show back up without so much as a hesitation, but Donovan has to “earn” his way back…..

    Seems logical?

  43. Jay says:

    Klinsman is doing the right thing. However our USMNT does need an injection in the attack. Look at how many shots on goals have been registered so far. In the meantime we need to see LD push himself harder than ever before to have a fighting chance in earning the call to duty. If Landon has stronger convincing showings on the pitch then it would help ease the rest of the squad and make Jurgen’s job easier to bring him back into the lineup.

  44. Brad Peters says:

    I was a huge supporter of Klinsmann when it was rumored he would take over the National Team… but now I am tired of his see-through management tactics. I guess his grand scheme for winning is to always be the biggest ego in the locker room. My theory is that Sporting News article was probably more accurate than we want to admit. #ihopewemaketheworldcup

    • solles says:

      ooooh a twit hashtag…. COOOL

    • Vic says:

      It was prettty accurate.

    • biff says:

      @Brad Peters: I don’t see how anyone but a PR flack could seriously doubt the general gist of the Sporting News article. Like they say, where there is smoke there is fire and there is plenty of smoke in that news story. And I do not think the whole sordid affair can be downplayed as being only gripes from only eleven players in the pool who were not getting playing time. In addition to the 11 players who spoke directly with the reporter, the views of additional players also were passed on to the reporter by their representatives. Plus, in cases like this there would be other players who had the same negative views of Klinsmann but did not communicate those views to the reporter either directly or through their surrogates. In other words, this was a large percentage of players with concerns about Klinsmann. And I would bet my usual 25 cents that at least two of the players (and maybe more) who after the story was published publicly and loudly criticized the news story had, in fact, contributed to the story either directly to the reporter or indirectly through their representatives.

      • biff says:

        My point in all this is Klinsmann should not be spending time trying to publicly undermine Donovan. And make no mistake, that is what Klinsmann is doing with these buzz words chemistry and one thousand percent commitment. Instead, Klinsmann should be focusing on healing the wounds of the failed player mutiny and, quite frankly, he should be working 24/7 to get a better grip on his job as coach, which would include hiring an assistant with tactical knowledge. Klinsmann has plenty of room for improvement. We can only daydream what it would be like to have Jurgen Klopp or Jupp Heynckes coaching the USMNT because those guys are two times the coach Klinsmann is.

        • JJ says:

          Really?? biff your retarded im pretty sure much of Klopp and Heynckes’s success with their current teams are due to the foundation that Jurgen put in the youth systems in Germany and they are reaping the benefits of it. Not saying they arent great because they are fantastic, but to say they are miles ahead of the one who created the monsters that are the Germans of today is outrageous. Look at Reus, Gotze, Muller were in the 10-12 years old when Jurgen changed the philosophy and boom world stars.

          • biff says:

            Yep. And did you know that Klinsmann also invented the Internet?

          • Ed says:

            Sounds like JK should be technical director rather than head coach eh?

          • Riggity says:

            Sooo someone else is retarded annnnd Klinsman is directly responsible for the individual talents of the great young German players coming up in today’s game like Gotze and Muller. So much so that Klopp and Heynckes owe “much” of their success to Klinsman. Jj, congratulations. This has to be one of the most ignorant and pathetic posts since the internet(that Klinsman invented) was created. We are all now dumber for having read that, may God have mercy on your soul…

  45. Vic says:

    So Chandler plays a few games for usmnt then takes a year to decide. Donovan plays 12 years with usmnt is the best player of all time, takes a few months off and Chandler gets better treatment?

    • kelso says:

      I do remember JK had some similar words for TC when he finally decided to commit to the USMNT, so hopefully this is some blarney as well. Nothing would surprise me though

  46. Sarasota says:

    Coaches are often put in difficult situations by players. Ultimately, a good coach puts the players on the field that give his team the best chance of winning games–egos aside. Games are won or lost on the field, not in the locker room. The only thing that counts at this level is what happpens on the field. If an in-form Donovan is not called into the team in May, it will not be in ANYONE’S best interest.
    Donovan is not only the best player we’ve ever produced, but he is also a Game Changer. When he is fit, there is NO ONE ahead of him in “the pecking order” that I have seen. Zusi is decent, but he is not even close as a game changer.

  47. fischy says:

    His point is on the top of his head.

    Dunce.

  48. Jake says:

    From what I remember of the last two games Donovan really played in were Scotland and Brazil friendlies. Wasn’t he either injured or something for any other games he was called in for?

    When you look at team performance/chemistry, Donovan pretty much took over the Scotland match. I can’t remember how well he did in the Brazil match but I remember the we lost but showed really well.

    This whole thing is just stupid posturing. You going to sit here and tell me that Beasley has all kinds of chemistry with the team that has been building over the past two years? He just waltzed in and did a damn fine job the last two games. I seem to remember Klinsmann praising him left and right. “such a professional, versatile, blah, blah, etc.”
    If Donovan is fit and in form, there is no reason he can not be called in and pick up where he has left off. But if last weekend was a one off and he starts to slow production in an LA kit then ok, we move on.

    • Riggity says:

      Yeah its interesting. If your form is deemed too poor to be able to make the squad for a period of time and you turn it around after a half year that’s gravy but if you make the decision for the manager yourself by taking a vacation from your profession and the manager decides to not put you on a roster for a team you have volunteered your services for over a decade your loyalty to the team is questioned.(meanwhile, every national team in the world is the exact opposite of loyal when it comes to player treatment)

  49. chris_thebassplayer says:

    As a coach, JK absolutely has to say that LD needs to earn his place in the team. It shows respect to his current players who have worked hard to elevate their game and earn a spot on the team. Some of his other comments rub me the wrong way and seem a little over the top. LD is a risk to team chemistry!? Utter bullsh*t. It is very clear that JK never truly accepted, or even understood the need for LD’s leave of absence. He is going to make him jump through flaming hoops to prove that he is 110% committed. Earning your place is one thing, but JK runs the risk of alienating LD if he rubs his nose in it.

    • biff says:

      Nice comment, chris_thebassplayer. Almost enough to convince me to pardon you on the 25 cents you still owe me. I agree 100% with what you are saying. My first reaction yesterday when I read the quotes was anger at Klinsmann. Why? And I thought maybe it was just a knee-jerk reaction but today the quotes still, as you say, rub me wrong. I think it is clear that Klinsmann is trying to publicly undermine Donovan. (Ccan someone help? There is a better word than undermine for that which is on the tip of my fingers but I can’t quite find it.)

      All that said, my guess is that there is morebehind the scenese shenanigans to these comments, possibly much more, than what we the fans at this time know. I would imagine that some insiders, like certain journalists :-), are aware of what is going on. Sure wish they would enlighten us.

  50. Brit says:

    I think what Klinsmann said was stupid and uncalled for. This man makes millions of dollars a year and he can’t answer these questions. It is really simple:

    “We pick that players that have the best fitness, form and team chemistry”. Landon has to work his way back to the top of that list like any other player. He is in that process now, and being that he is such a good player I am sure he can make it back to the top of the list.”

    That is what a coach should say publicly on the matter. Instead he calls out Landon’s commitment to the team in one sentence and says he is fine with his absence in another. If he is trying to motivate Landon with this, I think he is a very poor motivator.

    • Brit says:

      Also I think team chemistry is important, but when Klinsmann has a different lineup for every match I do not think he should be using it as a reason to keep LD off the squad.

    • biff says:

      Hey, Brti, so true what you are saying. But would like to note that Klinsmann would take the diplomatic approach only if he truly wanted to integrate Donovan back on the team. But if Klinsmann’s goal is to isolate Klinsmann, turn him into sort of a pariah among other USMNT members and lay the groundwork for not calling Donovan back to the team, he would use exactly the same sort of language he used yesterday. We shall see soon enough–like in about three weeks when JK names the roster.

  51. byrdman says:

    Anyone understand the moderation?? What is frowned upon. A couple of times I’ve written seemingly innocent,calm, and respectful posts and they “await moderation”. Can anyone give me some insight?

  52. Al says:

    Some of you clowns amaze me. You sit there and say fair enough or thats how it should be. Lets the this drags out all the way to the WC. You will be the first people saying WE NEED DONOVAN. Hell some of you have already said it. Riding the Bandwagon…i swear some of you…

  53. biff says:

    I nominate Timothy Chandler for this summer’s Gold Cup team. After missing two consecutive summers of play for the USMNT and only participating in one WCQ up to this point, Timmy needs to make up for all the time he missed when he could have been giving 1,000 percent and helping develop team chemistry. Being on the Gold Cup team this summer would not only help Timmy to get into the flow of things and improve his international play, but it would also be a great way for him to prove his total commitment to the shirt. It would seem to me that he would be chomping at the bit to play all the games he could for the USMNT and would be begging Klinsmann to give him caps.

  54. David M says:

    Probably, from Klinsmann’s point of view, the main problem with Donovan is that he might actually pass the ball forward when in the opponent’s half. That, judging by the national team’s play over the last few matches, is frowned up by the coaching staff.

  55. TGA says:

    poor LandyCakes…looks like a little school boy who just got a whippin….he should go back to Minor League Soccer and retire from USMNT….today

  56. DC Josh says:

    Frankly, it will be a sham if Donovan is not on the roster at the end of May, so long as he is healthy.

  57. Marco says:

    That sporting news story has Landy’s tears all over it

    • biff says:

      Not sure I would put it in those terms, but, well, hmmm, could be. But there can be little doubt that there would be other people who love the USMNT and are concerned who were involved in feeding the reporter information eithe directly or indirectly–well known and big names (current players; former players and coaches; friends and relatives and associates of current players, most of whom probably thought it was silly to sit through a demonstration of a guy bending frying pans and ripping apart telephone books). And let’s be real–some of the sources were on the March roster and Klinsmann most likely will be calling some of them back in May.

      In my opinion the concerns highlighted in the news article were legitimate, and most of them were being discussed by fans on boards like SBI. It was nothing new and definitely not surprising–except for the fact that a journalist finally had the courage to pursue the story and convince people to talk to him. timate concerns that needed to be pushed out in the open to the light of day. I am worried that all those concerns after the week of drama in March have now been swept too quickly back under the carpet and, after Klinsmann’s comments yesterday, that they are still smoldering.

  58. David M says:

    When Klinsmann says that “there are players clearly ahead of Landon Donovan in how we see things” it must speak volumes about how he sees things. Because clearly this US team, as evidenced by the grand total of 3 shots on goal in the 3 hex games, has no offense and creativity to speak of. The team can’t possibly, regardless of Donovan’s current form, have “players clearly ahead” of him.

  59. NE Matt says:

    Just my opinion, but Klinsy is a 2 faced pr*ck. Similar crap happened with Chandler when he was “figuring things out” but he was welcomed back with open arms…and quickly bombed in his debut before taking it easy the next 2 qualifiers with a faux-injury. Give me a break, Klinsy has it out for Donovan.

    • TomG says:

      Whoa!!! Easy there, Matt. Let’s see what happens. I’m willing to reserve judgement, though I can see how JK is often inconsistent with his public statements.

  60. Brett says:

    On principle, he should have to “earn” his way back to the squad. However, his talent and our lack of it when it comes to wing play and scoring ability are enough to earn him the chance to reintegrate himself.

    Contrary to what Klinsmann wants people to believe, there is no player in our pool better than Landon Donovan at playing on the right wing. If Donovan doesn’t play, it’s because Klinsmann is making him an example.

    Klinsmann has put together ONE dominant team performance since taking over as coach (5-1 thrashing of Scotland) and Donovan was a beast in that game–involved on all 5 goals (scored 3, assisted on 1, secondary assist on 1). This is not the time for foolish pride from coach or player, when qualification resumes we NEED Donovan’s quality if we want a comfortable qualification and a realistic shot at winning a few matches in Brazil.

  61. OB Rick says:

    Posturing.

  62. Dan says:

    He’s being fair to all the other players that bust their butts. Also I think he’s trying to light a fire under Landon

    • biff says:

      Are saying Timothy Chandler has busted his butt enough for the cause the past two years to deserve a free Get Out Of Jail card? Not to mention whether he is actually good enough at the international level to deserve being a member of the USMNT? He has done nothing in the past 18 months to show he has what it takes. On the contrary..

    • Ed says:

      As if Donovan needs motivation from anyone, let alone jurgen klinsmann. I would understand it more if Bruce arena said it 2 months ago, but right now it’s a pretty useless thing to say

  63. john says:

    This all a tempest in a teapot. No manager worth his salt (in any sport) is going to publicly state that a star player need only to show up to claim their spot in the team. Both LD and JK are aware of his importance and will allow the necessary amount of time elapse before he is restored to his rightful spot. The only thing that could change that if is his form does not in fact return. If his KC match is any indication, that should not be an issue.

  64. WisconsinDan says:

    K has been irrational. His selection as our national head coach was probably a grave mistake.

  65. Christian says:

    I think people are overreacting about Klinsmann’s statement. We all know that he couldn’t just come out and say “Landon is guaranteed a spot when he’s healthy.” Any coach who said that would show disrespect to those players who work hard for their club teams in hopes of getting a call-up. He’s simply not “playing favorites” to the public eye, but we all know that a healthy Donovan is better than most options out there, I include Zusi in that group. So, if Donovan does what he’s supposed to do for the Galaxy, we will see him again on the USMNT.

    Now, I would like to see Adu played in an attacking midfield rolde. Some would scoff at the idea, but I think he would bring an element of creativity that’s been missing from our midfield. I think with a player like Bradley and/or Jones behind him doing the “dirty work” he could thrive when given the ball in an advanced position on the field and having him pick out players on the outside or even perhaps linking with a player like Dempsey or Altidore. Why do you think Altidore scores so many goals for Alkmaar? He’s usually played in by an attacking midfielder.

    • the unmistakeable Ronaldinho says:

      He could thrive, or he could struggle. That is the biggest issue with Adu. He is a very inconsistent player. There is just no room for a player who is on one week and off the next one or 2. The talent is obvious. The consistency just hasn’t been there.

      • Christian says:

        That definitely is the downfall of Adu, but I think (hope) as he gets older that the consistency will be there because when he’s on (like in the Gold Cup) he is one of the most dangerous players we have, it’s just unfortunate that he hasn’t “been on” on a more consistant basis like you said.

    • Riggity says:

      So you agree that implementing Donovan into the lineup immediately would.upset the current National team players because they have worked so hard but you want JK to call in and play Freddy Adu. You are right, people definitely scoff when they read that because of your ridiculous double standard.

      • Christian says:

        I’m not saying that putting in Donovan into the lineup immediately would upset the current national team players. what i meant, and what i said, was that Klinsmann couldn’t just come out and say to the public “when he’s playing again, he’s on the team.” what coach would say that? and no, i don’t think the current players would be upset because they all know, as do i, that if donovan is “healthy enough” he still belongs on the team.

        also, my statement about Adu was also meant to be read as “if he was playing regular minutes, playing well, and fitting Klinsmann’s criteria” he should be given a chance at that role of a playmaker.

      • Christian says:

        I hope that made sense because it’s not a ridiculous double standard if you understood what i meant and understand that i mean if Adu is also playing regularly, and playing well.

    • Brett says:

      I don’t see any problem with acknowledging that Landon is a vital part of our core of veteran leaders–along with being one of our most talented players.

      Trust me, the players are more concerned with the best players getting the chance to compete and play to advance the whole national team. You think they’re cool with those wayward Zusi crosses because he works harder than Landon?

      There’s a line between favoritism and recognition of vital assets to your squad.

  66. Chris says:

    Klinsi can say whatever he wants to the public.

    But we all know damn well that Donovan should be playing for the national team ASAP.

    • Christian says:

      I definitely agree that Klinsmann should put in Donovan ASAP! my comment was that people were freaking out because he said “Donovan’s place isn’t guaranteed.” We all know that he should be playing as soon as he gets back, but as a coach, I don’t think he could’ve come out and said that to the public, right away, therefore it was a statement that didn’t need overreacting.

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