By IVES GALARCEP
When a Sports Illustrated report stated on Tuesday that Landon Donovan would be left out of the U.S. Men’s National Team’s training camp for upcoming World Cup qualifiers in June, the news caught plenty of U.S. fans by surprise.
It also surprised Donovan.
The Los Angeles Galaxy star told the Galaxy All-Access Podcast on Wednesday that he had yet to be notified by Klinsmann about being left out of the upcoming camp.
“Jurgen and I have consistently spoken over many months now. I was not aware that that was information that was already made public,” Donovan said. “Jurgen has not told me that it was definitive that I wouldn’t be there.”
When asked about the possibility of being snubbed for the upcoming qualifiers, Donovan was refreshingly honest about his status, while also stating he still feels he should be with the team.
“All I can do, as I’ve said all along, is do what I do,” Donovan told the Galaxy All-Access Podcast. “If I’m looking at it objectively, do I think I can help the team? Yes, absolutely. Do I think I’ve really earned my way back in yet? Probably not. That’s sort of six of one, half dozen of the other.
“I really do believe, if I do get called in, that I can help the team. Even if I’m not playing I think I can help. I think my experience, having been through this three times, can be very beneficial.”
In the same interview, Donovan admitted that he wasn’t completely back to full sharpness after returning from his extended break from the game.
“I think I’m really close to being back to my normal self,” Donovan said. “The physical part I’m sort of over the hump. Technically, with the ball, I’m sort of over the hump, where everything is kind of coming naturally again.
“I think what I’m lacking a little bit is that final confidence,” Donovan added. “Making the best decision all the time. When I’m at my best, I’m consistently making the right decision on every pass, every play. That’s still falling a little bit behind.
“Once all that sort of falls into place, then I can get back to actually being a better leader and helping others,” Donovan said. “Right now I’m still focused on myself because I’m not quite there so once I get that part right I can start helping others and making the team better, and I think that’s better for all of us.”
The roster for the U.S. Men’s National Team camp will be announced on Thursday, a day after Donovan and the Galaxy take on the Philadelphia Union, and if Donovan isn’t on it he is ready to accept that fate and keep working.
“If I’m not there, then it is what it is,” Donovan said. “I’ll just keep going and I’ll get my way back in.”
You can listen to the fill interview here.
What do you think of Donovan’s comments? Still hoping he gets called in? Think Klinsmann would be right to leave him out?
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