SBI Reader Poll: Should Donovan be called up to the USMNT?

Landon Donovan

By IVES GALARCEP

When the U.S. Men’s National Team training camp roster is revealed later today, all signs point to Landon Donovan not being a part of the squad. That decision by Jurgen Klinsmann has the USMNT fan bases divided between those who feel Donovan should be on the team and those who agree with Klinsmann’s expected decision to leave him out.

Donovan’s virtuoso performance on Wednesday night, delivering a goal and two assists in the Los Angeles Galaxy’s 4-1 thumping of Philadelphia, only served to boost his candidacy in the eyes of U.S. fans who have years of good memories of Donovan delivering for the national team.

What Donovan’s showing on Wednesday didn’t do is erase the fact that he chose to skip three important World Cup qualifiers to start the year. His self-imposed sabbatical, which saw him take a break through late March, clearly struck a negative chord with the national team and Klinsmann seems intent on sending a message that Donovan’s decision to skip matches was unacceptable.

That is where some people are not looking at the real motives behind Klinsmann’s stance on Donovan. It isn’t entirely about his form, and whether or not he is one of the top 23 players in the USMNT pool. Klinsmann’s own words on Donovan make it clear the team has come together in recent months, and have endured some challenging times together, and he clearly feels it would not send the right message to simply bring back Donovan as if nothing happened. As if he didn’t choose to skip some important matches.

All that said, there is still something that just feels odd about Donovan not being a part of the national team. While he has missed several matches during Klinsmann’s tenure as head coach, he was still part of three World Cup teams and three World Cup qualifying cycles. It is those memories that have many U.S. fans believing he has earned the benefit of the doubt with regard to his decision to take a break and miss important matches.

So what would you do if you were Klinsmann? Would you ignore his missed games and welcome him back with open arms? Or would you force him to sit out the next group of qualifiers and make him play in the Gold Cup?

Cast your vote after the jump:

  • Yes. He is too good to leave out.
  • No. Team chemistry is more important and he needs to earn his way back in.

 

How did you vote? Are you hoping he gets called up? Do you think having him wait for the Gold Cup, and have him serve as a leader on that team, is the right way to re-integrate him into the team?

Share your thoughts below.

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126 Responses to SBI Reader Poll: Should Donovan be called up to the USMNT?

  1. Nate says:

    He needs to be included. It’s not just that he’s good (which he is), it’s that he’s good in particular ways the USMNT has been really missing. Jozy and Dempsey will look better with Donovan on the field.

    • downintexas says:

      Worst case scenerio have LD come off the bench for the last 20 minutes.

      • Chris says:

        BINGO. Donovan doesn’t have to start, he doesn’t even have to make the roster. But he deserves to be in the CAMP of 27 players.

        • Matador says:

          What chemistry?

          So much talk about the Chemistry this team has developed but the truth is that this team everything but consistent.

          Sure, while other players were training and playing while Donovan was taking a break, Donovan was playing and training while other players were in their teen years.

          His vacation was well deserved because since turning Pro at 17 or 18 he played non-stop. I really do not remember seen Donovan injured or been out…… only last year he showed signs of fatigue and was reflected on his performance and time being out due to injuries. He needed the time off….. Seriously.

        • zztoppppp says:

          I think more people would freak out about him being called in but not even making the bench than if he is left out all together.

    • Colin says:

      I think what Ives and Klinsman are both failing to take into account is that Donovan has committed more time and energy to the United States National Team than almost any other player in our teams history. I am the first to suggest Donovan could have been mentally stronger (e.g. he could have actually gone to Europe and tested himself), but in playing for the United States in over 140 games, becoming the all time leader in goals and assists, and being the face of the team for over a decade he has demonstrated extraordinary drive and commitment. He does not need to demonstrated his commitment to the team in the same way other players do. Preferential treatment can be a bad thing, but sometimes it is justified. Donovan has paid his dues time and time again, he is willing, and he is can still contribute to the team. It is disrespectful, in my opinion, to leave him off the team.

      Partly, I think Donovan is being punished for his honesty. Rather than coming up with some bullshit excuse, like an injury, he suggested he needed some time off mentally.

      • Ives Galarcep says:

        Why am I “failing to account” for anything? I simply offered Klinsmann’s reasoning, at least the perceived reasoning. But since you brought me up, I’ll look at your comments and ask what exactly do his past accomplishments (and I’m talking about anything not in the past two years) have to with the current team? Not much. He’s an all-time great, but you don’t somehow get tenure on the team based on what happened years ago. If you want to say Donovan should be on because he’s too good not to be on, that’s a reasonable argument. All the “But look at what he’s done for us through the years” talk is pointless.

        • Matador says:

          Why is it pointless?

          All what he’s done during the past decade was the reason why he needed the break. I truly believe that he earned his time off to recover mentally and physically. Last year he missed games with the national team due to injury and fatigue. I guess he just listened to his body and decided to take a break.

          Everything a player accomplished during his career is meaningful and should be considered and not just simply dismissed.

  2. biff says:

    A lawyer would described the wording of the poll questions as “highly leading questions” :-) and ask that they be rephrased, or that the poll just give two options of a simple yes or no (with no explanation), because people who answer either yes or now could be basing their answers on a wide variety of reason, not the two listed.

    Saying “he is too good to leave out” implies that Donovan deserves to be left out but rules need to be changed to accommodate him. And by saying “team chemistry is more important and he needs to earn his way back in,” the implication is that Donovan is disruptive to team chemistry.

    • Ives Galarcep says:

      Well, we’re not in court, and you can choose not to vote. I thought about a flat yes or no, but stuck in the leading arguments for and against. Not sure the wording will keep many from voting. Maybe some lawyers. LOL

      • biff says:

        I see your point, Ives Galarcep. I did vote and no surprise, I clicked on yes. I rest my case…

        I wonder whether there is some internal discussion going on right now as to whether Klinsmann should or should not call up Landon. Would not be surprised if some high-up US Soccer officials are weighing in on the issue.

        • Riggity says:

          …even if the people above JK were pressuring him to call in LD what are they going to do if he doesn’t? Fire him? Haha yea right. So that conversation would go something like this.
          Sunil-”Jurgen, you have to call in LD, he is just to important for the team right now.”
          Jurgen- ” I’m the manager, you are my boss but this is my team and my decision to make. I will not be calling LD in for these qualifiers but if you want you can just pay me upfront and send me on my way.”

  3. Al_OC says:

    Voted yes. If you posted this poll yesterday, I’d have voted no. Up till last night, he only had 1 good game. But last night showed why he’s still needed by the umnt.

    • MFP says:

      I also changed from a No to a Yes with last night’s performance. But I’m ok with whichever choice Klinsmann makes since he knows what’s happening inside the team a lot better than I do. That said, he’s accountable for that bearing out as the right choice, of course.

      I think chemistry and form end up being closely tied together in this case. Given his lengthy time away and sparse history with the team over the last 2 years, Klinsmann wants to bring Donovan in when he is playing well enough that he and the team would feel like Donovan’s inclusion was totally deserved based on current performance. Was last night’s game enough to do that? I hope so, but I’m ok with leaving that up to the coach to decide.

    • Josh says:

      I don’t agree with changing after one game, which is why I still voted no. If he shows up more than one game a month, it’s a different argument altogether. That being said, I’m not satisfied with him only playing certain games or only showing he’s this good in a certain number of them. We know he’s good, but he still has these questions of motivation. When he shows it more than once a month, I’m fine with him on the team.

      • fischy says:

        If he shows up for one game a month, that’s 3 more points each go-around than the USMNT can expect without him.

    • CorkSoccer says:

      +1 and I’m a Union fan.

    • NC Jeff says:

      From no to yes, based on just 1 game vs. the Philadelphia Union? A bit extreme for me … he WAS a fixture on the USMNT until he CHOSE to bolt on the team. Meanwhile, others have worked their tails off (maybe even accepted lower-level and lower-paying gigs in order to get playing time just to have a shot at getting a serious USMNT cap). Donovan will probably need a few more games before he can be a part of a WC qualifier. That said, if he comes in for the Gold Cup and lights it up, THEN he may have regained enough cred. in the player pool to justify inclusion in the following WC qualifiers.

      • Kyle says:

        Who has done that? Not arguing against necessarily just curious. Has anyone come out and said “I chose this transfer to get more PT so JK would give me a look?” You think that any of these guys like riding the pine? Maybe they took lower level positions so that they could actually play the game they love.

      • Don says:

        If I were Donovan and I were selected for the Gold Cup (to prove myself), but not for these WCQ games, I would retire from the USMNT. I hope he is a better man than I.

  4. Jason says:

    Obviously in. He’s the best winger we have by a country mile since JK never plays Dempsey wide. And arguments about his “getting back into form” and “meshing with the group” are just garbage. Brek Shea will likely be included, and he hasn’t played in a match in months, and no one on the squad has better chemistry with Dolo, Dempsey, Altidore, and Bradley than Donovan does, or played more games with them.

    • fischy says:

      Mostly, those arguments are garbage and we know this from watching the team. There’s little chemistry in the group now. Adding someone who can bring some dynamism to the attack will enhance chemistry in the only place it really matters == on the field.

  5. Jason B says:

    I voted yes. He is one of the few players we have that change a game. Many players play well, but that doesn’t mean that they “change” a game. Donovan can do it. He can put the team on his shoulders and carry it. For fun, name someone else on the team that can do that…..

  6. Bean says:

    If he is over his mental injury, of course.

  7. JJ says:

    I voted no, he knew he was going to jepordize his national team career when he to his break, hes gotta work to get back in, and that was established when he left. This should not be a shock to anyone. We have more than enough talent to make it to the World Cup without him. NOT Saying hes not good enough, but you have to prove that you always want to wear the shirt and you will do your best.

    • Josh D says:

      I agree – voted no. Let him work his way back to proper game fitness and mental fitness. I still think he needs to learn his lesson, and yes that sounds petty, but it’s also petty to leave playing for your country for two years and leaving your club for preseason and the first few weeks.

      Give him a starting role during the Gold Cup which will include an extended camp, and things will get sorted. For now, rely on the guys who have been there and who put the time in when Donovan didn’t.

      I tend to value the whole over the individuals.

      • eric says:

        2 years???

        • whooaaa Kemosabe says:

          the Michelle Bachmann of SBI ladies and gentlemen. Scream ridiculousness and hyperbole the loudest, and you get attention despite rarely making a rational argument.

      • beachbum says:

        what lesson Josh? your position is looking weaker and sillier by the day, and based it bitterness…learn his lesson…hahaha!

        Coach needs to takle a peak at how Arena and the Galaxy have looked to make this work with their long-time top performer vs. looking to make it not work with Landon, and get him back in the fold for the betterment of all!!!

        that is the lesson to be learned here, and not by Landon

        I await your insightful reply

        • Steevens says:

          Galaxy have fewer options and less depth. JK has the whole USMNT pool. The Galaxy really don’t have a choice but to try and make it work with LD right now.

          • beachbum says:

            Galaxy known as the deepest team in MLS…fyi

            on USMNT wide player depth, there are some nice choices of which Landon is still in the present

            • Steevens says:

              I’ve forgotten more about MLS than you know.

              The depth of ANY MLS team is less than the USMNT player pool. No reason to call in LD to ride the pine when he will play and get back to full fitness with the Galaxy.

        • Josh says:

          This is a different Josh, but I don’t think you can completely blame JK for this and leave LD blameless. If we want to talk about the way he lines up the USMNT, yes, it clearly has some massive flaws because he doesn’t put any wingers in and there’s a maximum of one guy playing wide, usually Zusi, but that’s a different argument.
          Landon has proven he is a great player, but only when he feels like being an important player. I have no problem giving credit to the players to continue to play all season long, without having mental breakdowns every so often. There’s no reason JK needs to bow down to all of LD’s damands the same way Arenas does. The MLS season gives you more than enough opportunities to catch up. Do you really think Arenas would allow Donovan to beat around the bush in October when the games finally matter? No. It’s a different competition, different demands, and JK has decided it’s not the time to deal with an unsettled LD.

          • beachbum says:

            you mean likem when he felt like it for the past 15+ years for club and country?

            your argument is stale at this point imo

            this whole position of Klinnsman having to bow down or something is pathetic. No reason for this to be about a power struggle only occurring in one of their minds

      • GW says:

        A team is made up of individuals formed to achieve a common objective.

        The best teams have individuals who complement each other i.e. each one can do something the others cannot.

        The result is that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. The best US teams have always been that way.

        In Donovan’s case, it has not been shown that there are any individuals who can reliably make the contributions he can. Without an in-form LD the ” Whole” is quite a bit less than what it could be.

        The US is in good position right now in qualifying but these next three games will not be easy and bad results there have the potential to throw the process back in crisis.

        You have the luxury of being able to take a morally upright search for Spock position. JK does not have that luxury.

        • Steevens says:

          LD has had far too few games to establish that he is in-form and can maintain good form. He needs an extended run of good form for the Galaxy to show that he’s fully recovered top form and is not having some lucky nights where things just go right for him.

          • whooaaa Kemosabe says:

            we’re talking about Landon Donovan. The all time leading goal scorer and assist maker(?) in US soccer history among countless other accolades. I think you have him confused with Brek Shea who had 1 good MLS season. Luck has nothing to do with it

          • ronniet says:

            Lucky night?? Things go right for him?? Get the hate out of your heart and open your eyes, donovan made his own luck last night and has also for his career! I wish people would comment using their eyes concerning his play and not because their still salty because the man took a leave from the gam eto sort out his fatigue and mental issues!!!

      • Ed says:

        Laughable you think Landon needs to learn his lesson. Alliteration aside, he has already conceded that, as a result of his sabbatical he needs to earn his place back. I think he has done that, what the h_ll more do you want from him? The guys want to WIN more than anything, does anyone really believe Landon can’t help us win?

      • Landon says:

        I totally agree and I said as much in the April MLS interview.

    • downintexas says:

      I voted yes, but I don’t disagree with your view. But why not bring him in, he still is not assured of a starting spot. He has played with the majority of these guys before, and would be a super super sub. If he is not up to par, he gets sent over to the Gold Cup camp. But why limit your options, when the MNT has suffered with attacking?

  8. FSegaud says:

    Goal and 2 assists is what everyone points to but what convinced me was the burst of speed he showed a couple times attacking the defense in the box. Those plays ended up with nothing in the end but it showed he still had the wheels. His experience is also too valuable to be ignored.

  9. Lurker McGee says:

    We don’t have the safety cushion to spare. We need maximum points. If he’s one of the players in the best form, he needs to be there. If other players will take out their frustrations on him on the field – that’s a problem. We need players that can put personal issues aside for the greater good. If we don’t, those players are selfish and they are no better than Landon Donovan deciding he wants some time off.

  10. downintexas says:

    I’m sure Demps, Jozy, Bradley and a score of other NT members would log in to multiple computer to vote yes multiple times.

    • Mike says:

      You are SO spot on. He makes all of those guys so much better when he’s on the pitch. And with Jozy in the form he’s presently in, he needs Lando out there to capitalize. If LD isn’t on the Gold Cup roster, JK should be hung by his toes from the Brooklyn Bridge.

    • Jurgen says:

      Actaully it’s quite the opposite. To let Landon waltz back in without any accountabilty would not be good. It’s why I’m the coach and your are not

      • GHumboldt says:

        Jergen. Since you’ll be taking your own break next spring and summer, you should take on the Chivas USA manager job. You can earn your way back up to National Team coach.

      • Bobb says:

        You are a terrible coach, though.

  11. wfrw07 says:

    No, but not because he needs to earn his way in. To me, it is in the best long term interests for both him and the national team for him to continue to get matches and get back to 100% fitness to help us later in the campaign.

  12. Marco says:

    The press should make up “Klinsy drops Donovan” stories every week.

    Adversity only brings out the real Landy

    • eric says:

      I’m a big fan of Donovan and thought he should have been included all along but it does seem to have worked

    • beachbum says:

      Landon’s response to all the press of the media leaked snub was to play the worst half of soccer I’ve seen him play…he was awful in the first half, no confidence at all. He was not inspired by it

      BUT

      whatever happened in the locker room at halftime didn’t include Klinnsman. It included Arena, and his teammates, and Keane

      Give credit where credit is due

    • Luke says:

      I kind of half suspect that leaking “the Donovan won’t be called into camp” story might have been a ploy to light a fire in him. Which it seams it has. I’m starting to wonder if the whole Klinsmann article by Strauss in Sporting News might have been contrived. It did have the desired positive effect of unifying the team under Klinsmann.

      • White Kix says:

        The article said a big rift was between the Americans and the German-Americans. Since only one German American was on that squad (too small to be a click), it is impossible to say that the team is unified and that whole article was contrived. Yes, the team full of American’s who play(ed) in MLS was very unified in Azteca. But we have yet to see if a team filled with Germericans is unified.

      • beachbum says:

        so no credit to Landon’s other Coach, the one in the locker room after LD’s first half performance of utterly NO confidence after what you’re saying is Klinnsman’s ploy?

        Seemed to me Klinnsman’s leak came close to a knockout blow after seeing LD’s first half awful awful performance. On a lesser team in a weaker locker room, who knows what might have happened at half time.

        you really believe it wasn’t the Galaxy’s team that helped here, it was Klinsman’s move?

  13. 2tone says:

    Yes. Best USMNT player period.

    • Steevens says:

      FALSE

    • Nate Dollars says:

      you’re only hurting your position. even if it was agreed that donovan was the best usmnt player ever, he’s certainly not right now.

      • fischy says:

        If he’s not the best now, he’s definitely still in the top 5…and, I’d say he’s still in the conversation for the best (eligible) player now.

      • 2tone says:

        Hurting what position? That I said yes? Uhm he is the best USMNT player period past and present.

  14. Travis says:

    Yes, we have a serious lack of quality on the wings. Name me like 4 better players than him right now, good luck

  15. Rob says:

    Third, Save him for the Gold Cup.

  16. Excellency says:

    My vote is for Donovan winning the Gold Cup for us on a team of mixed vets and rising young MLS stars. The WC qualifying team will do fine without Donovan in June against Jamaica away, Panama and Honduras at home. Let Donovan come back to the Nat team for fall quali’s including Mexico at Columbus.

    • White Kix says:

      Fine like we did fine last time we went to Jamaica? Fine like the last time we played Honduras? Fine like when we played against Panama in the group stage of the 2011 Gold Cup? You might be OK with Fine, but I like victories and appearances in the World Cup.

  17. jspech says:

    if earn goes out & earns it! He’s too much of a crybaby. Team has to move forward

  18. Tony in Quakeland says:

    As he has shown not only last night, but nearly every game since his return, he brings exactly what’s missing, and that is the intelligent attacking distribution. (Before last night, he wouldhave had a number of assists if Keane and not Villireal was on the end of several of his passes. Villareal just doesn’t have the expereince yet to capitialize.)

    Frankly, the decision is nonsense. I think he should start, but you mean to tell me you wouldn’t want him on the bench as a sub? Sure, we’d have to leave of yet another d mid, but…

  19. Ed says:

    “His self-imposed sabbatical, which saw him take a break through late March, clearly struck a negative chord with the national team”

    Please provide evidence of this. I can’t believe you think it’s fair or wise to keep a player out simply as a way to settle a score or something. The job of managing a national team is not about ensuring equity among its players, or implementing some vague long-term plan of development. The job is to QUALIFY FOR THE WORLD CUP. To willfully not field your strongest team is simply asinine. By the way, the only reports of locker room discord has been directed at Klinsmann, not Donovan.

    • Luke says:

      I agree Klinsmann’s job is to “QUALIFY FOR THE WORLD CUP”. Which we are on course to doing by a wide margin. That has and is being been done without Donovan playing for the USMNT for over 9 months. It might have been a shock to the players the first, second or third months but the CURRENT players have moved on.

      In team sports team chemistry and unity is a very important aspect that the manager has to develop. You can’t have team chemistry and unity if you don’t have equality among players. There’s a long list of teams that have had the best players on the roster but have under performed. Just look at some of big spending clubs in Europe, Real Madrid, Chelsea, Man City…with all the talent they have/had they should have many more trophies than they do.

      • Ed says:

        Right, because Tim Howard, Michael Bradley, Jozy Altidore, Clint Dempsey and Steve Cherundolo have no chemistry with Landon from years of playing in tournaments, qualifiers, and World Cups together.

        Look I get that the team (mostly the backline) has undergone change and new players are being integrated. But look at the names above, you think those guys won’t be on the field in Brazil? I’m fairly sure those guys would prefer having Landon with them, despite Ives’s unsupported suggestion.

      • beachbum says:

        what team would not welcome an obvious positive addition? who in the locker room would have their ego so bruised that not adding the qualities LD has warrants that?

  20. jh says:

    I voted no, but with a caveat.

    I didn’t see the most recent game, I just saw that he was insanely productive. I think the best course of action for him would be to come into the Gold Cup as ‘the man’ in charge, esp since he could be working with a lot of prospects who might be fringe first teamers with USMNT. If he is all in on the Gold Cup, then he should be considered a lock once again for every time the USMNT calls in players.

    Of course, re: a point made above, I’m not sure I can name 3 or 4 better options than him right now as far as wing play is concerned, so perhaps I’m way off base here…

  21. Stoop says:

    Unless he’s not in shape to play 90 minutes or something, I just don’t see how you leave out the guy who’s clearly the best we’ve got at making that final pass. He’s just so good between midfield and the attacking 18. He makes goals happen.

  22. Matty K says:

    HA! What team chemistry? Hands down, LD makes the team better, starting or bench

  23. Adam M. says:

    Yes. Personal drama has to give way to on field results at this point. If a fit-, in-form Donovan is fully committed to putting his country first, so should the manager and the rest of the team by putting any personal feelings aside. Donovan has done enough for US Soccer, and remains at a level of quality we don’t have to spare, such that he needs to be given a chance to succeed or fail on the merits of his play.

  24. Shane says:

    The questions should be:

    - Is Klinsmann a scatter-brained, petty coach who is inept at man-managing?
    - Is Klinsmann the USA’s soccer savior?

  25. Chicago Josh says:

    Donovan in. Like others I changed my vote after last night’s game. Speed kills. Absolutely no wide play for the first three Hex games…when you are done counting how many shots the US took in the first three games, let alone shots on goal, then you can explain to me how any of the options we currently have are better.

  26. the unmistakeable Ronaldinho says:

    I agree that Donovan has some work to do to “earn” his place back in the team, and earn back the respect of his teammates (if he ever lost it).

    What better way to do that than bring him back in the group? Let his work his tail off day in day out and prove his quality and importance to everyone. If he doesn’t work harder than everyone else or doesn’t play well in camp, bench him. That sends just as big a message in my opinion. However, if LD comes into camp, acts professionally, works hard and plays well…..That will earn back the respect and trust of his teammates faster than anything.

    Its time to stop letting this story continue to drag on. Suck it up and call him in. The rest is up to Donovan to prove himself.

    • whooaaa Kemosabe says:

      agreed, let him earn it back in camp. this whole exile thing is a bit ridiculous

  27. Phlub says:

    Ideally we have Donovan on the right, (in-form) Shea on the left, Demps/Jozy up the middle. That is all kinds of playmaking.

    And yes, I agree, team chemistry doesn’t seem very evident at the moment — Landon or no Landon. The only guy I could see this affecting is Graham Zusi. Does he have a role with Donovan in?… and if so, how does it change, can they work together? 4-4-2 with MB playing out of the back/holding. This is obviously rather attack minded.

    Dempsey – Altidore
    Shea – Zusi – Donovan
    - MB -
    FJ – Besler – Omar – Cameron
    Howard

    • Reboot says:

      Zusi has proven with club and country that he can play any attacking mid role as well as both wings… play them both!

  28. Alexandria says:

    I think he should play on the gold cup squad lead that team to victory then get called in ithink it will work out better for him as Landon needs motivation, external motivation and this is it.

  29. Reboot says:

    I think JK has all but proved that he is in Landon’s head.

    Great time for Klinsmann to release a statement like he did, now Landon will push himself to be in form for the next round of qualifiers instead of considering himself a shoo-in for WC2014.

    Klinsmann haters beware, this US team is going to overachieve, and then overachieve some more.

    • Nate Dollars says:

      that’s good–i was really worried that klinsmann might not be in landon’s head. if nothing else, he’s got that.

    • Jurgen says:

      Yes, give me credit for Landon’s good game. Just like those guys that gave me credit for Michael Bradley doing so well in Italy. It’s all me, those guys havent done s#!% themselves.

  30. Nate Dollars says:

    “His self-imposed sabbatical…clearly struck a negative chord with the national team”

    ives, do you have quotes to back this up? or is this another “foreign-born vs. US-born” controversy?

  31. Nate Dollars says:

    also ives, you keep implying that supporters of donovan’s return are swayed by ‘memories’ or ‘nostalgia’. have you not considered that, even though he’s not as good as he was, he’s still better than others that klinsmann might call up at his position?

    i’ve actually heard most supporters say donovan should just be called into camp to see if he’s ready–no promises about playing time, or even bench-warming. that doesn’t sound like nostalgia to me; it sounds like pragmatism.

  32. Ed says:

    Sure, it’s disappointing LD wasn’t there for the previous qualifiers. But my hunch is that the time off will actually benefit the USMNT since now we will have a re-focused and re-invigorated LD. But no no no, let’s make sure we “send a message” or “make sure he learns his lesson” at the expense of actually performing better as a team. It’s pathetic.

  33. Steevens says:

    It’s very disappointing to see so many thinking that LD having one decent half of soccer is sufficient to earn a roster spot. He has not shown that he can maintain good form for multiple matches. He has not put together a solid 90 mins.

    LD is NOT at his best.

    • Nate Dollars says:

      who are you arguing with? no one’s saying he’s at his best; they’re saying he’s better than other options.

  34. pjsmoov says:

    As long as Chandler’s brought in, we shouldn’t question Klinsmann’s choices. After all, who’s been more committed to the national team over the past few years, a Germerican who repeatedly rejected call ups or our best field player ever who quite reasonably took a few months away from the game to let his mind and body heal after an exhausting two years of non-stop soccer?

  35. Josh says:

    Everybody is so focused on the idea that JK is trying to send a message or has a personal vendetta against LD. Can we not give any credit to the fact that Landon just hasn’t been that consistent this year? He’s only started 5 of his teams 10 games, appearing in one of the others. He’s only registered points in 2 of them. Everybody has gone crazy right after those two games because suddenly he is back in top form. Those two games were a full month apart. In between, he missed a win at RSL and was on the field for two losses to HOU and VAN. Where was this argument when he looked meaningless against an average Vancouver team? The point is he isn’t the beacon of perfection every game everybody wants to imagine him from years past.

    I have my only problems with JK, mostly with the way he lines up the USMNT, but you can’t base these things off of good games that happen once a month for LD.

    • White Kix says:

      “The point is he isn’t the beacon of perfection every game everybody wants to imagine him from years past.”

      Actually, in years past everyone said he wasn’t consistent enough. It was only until his Everton loans, 2 straight MLS Cups and the 2010 World Cup that people stopped complaining that he didn’t take over every game. He’s never been the great in every game. He is solid in every game, and great in a quarter to half the time. Which, is much better than most of the squad Klinsmann complies which are solid most games and awful a quarter to half the time.

    • Brett says:

      I don’t think “He should be selected” can accurately be translated to “beacon of perfection”…

      He’s just one of our best players. He’s got skill and experience. Period.

    • downintexas says:

      Agreed, I think some not all but some folks beef on this is who will JK call up. Holden has not played on a high level for 2 years and he is being brought in (Don’t disagree with that) and maybe Brek Shea who has not played at all might be brought in. If those two get a shot at the camp I don’t see why not LD. If those two are brought on but not LD then I see JK sending a message. If JK does not bring in those guys then he would be justifiable for it. (Hope LD makes the Gold Cup)

      Also, when LD shows up he is still one of the best and most dangerous players

      • wfrw07 says:

        Because he is in season, and the other two aren’t. Bringing Donovan to a two week camp and him sitting on the bench for five matches is FAR worse than him staying with the Galaxy and playing meaningful matches.

        No European player we may call in has those issues.

        Any MLS player called in is a player who is sure to see significant game time, and Donovan, in my eyes and many others, isn’t there yet.

  36. Brett says:

    Why would we not want to include the best players in our selections? I have had it with this “he’s not integrated into the system” stuff. None of these guys play together enough to have perfect chemistry. That’s why managing national teams is a whole different beast. International level football is more about instinctive play, skill, and natural chemistry (a product of balanced selections) than tactics. The most difficult thing a manager does is select his players. He has to get the best veteran leaders, the most skilled players, and the hungry youngsters to play together in a short time. Klinsmann has failed to do this most of the time, instead relying in players to figure it out themselves.

    I thought Bob Bradley made some head-scratchers, but he didn’t leave out our best and most experienced players in important matches.

  37. Brain Guy says:

    He clearly deserves to be in the camp. Then let JK evaluate his form just like he does with everyone else. While it is undeniable that he has superior skills, it is reasonable for JK to wonder whether Donovan is truly over the effects of his voluntary layoff, as well as the effects of whatever caused him to choose to take a sabbatical in the first place.

    Let’s not go overboard about Donovan’s contributions, though. Some have posted about games where he has carried the MNT in his back, etc. Comments like that have an “absence makes the heart grow fonder” feel about them. How many times in the past have we complained about him disappearing for long stretches, or not putting his stamp on a match? When he’s right, Donovan is a critical part of the machine. But he’s not the savior.

  38. Jurgen says:

    I dont care if Landon had one good game. He is not committed to the US team the way the other players, like Timmy Chandler, are. He will not help the team chemistry because he cannot speak German with me and Jermaine. So Landon scored some goals and had some a$$ists. He still hasnt done s#!% like I have. Dempsey hasnt either. I know Dempsey is unhappy when he gets subbed off, but he doesnt yell at his coach and kick holes in stuff like I do. And Jozy. Yes, Jozy scores a lot of goals, but not like I did in Champions League. Plus, Jozy cant score goals for me like I did. When I scored goals they were always for me.

    • Wicked1 says:

      Are you kidding me? You talk about commitment to the USMNT and use Timmy Chandler as an example? LOL. A player who took years, and many qualifying campaigns to FINALLY come in for a competitive game-after he was really sure he wasn’t gonna get a sniff at Germany, haha. Donovan has been committed to the USMNT SINCE he was a teenager. Your post is ridiculous, haha

  39. Rob218 says:

    While I can understand players possibily having issue with Donovan’s inclusion to the team after his absense, I also believe winning cures all. While they may not agree with his decision, they will recognize his talent and what he brings to the table.

    Include him!

  40. bryan says:

    i’ll be happy either way. having him for the Gold Cup would be awesome. and i don’t see LA letting him be on the bench for WCQs and then also be gone for the Gold Cup. i wish they would, but i’d be surprised.

  41. Thebumswillalwayslose says:

    I voted yes, call him. Forgetting all the other crap, and all the “he’s not what he used to be” arguments, in my mind it comes down to two things:

    1. Is he one of the 27 best available players? Even in his current, somewhat inconsistent form, the answer to that question is yes and it’s not even close.

    2. Will he negatively impact team chemistry? I don’t see that happening. He’s a professional, all the other guys are professionals, and the bottom line is that the talent is there to justify his inclusion. The team needs to win, and Landon can help the team win. Guys will understand that and put all the personal stuff, if there even is any in the first place, aside.

    Jurgen, call him up.

  42. Hopper says:

    I dunno. Philly’s defense was pretty terrible last night. They sorta made Donovan look good. Playing against the Union and playing in a World Cup qualifier … not the same.

    • beachbum says:

      then what made him look sooooooo bad in the first half?

      the Jeckyll-Hyde of his performance is illuminating imo

  43. JC says:

    I changed vote to yes after watching last nights game. I kept picturing him working with Dempsey/Jozy the way he finds Keane and I can’t wait to see that for the Nats. Get him in camp, get him in rhythm with the 1st team, and make him earn his way back to the roster.

    Everyone (including me) is happy with the last two results but lets not forget that we got 4 points from only 1 goal. We still need more of an attack if we are going to do more than just qualify for the WC and try to bunker down through group stage.

  44. John says:

    I say bring him into camp just because the more you drag this on, the more of a distraction that will just build.

  45. bryan says:

    Hamid getting the call

  46. Ed says:

    Last rant- this whole “take time to re-integrate him” is such a crock of sh_t. This is an international team whose players have all been with their clubs the last couple months, literally every single one will have to be re-integrated once camp resumes.

  47. Leo says:

    I voted yes, have always been an LD supporter and have been displeased with the results Klinsmann has produced thus far.

    That being said, it’s very interesting to contrast this season’s performances with his performance last night, or even first half performance to the second half. It’s my opinion that the latest SI article affected Donovan in some way, and his response was mostly good. He showed he still has the heart and the desire to compete. Maybe this leak was just what he needed to get into gear. I’ll be very interested to see how Klinsmann reacts to Donovan’s stellar second half last night.

  48. Kyle says:

    Can’t he earn his way back in and also be called in? A situation like calling him in for camp then having him sit a game then maybe use him as a sub, then if the chemistry situation seems OK (and more importantly he is on top form) you can use him as a starter. He is in camp to provide competition and leadership at the very least and maybe get some quality sub minutes out of him.

  49. Charles says:

    The chemistry is more important….that is why you vote YES….not NO.

  50. Tony in Quakeland says:

    This really is simple. You need to win games. To win games, you need your best players. Chemistry excuses are nonsense. When has Donovan ever been a chemistry problem anywhere at any time? If anything, he’s never been greedy enough. And nothing helps chemistry like winning games.

    The fact that 22% are voting no is baffling.

    • Tony in Quakeland says:

      As for chemistry, there have been a hell of a lot of championship teams populated by people who hated each other. As long as guys can win, no one cares

  51. Just saying says:

    I’m a big galaxy and usmnt fan but at the moment Landon at 80 percent is looking rusty we can’t afford him being out of rhythm in important games. He needs more playing time to get back to his old self before he can really contribute like we all expect him to

  52. David says:

    Why should he automatically be included? He bailed on the team and its fans why should either trust him again without testing his loyalty first? I realize that he is talented (rust or no), plays in a position the team is thin at, and that his replacements are equally out of form if not more so and less talented and/or experienced but the best performing teams have the mantra the team comes before the player. If the coaching staff, the players, or the fans allow Donovan to waltz off and on the team whenever he likes simply because he’s deemed indispensable you’re setting up a poor team culture and chemistry both short and long term. I’d rather be mediocre and even miss qualification this round than set us on the path to having the French locker room.

  53. Dave says:

    We’re a better team with him on the field – period

  54. Wicked1 says:

    I’m sorry, but you don’t leave a fit Landon Donovan off of any USMNT roster. Even, Lando at %80 is better than a majority of the available midfielders, haha. It’s not like he just abandoned the national team, and was playing for the Galaxy. He took a complete break from the game. I don’t care what “chemistry” has supposedly been built with the current crop of players. Even if he wasn’t starting, the USA still needed him on the roster. The lack of Lando showed in the World Cup qualifiers we have played, so far. With all that being said, I understand Jurgen it’s trying to make an example, but I expect him to play in the Gold Cup, and play in the World Cup next year