Donovan releases statement on being left off World Cup squad

Landon Donovan

Photo by ISIPhotos.com

By DAN KARELL

Landon Donovan was understandably just as disappointed as was much of the U.S. Men’s National Team fan base when he learned that he was left off the 23-man roster for Brazil.

After the news broke that U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann had selected his World Cup squad, Donovan released a statement on his official Facebook page, saying he was disappointed but that he will be watching and rooting on his teammates from home.

“It has been an honor and privilege to have represented the US National Team in three World Cups,” Donovan’s statement said. “I was looking forward to playing in Brazil and, as you can imagine, I am very disappointed with today’s decision. Regardless, I will be cheering on my friends and teammates this summer, and I remain committed to helping grow soccer in the U.S. in the years to come.”

Donovan technically remains on stand-by in case another player is injured, but it looks unlikely that he’ll play under Klinsmann again. Donovan is currently the all-time leader in USMNT history in goals scored (57), assists (57), and World Cup goals (5), while he’s second in total appearances (156).

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What do you think of this statement? Like the way that Donovan handled the decision?

Share your thoughts below.

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64 Responses to Donovan releases statement on being left off World Cup squad

  1. Wess says:

    If only Landon Donovan was part German.

  2. Slowreno says:

    Handled like a pro. His and Evans statements while different showed what classy guys they are.

    While I know it’s hard for many US fans to comprehend (myself included) I think all in,it was the right decision. That doesn’t seem to be the majority of sentiment out there, but change is never easy.

    Wish Donovan the best and look forward to watching him break the all-time MLS scoring record. I wasn’t always his biggest fan but have come to appreciate how monumental he has been for not just the Nats, but the growth and amazing current state of soccer in the States.

    • The Imperative Voice says:

      I especially liked the part where he vowed, “Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go on an overnight drunk, and in 10 days I’m going to set out to find the [jaguar] shark that ate my friend and destroy it. Anyone who wants to tag along is more than welcome.”

    • The Imperative Voice says:

      FWIW, anyone and everyone have forgotten his hiatus and his running smack into Marquez, in favor of how poor Landon’s being slighted, so he has no real need to get publicly emotional. He is already sympathetic, and he probably realizes there is an outside chance something happens and he sneaks back in. No need to burn bridges or criticize.

      Klinsmann has been fairly brave on his 30 and 23 picks. The substantive brouhaha on that will break out if we lose.

  3. Kung Fu Kangaroos says:

    Donovan’s really grown up since the 2006 World Cup. I would have had him in the 23 as a super sub to run at tired defensive legs.

  4. Alex H says:

    Well said Landon. Keep your chin up, keep saying the right things and who knows, maybe you will be in a position to cut Klinsi’s kid one day. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

    • Andy in Atlanta says:

      seriously…if there is a God!!

    • Jesse says:

      there is a vindictive part of me that would love for JK’s kid to lose his scholarship to CAL and LD to post HAHAHAHA right back at him. Of course I wouldn’t never actually do that myself, or expect LD to do that, because we have more class than the Klinnsman family.

  5. Brain Guy says:

    It would be fun to find statements from players who didn’t make the final cut, whether for the US or any othr country, that took a very different tack, e.g., “I don’t know what the coach is thinking” or “I’ll never play for this team even if they beg me.” There must be examples on the interwebs.

    • GW says:

      Not exactly what you asked for but Zlatan did say the World Cup was not worth watching w/o him in it.

    • Aquaman says:

      On Twitter Brad Evans said “You got lucky this time @cristiano.” At least he approached it with some humor.

    • Luke says:

      “Landon is my brother. I’ve known Landon since I was 15. We’ve been through a lot together,” Beasley said. “To not have him there is difficult.” I found this quote in an article on EPSNFC. Seems like Beasley, who probably is one of Donovan’s closest teammates on the national team, is taking it in stride.

  6. Sheriff Bart says:

    Well said by LD. Now it is time to MOVE ON! I will be focusing on the 23 and the upcoming games. I hope the banter will not linger.

    • Ronaldo Messi says:

      It won’t be the same without Landon. I have been critical of him at times during his career, but there’s more than just a couple of players that don’t deserve or are qualified to be on that team ahead of Landon. I would’ve watched with more delight if he was at least on the bench ready to sub. Klinsmann destroyed the WC for a few of us out here.

  7. suckhole says:

    Way to be right on top of this from the start! That’s some top notch news houndin’! Only a 15 hour lag, nice!

    • GW says:

      Ever been divorced? Or fired?

      What were you like in the first couple of hours after you found out or decided or whatever?

      • Jesse says:

        Yes on your first, no on your second. The answer to my attitude was pretty darn melancholy. If my bosses kid posted something on twitter to mock me I would have been livid though.

        If Klinnsman has even the slightest morsel of class he has called Donovan and apologized profusely for what his son did.

  8. MLS_Soccer_Talker says:

    Reminds me of Ol’ Yeller. But really it was time to move on. Honestly, there is only a handful of players who play 4 WC’s and truth be told Donovan has looked Uninspired as of late. Thanks LD. You will be missed. But the Sun Has Set. Looking forward to supporting my TEAM.

    • GW says:

      They shot Old Yeller. And I’ll never forgive them for that.

      But no one died here. I can still maybe meet Landon one day and thank him for everything.

    • Jesse says:

      I would be ready to move on and continue to support my team, if I believe Jurgen had any class. Hard to root for a man hungry for power.

      • Curtis says:

        +1000

        Julian Green over Donovan.

        Brooks over Goodson.

        Wow. And Klinsi says these decisions are about today. Really?

        Farcical. I am completely bummed, and 100% agree with Jesse that this is about Klinsi and his ego. He eliminated Bocanegra last year when Boca questioned the direction of the program. Donovan never bought into Klinsi’s vision, and Klinsi finally got rid of him.

        My speculation/extrapolation: Julian Green was secretly promised a WC spot, and it turned out to be at the expense of LD.

        Classless and shameful move — both the way Bocanegra was unceremoniously dumped — and now repeated with the best field player in USMNT history.

        • Sven Bender's night on the town says:

          Love LD and he should 100% be there but lost in all this is the Goodson omission that you noted. How did that happen?! BS!!

  9. Brian S. says:

    If in 2010, you would’ve told me that Damarcus Beasley would be heading to a 4th World Cup and Landon Donovan would essentially be forcefully retired from the USMNT, I would have laughed in your face and quite possibly not been your friend anymore. It’s a crazy game.

    I do hope, once this blows over, more is made about how incredible it is that Beas is on his way to his 4th Cup. That’s an incredible accomplishment that is understandably being overshadowed right now.

    • BrianVT says:

      I was thinking the same thing — and how especially remarkable this is, because DMB’s career was on life-support just two years ago. Rock on, Beas!

  10. MLS_Soccer_Talker says:

    Isnt it Beas 3rd 2002 2006 2014?

  11. LD will be missed says:

    Now that I have come to grips, after a nightful of bashing Klinsman, scorning anyone who would listen, some tears, the reality is I will never see my favorite Nat player in a USA uni again!! These are the emotions we are all going through. We watched Landon grow and become the best American player. He deserves better then me rememberng his last game vs Mexico off the bench. We will see if Klinsman has any class and calls him in after the cup for a goodbye game. a THANK YOU!! He was and is partially the reason for the growth of both the MLS and soccer in the us for the past decade. Landon was class. While at Everton he sent me a 3rd(yellow) game worn signed jersey, (many Evertonians are jealous) he wore the jersey against Man city and had 2 assists in the game. He had heard my mother in law from Liverpool was in the hospital and I was a big fan of his.
    THANK YOU LANDON!!!

    • H-town says:

      “These are the emotions we are all going through.” Speak for yourself.

      I appreciate what Landon Donovan has done for the US men’s national team but at the same time every player has to have a point where he retires, because he’s not keeping the same level that he used to. Whatever Klinsmann’s reason (which I don’t agree with, I would have left off Green) was it is something all fans have to accept and then move on from. However, I am not shedding tears.

    • Cugalabanza says:

      Well said. It is an emotional thing. Hard to imagine not seeing Donovan in a USA jersey again. I’ll give Klinsmann the benefit of the doubt and accept that the decision was performance based, but it’s sad to say goodbye.

    • Jesse says:

      +1. Landon has always been class and deserved better than his boss’s whiny kid mocking him on twitter after he got fired. This is one of the most disrespectful moments in American soccer history. Right behind Harkes playing with his teammates wife. If you’re a Klinnsman you should have known better, and I for one will have a hard time letting this grudge go.

      • Mason says:

        ” This is one of the most disrespectful moments in American soccer history. Right behind Harkes playing with his teammates wife.”

        Twitter and infidelity. Those are totally morally equivalent…

        • Ronaldo Messi says:

          Do not spin it like that, you lose credibility.

        • Jesse D says:

          Twitter isn’t the act, over inflated ego preventing a soccer coach from making soccer decisions. Did we hire Jose Mourinho?

    • Curtis says:

      Echo your comments 100%. Well said.

      LD was class, pure and simple — and he still is (when motivated) a difference-maker at the highest level

      Hell, I would even have taken the head-case Brek Shea over Julian Green — but to leave LD off this roster and question his commitment (when you take Chandler, who kept us at arm’s length for 2 years!!??) — is sickening.

      If we crash and burn in Brazil — and this feels eerily like France 1998 to me — I pray that Klinsi will be called to account for what he has done.

      • Diego's Maradoughnuts says:

        I’m not sure what you mean by “called to account for what he has done”…. What he has done is win the Gold Cup with ease, qualify first in the hex, get a first ever win at Azteca, and get wins against some top sides like Germany and Italy, without an embarrassing loss. He has made the player pool deeper than ever, on both the foreign and MLS fronts

        And yes, he omitted a great player from the 2014 WC side. I would’ve liked to see him play but that’s not my choice and I don’t know diddly about the actual team dynamics or LD’s fitness metrics, because I was not invited to the camp.

        Come to think of it, I would not think it unethical if he simply didn’t take him because, after 5 years of working experience on two teams, he had reached the conclusion that Donovan was a p*ssy who didn’t have the mentality to achieve anything more than he already has. I don’t see Donovan that way, but I don’t work with him, and I’ve never won a World Cup. Or anything like JK has. Why would we require the coach to take a guy he just didn’t work well with? What good does that do?

        As for accountability, what question would you ask JK that he didn’t address today? He has given his responses. He didn’t cop out and issue a PR statement– He answered reporters who probed him. What would change?

        Bear in mind the oddsmakers already expect us to crash and burn in Brazil. It’s basically all upside for JK And even if we lose on penalties n the final, I promise you there will be multiple people here very unjokingly saying that JK should be fired because Donovan was a proven and reliable PK taker. There is quite literally ZERO doubt that we will have a long conversation about the impact of Donovan’s absence beginning on June 16 and continuing well after the tournament.

        But I agree with the original comment. LD has been a legend. I will miss seeing him in the US shirt this summer and for years to come.

  12. NASL to El Paso tx says:

    If I was Landon I would go back to Everton ASAP or look for redemption in Europe. I wouldn’t care for the money, I would go for the love of soccer and redemption after not going to Brazil.
    He has nothing to prove in MLS but to “break records,” in Europe he will have goals that in MLS he will never even think of.
    Now, if he really plays like the old Donovan and wins the concacaf champions and US Lamar open cup for once, then this wouldn’t hurt so much.
    But seriously, walk away from galaxy, let galaxy get another DP and go to Everton or even Mexico and win the libertadores with a big team. Or, transfer to red bull or cosmos or even Miami and win MLS cup with 2 different teams.

  13. PauseTheGameRealQuick says:

    This is like cuttingJordan off of the Olympic team lol wow.

    • Ray F says:

      No it would be like cutting Jordan off the 2010 olympic team.

      • Jesse says:

        Not even close my friend. Your talking about a 50 year old Jordan vs a 32 year old Donovan. It is more like cutting him in 2000 when he wasn’t quite as good as he used to be. Imagine if Coach K after cutting Jordan then let his slimy son Tweet HAHAHAHA Jordan CRY CRY CRY, HAHAHA.

        I’m sure US basketball fans would be after Coach K’s head too.

      • Ali Dia says:

        Actually, I’d say you’d have a much easier time making a Brett Favre analogy. Not that LD deserves that sort of abuse.

        Favre was a wildly popular and legendary player, beloved by a very rabid fanbase and the heart of everything good that had happened to the team in recent memory. He was shown the door before he was ready in favor of youth. He and many fan believed he still had plenty to contribute, andhe actually did prove in the years that followed that he had something left in the tank, and nearly made the Super Bowl.

        Many Packers fans were angry. For a bit anyway. Turns out the new guy was good.

        The moral of the story is… let’s hope Donovan doesn’t start popping up in Wrangler commercials,

        • Jesse D says:

          Sure has some similarities, but it is missing the part where McCarthy’s kid tweets “HAHAHAHA, Farve, crying, haha, crying haha ” at Favre when they cut him.

          McCarthy would have been fired.

    • Mason says:

      Sure…

      If Jordan were on the Wizards.

  14. vrc says:

    Thank you Landon Donovan for all you have done over the years. We still have some friendlys to play before the World Cup. If someone gets hurt, and he is a striker, midfielder, you will be going to Brasil.. That is where Klinsmann can make amends. But, Don’t bet on it…..

  15. Ronaldo Messi says:

    Bottom line is, the USMNT fan base is divided and a huge distraction ahead of the WC has been created by first Klinsmann and then his son. This spells disaster. While Landon is out, the five marginal Germans are in. I just don’t like the way that looks and many will agree with me.

    • Curtis says:

      +1

      Klinsi’s bunging continues. Let’s see what happens to this team in Brazil.

      I can’t believe there is not more outrage about the way all these Germans have been brought into the program. I am not speaking of whether they are legally entitled to play for the USA. I am not talking about their loyalties, divided or otherwise.

      I am talking about team chemistry and doing what’s right. I am also talking about a bottom-line faith (or lack thereof) in the US soccer player. To bring in all of these foreign-born players with tenuous ties to the USA program/culture is insulting and unnecessary.

      WE were doing just fine without you, Klinsi, and making nice progress towards where we wanted to be. You are not the “savior” of this program. You were a great player, but you are a lousy manager.

      If/when we crash and burn in Brazil, I want his head. Cannot believe US Soccer extended his contract before the WC. Pathetic.

  16. Soccer Blood says:

    My initial reaction was No no no what had JK done? maybe there is some personal animosity here?

    The only possible reasons I guess are

    1) LD is carrying too much weight as has been noted in the reports so he is slower?
    2) He would not have started so that may have been a distraction with everyone waiting for LD to come in and save the day?
    3) Klinsman feels he is the darling of the media..another distraction

    That said he is still better than Brad Davis or Mix . Maybe what JK should have done at this stage cut the roster to 24 and wait and see,… possibly an injury, to someone a poor performance against Turkey and the roster may correct itself? Now LD is 1st reserve but the damage and hurt is already done?
    In my book even if LD did not start or play a single minute he should be part of this team. His experience presence and fear that other teams experience ..That alone put him ahead of a few guys?

  17. Jesse D says:

    It is #3 all day long. Jurgen doesn’t like other stealing his spotlight.