Green impressing in USMNT camp as expectations mount

Julian Green

By IVES GALARCEP

Julian Green is the youngest player on the U.S. Men’s World Cup team, but that isn’t keeping expectations from being very high for the Bayern Munich prospect.

Having only committed to playing for the United States in April, Green has just one appearance for the USMNT, and few fans have seen much of him in action. That isn’t stopping expectations from going through the roof after Green was one of the players to make the World Cup roster ahead of legendary U.S. national team star Landon Donovan.

In my latest piece for Goal.com, I talk to Green about making the World Cup team, and about suggestions he was promised a World Cup roster spot for choosing to play for the USA. I also discuss his impressive camp with Clint Dempsey and Fabian Johnson, who had good praise for the 19-year-old attacking prospect.

Give the story a read and let me know what you think. Excited to see Green in action? Think Jurgen Klinsmann made a mistake choosing Green and not bringing Donovan? Wish Klinsmann had brought both?

Share your thoughts below.

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226 Responses to Green impressing in USMNT camp as expectations mount

  1. beachbum says:

    hope he absolutely kills it over there. looking forward to seeing this guy play

  2. Alex says:

    You spoke with Green? All I saw was a couple of quotes. Article was a letdown in my opinion.

  3. bryan says:

    so first it was Bradley in April saying the kid had talent. then Beasley says him and Yedlin have looked very good in camp in Stanford before the cuts. after the cuts Howard says Green has an x-factor and now we have FJ and Dempsey talking him up. there is no doubt Green has been impressive, even if his cameo was a bit lacking.

    i’ll tell you what, that LM spot is interesting with word that FJ has played RB exclusively in camp. does that mean Beasley and Chandler are gonna play LB & LM? Chandler is comfortable there and FJ has always said he prefers playing on the right. or does this just mean Bedoya and Zusi both start; one at RM and the other at LM? or even more crazy, was Ex-Pat right all along and will Green start at LM?

    • Dan says:

      We’ll know a lot more tomorrow, but I’m increasingly feeling that the 4-4-2 diamond is here to stay:

      ——Altidore/Johannsson——Dempsey——–
      ————————Bradley———————-
      ——Bedoya—————————-Zusi——-
      ————————Jones————————
      Chandler——Besler———Cameron———FJ
      ———————–Howard———————–

      • Jack says:

        My biggest worry is Klinsmann knows Beckerman is better at running the diamond but refuses to bench Jones and sticks him on the right.

        • JayAre says:

          Chill out Beckerman can’t do anything better than Jones. That’s the defensive midfield enforcer we’ve been looking for.

          • Good Jeremy says:

            He positions himself much, much better. Jones has 100X the physical skills but is often out of position and committing dangerous fouls to make up for it. Beckerman isn’t flashy but he clogs the middle well, stays in position, and can run for days.

            • Citronomics says:

              Agree. Jones is better technically/physically and can deliver a killer pass but Beckerman stays put and IMO provides better positional covering to allow MB90 to be a true box-to-box mid.

              • Neruda says:

                it’s the killer pass thing that I don’t get from Jones. Great at everything else you mentioned but his risky “killer” passes rarely connect. He’s best when he plays the easy past to the real passers.

              • GW says:

                Neruda,

                Oct 2010 vs Poland

                Killer pass for Jozy to score

                Feb 2013 vs Honduras.

                Killer pass for Dempsey to score

                Jones can pass the ball.

            • JayAre says:

              They are both fouling machines! Beckerman had committed the most fouls in MLS and this is a league let’s a lot of hard fouls go uncalled. So Beckerman is actually a bigger card danger on the world stage.

              link to rslsoapbox.com

              • bryan says:

                thanks for sharing.

              • KingGoogleyEye says:

                JayAre, you dingbat. If you’re going to link to an article, make sure it supports what you’re saying—especially in the dang title, “Kyle Beckerman has committed the most fouls in MLS history, but what’s the real story?”

                Kyle Beckerman has committed more fouls than anyone in MLS history…and he’s also 6th place for most minutes played (a list that includes three goalkeepers!). As the article points out, Kyle is rarely even in the top 10 for fouls per season.

              • bryan says:

                King – lol i thought that as well. 72 yellows from almost 500 fouls isn’t that bad. foul committed every 54 minutes isn’t awful either. cool article either way though, i hadn’t seen it yet.

                with that said, i’d start Jones over Beckerman without question.

              • JayAre says:

                KingGoogleyEye – That’s not what I’m trying to get at. My thing is MLS lets a lot of hard fouls go uncalled (Ask Nagbe) so for him to have that much fouls its not a good thing. If this was La Liga or Bundesliga he’d be a red card machine.

              • KingGoogleyEye says:

                bryan: I too would almost always start Jones over Beckerman. The exception is if I were playing against a very skilled but not particularly fast or strong midfield; e.g., Spain. I might favor Kyle’s better positioning in that case. Maybe.

              • KingGoogleyEye says:

                JayAre: I saw that you were trying to make a point about fouls going unnoticed in MLS, but you still linked to an article that refutes your argument.

                Then you try to argue from absence, relying on alleged fouls that were never called. “I didn’t see him steal, but he lives in a high crime area, so….”

                Beckerman committed 26 fouls last season. That wouldn’t even put him in the top 100 in the EPL. How many phantom fouls do you think he commits?

                It’s just a really poor argument.

            • Byrdman says:

              How can you say that. JJ has always played in a double pivot role with Bradley. If they got to diamond and tell him to stay home, he very well may do so. But we have not seen that yet, or did i miss the Diamond with JJ in the back?

              • bryan says:

                exactly, and people who say that always point to the Mexico friendly as “proof” that Beckerman is better as the #6 in a diamond. the first half worked, but the second half showed a complete collapse with a simple tactical change from Mexico.

                until i see JJ and Bradley play in a diamond 4-4-2, it’s not gonna be an apples to apples comparison.

              • foooo says:

                Didn’t JJ play a more disciplined, stay-at-home role in the qualifier at Azteca?

              • bryan says:

                foooo – no, he didn’t even play in that game. it was Edu and Bradley in a 4-2-3-1. Jones wasn’t even on the roster.

          • Jack says:

            Its not as simple as being a defensive enforcer. The reason Bradley usually plays behind Jones when paired together is because Jones isn’t very good at building out of the back. He doesn’t feel when he’s being pressed from behind and he doesn’t connect the simple passes under pressure. Bradley always has to drop deeper to handle this, and is why Jones ends up further forward when they are paired.

            • JayAre says:

              I think everyone forgot how easily Mexico adapted to the 4-4-2 in the second half and exposed Beckerman. Granted that was an excellent 45 mins of soccer but if you watch 70 mins of the game you’ll see a different Beckerman.

              • bryan says:

                agreed. not to mention we’ve seen plenty of bad games from Beckerman. like against Jamaica and Belize, as well as the 2nd half of the Mexico friendly, for three quick examples.

              • Dennis says:

                It wasn’t Beckermann whowas exposed so much as it was the inability of the US to adapt. Beckerman needed to help out wide in that second half and for him to do that, Btradley had top drop deeper to cover for Beclkermann. That did not happen. The reesult was that Mexico had space in the wings to attack and when Beckermann did get pulled out of the middle (like he should have done) there was no cover for him in the middle. It was basic small group defending breakdown by the US, not only on Beckermann.

          • Shark says:

            Wrong

          • RB says:

            Beckerman definitely knows how to stay home better than Jones.

            • KingGoogleyEye says:

              Under Klinsmann, it is more likely that Beckerman is just asked to stay home more than Jones.

      • QuakerOtis says:

        I don’t mind that. Not one bit.

      • GW says:

        The weakness in a diamond is that all the offensive creativity comes from just one guy, Mikey and is too easy to shut down.

        The Death Group teams are more defensively capable than Mexico.

        Which means some form of the 4-2-3-1 seems more plausible..

        • beachbum says:

          the biggest weakness with the diamond imo was exposed in the Mexico friendly…too easy to place a player on either side of the holding midfielder (the bottom guy in the diamond, Beckerman in the Mexico game) and attack the back line that’s exactly what Mexico did, and they crushed that formation in a few minutes once they had adjusted

          • Byrdman says:

            Exactly right. Second half Was not good.

          • QuakerOtis says:

            True. We can only hope the team practices more than one formation.

            • beachbum says:

              sometimes it looks like they play one formation defensively and another going forward, or at least if defending in a higher line vs. recovering and settling in. fun to watch

      • JayAre says:

        When will you give up this 4-4-2 thing? We play a 4-2-3-1

        • Dan says:

          We went with a 4-4-2 in the Mexico game so clearly it’s on klinsmann’s mind. No need to be snarky.

        • Chris says:

          Dude please just stop. You don’t know what you are talking about

          • Micronesia Justin says:

            Check out USMNT last twee about “who is your starting xi” – it was the 4-4-2.

      • Hogatroge says:

        Alternatively…

        ——Altidore/Johannsson——Dempsey——–
        ————————Bradley———————-
        ——Zusi—————————-Chandler——-
        ————————Jones————————
        Beasley——Besler———Cameron———FJ
        ———————–Howard———————–

        Bedoya –> bench

      • Brett says:

        If Jones plays we don’t play a diamond, but a flat 4-4-2 with the pulley system. That, of course, means we expose our backline when Jones loses possession, falls down, and stays down to try and force a stoppage.

        The formations are meant to suit player skills and tendencies. Trying to shoehorn a set of players into a formation that doesn’t suit their skills is folly.

    • Michael says:

      Howard just meant that Green killed it at karaoke night.

  4. Julio says:

    I posted this in the previous thread just minutes before this on came up.

    I think it is great, fantastic even, for Landon, the MLS and for soccer in America. The timing for Landon to break the MLS record, a brace and an assist no less couldn’t have come at a better time. Thank you Landon! The commenter Brett with one of his great posts on the previous thread got me thinking.

    I believe naming the 23 last Thursday and leaving Donovan out may turn out to be the BEST thing (so far) that has ever happened for U.S. Soccer. How Cow, the internets are going crazy, soccer is spoken on TV (I was at a local sports bar/restaurant on Thursday and ESPN were on most screens and they cut in, Landon Donovan was Cut). I never saw so much interest in the sport as I have seen in the last few days.

    Now we have something. We will see it beginning tomorrow evening in the Azerbaijan friendly. That match will maybe set records for viewership, mainly thanks to Landon, his being cut, and what he did in a MLS match yesterday. We couldn’t buy that kind of promotion at any price.
    What we all want, at least I hope so, is for Soccer to grow in the U.S., especially in our youth programs, you know, develop our own talent and all that. The main way we can do that is by generating interest. This is the perfect time to play our first send-off, only 5 days after the Great Donovan was cut, and the time for the USMNT to showcase our new superstar, Julian Green.
    Like Micheal Bradley said after the Mexico friendly, he got his first taste and NOW WE CAN REALLY GET HIM GOING.

    • Bo says:

      New superstar?? That’s a good one.

    • Good Jeremy says:

      Best thing for US Soccer? How does increasing your chances at a flame out in the World Cup become the best thing for US Soccer?

      Best thing for short term attention and ESPN coverage, but winning will be better for US Soccer and both of the media aspects in the long run.

      • Julio says:

        maybe you missed my words “may turn out to be” and “so far”.

        Of course it has to be followed up in the friendlies and a GOOD showing in Brazil. If so, then indeed the cutting of Donovan will be proven and will have turned out good for U.S. Soccer.

    • Howie says:

      So we have a hot scrimmage against the #85 FIFA rated team. This is a no win situation for JK & company. We lose and twitter will explode, we win… everybody will say theyre nothing. Tie goes to the explosion.

      • foooo says:

        Meh, I don’t think JK and company really care so much about how the media and fans respond to the result of the Azerbaijan friendly. It’s a necessary step of preparation and is not really that predictive of how the team will perform in Brazil.

        • Josephnsantos says:

          You are on the mark! Tomorrow,s friendly is almost insignicant. It is simply attest, nothing more.
          Joe Santos

      • Ali Dia says:

        If our coach is using Twitter reaction as a barometer for anything, we are already in a no-win situation.

        Not sure what you are suggesting we do… play Argentina? What would that accomplish? Win and it’s likely a false dawn. Lose 5-0 and you have killed the self-belief and morale you have spent the last month trying to build.

        I think for the first competitive match I’d rather see them have a little more space and time on the ball, so that they can get comfortable with the system they have been training with, and start building some confidence. There are some meaningful targets, such as keeping a clean-sheet, and getting Jozy a goal, that could provide far more value than the result can.

        Azerbaijan seems like a great opponent, in any honesty. For starters, they are not that terrible. They allowed one or fewer goals in 8 out of their 10 qualifiers, with 2-0 and 3-0 losses being the worst results.. We should certainly have opportunities and decent space, but anybody expecting a goal-fest should not get carried away.

        Also, the fact that Vogts is their coach offers additional opportunity. He has a set of players with whom we are unfamiliar, but whom he knows very well. This makes for an excellent training exercise and a chance to probe weak spots. Azerbaijan WILL attempt to attack these areas, and that is a good thing. Better to find our our key issues now against a coach who can offer feedback, than against Ghana on June 16

      • Brett says:

        Isn’t this true of any non-competitive match? Teams play them to get live training, to get as close to a game as possible without actually playing for keeps. If you’re afraid to lose, then you’re a loser and deserve your result.

        I think it’s a good move. If we can’t beat a team we should beat, then we have a list of correctable mistakes to address before we get to the real matches. Better to find that out now than when we face Ghana, yes? If we do beat a team we should beat, we at least know we are headed the right direction, build a little confidence, and can look to further increase our successes and correct our failures.

    • The Garrincha says:

      Bingo Buddy!, Me and Julio down by the school yard…
      Will also be good to witness Green, with some more run and familiarity.
      Houston, we got LD, on standby…

  5. mb says:

    all the quotes are just standard teammate backing. nothing special. they’re not going to say anything non-complimentary about him now that he is on the roster. seems like US soccer payed you to write the article.

  6. Chris says:

    I won’t lie I’m absolutely one of the people PISSED about the Donovan/Green/whatever saga going on. Feel like Donovan was slighted and Green had some shady deal cut.

    BUT, I will forever be supportive of the USMNT. If Green is legitimately impressing in camp and has a chance to be a spark for us in this World Cup, I will be excited. Hope it’s true.

    • Hogatroge says:

      Let’s face it people… Green didn’t edge out Donovan. Period.

      Green was always going to go from the day he committed to the US. Unless he scores multiple goals in the pre-WC friendlies, he’s probably not going to see more than garbage minutes in a single match.

      Davis, Wondo, and Bedoya (in that order) are the players that made it over Donovan (right or wrong)…not Green.

      • User222 says:

        +1….

      • Jack says:

        Oh but its not between Davis and Donovan, because Davis has this golden left foot. Since he got off a cross once for the US.

        • Joe Soccer says:

          Yep, once. But certainly not twice.

          Is there anything in soccer more overrated than Davis’ left foot?

      • Citronomics says:

        Yup.

      • Byrdman says:

        Hogatrope, i think you may be surprised. Sounds to me like JK is going to play him.

      • The Garrincha says:

        Hogatrope,
        probably true about the order of people.
        although I think myself believe and my friend the Expat DJ.
        (who by the way would love to make a wager with you).,
        “money Green”,
        plays more minutes than anyone could believe.
        Any way you cut it things are looking on the up and up.

      • Sharkbait says:

        Agree with this. Though I think Bedoya was a 100% lock before camp to be honest. To me Davis and Wondo are the two bubble players who made it at Donovan’s expense. The way I see it Davis and Wondo knocked off Donovan and Boyd. Green was always going unless he just looked absolutely terrible in camp, which doesn’t seem to have been the case.

  7. Diego's Maradoughnuts says:

    I don’t know. I still see this kid as a max 300-500 comment guy. And that’s with quality service from Ives and an experienced target man like slowleft setting up chances. By comparison, a barely-fit LD went for over 1000 out of seemingly nowhere, and has been on a tear ever since.

    Kid obviously has potential. He is producing moral outrage at a level beyond his years, with personal insults and the occasional plea for White House involvement showing versatility. But until he shows me a willingness to create chances on his own — and, for, example, key Jonathan Klinsmann’s car– I am not quite sold.

  8. Bradley's Missing Mop says:

    I can’t believe how big the next game has become…..

    • Jack says:

      What does the score line need to be a appease the masses? At least 4-0?

      • Been There says:

        It does help having the opposing team’s coach on your staff. Klinsi can pretty much name his score.

        • Ali Dia says:

          On the contrary, I would think the value-maximizing thing to do would have Vogts attack the weak spots in the system they have been training with. Blowing Azerbaijan out artificially would prove nothing and contribute no lessons. Point is to use these friendlies address weaknesses and uncertainties. A clean sheet is a great target. And yes, it would be nice to build confidence with some goals (particularly for Jozy). But it’s about the performance, not the scoreline. And as it has been noted, Azerbaijan are quite good defensively

          The importance of this game has not changed a bit from the perspective of JK or the players. It is high. But the purpose is unchanged.

          Having said that, a 10-nil loss would be something of a cause for concern.

      • Bradley's Missing Mop says:

        What is crazy, is that people are expecting 4-0, but don’t realize that Azerbaijan does an acceptable job of parking the bus against big time European teams. It is very possible that we can’t break this team down.

        Go look up Azerbaijan’s group with Russia and Portugal for qualifying and tell me we will steamroll them.

        • arsenal says:

          They only allowed 10 goals in all of qualifying. That I’d impressive with a team that has little talent. Shin guardian did an impressive article about them and how there is a real help in facing them.

  9. JayAre says:

    Nobody wants to believe the players in camp they just want to keep believe LD was slighted and the NT need him to put on their shoes. I really hope this kid suprises the world like LD did in 2002

    • Chris says:

      Tim Howard said Donovan is one of the best players when he steps on the field days before the cuts were made. Get over yourself

      • JayAre says:

        Keep living in the past and believe want you want about LD, I’m on the outside looking in, I don’t know the facts so I won’t argue with your conspiracy theory but LD is not on the roster get over it! Let’s hope Green is truly an X factor like Howard said.

        • Howie says:

          I wonder how Green would stack up against Juan Agudelo or even Lee Nguyen. Those two are legit x-factors. We’ll never know cause JK won’t let anybody compete for his spot.

          • GW says:

            “Those two are legit x-factors”

            How do you figure that?. Juan and Lee are x factors to be sure but have not proven to be so at the competitive international level.

            I’d say all three would have a lot prove going into a World Cup. The one thing that might separate Green from the other two is his speed.

          • Randall H. says:

            That’s because they’re not German. Lying Klinnsman says players have to earn their spots yet Chandler disapears for all of qualifying, Brooks stinks in both of his outings and Green is a fourth division player with ten minutes under his belt.

        • You got your head in the sand says:

          The fact that you’re so adamant that Klinsi is above reproach is hysterical and delusional. You’d make a great Nazi. Step in line, don’t question, the Fuhrer will lead us to greatness. Your an f’ing joke. Same goes for all the other Nazi Klinsi apologists crawling out of the sheeple stalls on SBI————–PHUK U.
          Over and out. USA USA USA

      • Byrdman says:

        You may be right Chris, but why is Howard’s comment about LD supposed to be the Gospel truth, but things that the other players say about Green are discounted as polite teammate speak. To me, both may he true. LD is not on this team because of the sabbatical. When he was really good JK had to put up with him. But now that his game has slipped, and it has in my opinion(great game last night though) JK does not have to take someone who by his own admission is not as fot as the other guys, and mentally is not all in. Nit is a coach’s decison. That’s why they get paid, and why they get fired.

        • Jack says:

          If Howard just wanted to be polite he could say, something like, I think his record speaks for itself, he can bring something to this team. However to say he’s 1 or 2 of the best players on the field you have to admit was pretty bold.

        • Chris says:

          I never said including Donovan comes with excluding Green. Donovan came into the MLS season rusty as every other f*cking player does after the offseason. If you would actually watch Galaxy games instead of believing everything you hear, you would realize he has greatly improved as the season has gone on and has looked good his past 4 games despite being shifted around in Arena’s system. He is not fat as evident by his six pack on ESPN’s world cup video. He is not out of shape. You want to talk about out of form? Mix had a bad season where he didn’t even start a majority of the games. AJ has been extremely out of form every since his ankle injury. Chandler had a more than forgettable season.

          These JK fanboys are probably the same people that said Michael Bradley was no good and only played because of his dad or that Clint Dempsey should have been dropped during his bad run of form.

          • KingGoogleyEye says:

            fwiw, I:

            am a JK fan, based on results

            never once accused the Bradleys of nepotism

            never once called for Deuce to be dropped

            hoped that LD would make the team

            Did I miss anything?

            • MFP says:

              No, you didn’t miss anything. The formula is: Have an opinion. Assume that anyone who doesn’t share it probably always has opinions that turn out to be incorrect. Yeah, intellectual laziness.

      • The Garrincha says:

        Chris, I identify you as being a truly good guy.
        You have honor and loyalty, you are appreciated.
        we all just want to see all the best there is to offer,
        no politics, no more no less.

    • beachbum says:

      BS. they are separate issues.

      I believe the players, and I also believe LD got F’d.

  10. bottlcaps says:

    I think Julian Green is a bright young prospect and not doubt he has talent. But he has NO business being on the US World Cup team. I have not seen a lot of JG, but neither has anyone else, with the exception of the Mexico game which didn’t show a lot, he has not shown me that he merits a spot of this WC team.

    But he players for BAYERN MUNICH!! ….NO, he does not, he plays for the BAYERN MUNICH Reserve team which in the Bundesliga THIRD Division, one step above the amateurs Landon Donovan PLAYED IN MORE GAMES FOR BAYERN MUNICH THAN DID JULIAN GREEN, that’s right, LD had 6 appearances to JG’s one. And yes JG scored a potful of goals, but in a third division, Terence Boyd scored almost as many (21) in the Austrian Bundesliga, (probably comparable to the 2 German Bundisliga) and did not merit a spot. LD scored around 9 goals for Bayer Leverkusen II in less than 1/3 the appearance of JG.

    LD and JG are roughly the same size and weight, and both can play winger, Due to his age LD has probably lost a step, but his 130 appearance for the USMNT, his 5 MLS cups, his 50 goals for the US and 135 for the MLS, I think, make up for that.

    In short, combined with JK adding Tim Chandler to the US team, only because he plays in Germany, along with Green, shows that JK has a LOW, LOW opinion of the MLS and the Liga MX, a so-so player or one with absolutely NO first team experience rate higher than more MLS AND internationally accomplished US based players.

    This is rank favoritism and absolute parochialism.

    The US, should, this time around, beat GHANA, with or without LD. But if they don’t, this whole JK experiment will be a complete waste of our time, for I do not see the US beating Ronaldo and Portugal or most of the Bayern Munich team (i.e., Germany) with one of their youth academy players (JG). I wish it, I hope it, and I will support the USMNT to my last breath, but the EURO/GB bookies in the UK who know football/soccer like no one else, downgraded the US chances recently, to even get out of the group. I cant say if it was because of the omission of LD, but the new spread came out after the announcement of the team.

    But sage words can be said, that you can hope the US gets out of group, but if you are smart… Don’t bet on it.

    • Jack says:

      Not to throw fuel on this fire but Bayern II is in the forth division. I’m willing to see what happens. Hopefully he makes the team better, more then anything.

    • Sportsnutty says:

      Enough already, you’re crying like a spurned junior high schooler. At least don’t blow the lead in your first 50 words. “But he has NO business being on the US World Cup team. I have not seen a lot of JG, but neither has anyone else, with the exception of the Mexico game which didn’t show a lot, he has not shown me that he merits a spot of this WC team.” You say, ‘I have not seen a lot of JG…’ Then whatever follows is rendered moot. Back your analysis with facts. Watch him play in the upcoming games..
      Then resume your crying if its warranted.

      • Julio says:

        +1

      • bottlcaps says:

        I hope Julian Green does well and if he plays against Azerbaijan and does well, more power to him. But Azerbaijan is ranked LOWER than all the Concacaf teams in the Hexagonal. If he plays, he better be good, real good, because he’s been chosen over some really, really good players, who have been good against higher ranked teams

        The plain FACT is Julian Green has played in ONE friendly for the USMNT and not even a start, he has made ONE appearance fro the BM first team, neither of those games has he scored a goal or made even an assist, yet he has been chosen for the WC team,because he is a German-American playing for a German team who rates him better than average.

        Read some German articles about Green (google translate is your friend) and if they don’t rate him so high, then we shouldn’t either.

        Klinsmann has made some poor choices based on favoritism of Euro Players against US and Liga MX based players, and he is on the fast track to a Steve Sampsonesq World Cup

        • Byrdman says:

          So basically you dont care how good he plays, you are going to say he doesnt belong, even though by your own admission you have not seen him play. You are wrong. There are some who have seen him. They are coaches. Professionals at judging talent and selecting players. ALL of his coaches say he can play right now. Jk happens to agree with Guardiola, who has seen him play a ton. Sorry i dont see the logic in you making any judgment whatsoever, since you have not seen him. SO you de-valued your own opinion. Not trying to rip you, but trying to open your eyes to what you said. Back up rethink it and tell us why you want LD and not Green using logical arguments. There are good arguments on both sides.

        • Sportsnutty says:

          Once again, you state something as fact without any basis for calling it a FACT.
          1. “Klinsmann has made some poor choices based on favoritism of Euro Players against US and Liga MX based players”. Who? When? And most importantly, what did this horrendous act cost the USMNT?
          2. “…he is on the fast track to a Steve Sampsonesq World Cup”. Based on your omniscience? How do you base this assessment? What facts?

          Here is my guess at future events… the USMNT will play well and acquit themselves as best as anyone can expect in such a difficult group… but obviously since you don’t like the coach and some players you won’t cheer them on, right?
          Shame to root against your own country.

          • Kevin o says:

            What a terrible response

          • You got your head in the sand says:

            The fact that you’re so adamant that Klinsi is above reproach is hysterical and delusional. You’d make a great Nazi. Step in line, don’t question, the Fuhrer will lead us to greatness. Your an f’ing joke. Same goes for all the other Nazi Klinsi apologists crawling out of the sheeple stalls on SBI————–PHUK U.
            Over and out. USA USA USA

            • Sportsnutty says:

              Really dude? Suggesting someone would make a great Nazi? And you’re calling someone else delusional? You’re insulting and ignorant.
              This is about football, a sport, you need to get a grip.

        • foooo says:

          If JK is favoring German-Americans, why are players like Boyd, Williams, and Morales not on the roster?
          Why is he taking 10 MLS players? Why is he taking 16 players who were developed in the U.S.?

    • Mueller says:

      “In short, combined with JK adding Tim Chandler to the US team, only because he plays in Germany, along with Green, shows that JK has a LOW, LOW opinion of the MLS and the Liga MX, a so-so player or one with absolutely NO first team experience rate higher than more MLS AND internationally accomplished US based players.”

      I like MLS, but the leading scorer in MLS played for Brentford in the English 3rd Division. Everyone who wants to rip on Green for being 3rd Division need to ask themselves truly what level MLS is (and that goes for Landon too.) Jurgen told ALL the players to go to Europe. If they did not, they should not get mad at him for not picking them because they could have done more. Club form matters and the league and team you play for matters.

      Picking the World Cup squad is not about who has been the most important to the USMNT in the past 4 years, in the past 10 years, or in their lifetime. It is about which teammates are going to come together to play 3 awesome teams in a month and hope to get through.

      If Klinsmann didn’t think Landon was good enough, too bad. He has been poor in the midfield in MLS and with the USMNT. He has been good in the hole behind a striker (Dempsey’s role), but JK was only going to pick 2 players for each position so him and Aron Johannsson battled for the spot. He lost. It happens.

      • You got your head in the sand says:

        The fact that you’re so adamant that Klinsi is above reproach is hysterical and delusional. You’d make a great Nazi. Step in line, don’t question, the Fuhrer will lead us to greatness. Your an f’ing joke. Same goes for all the other Nazi Klinsi apologists crawling out of the sheeple stalls on SBI————–PHUK U.
        Over and out. USA USA USA

        • rick says:

          Anyone using a Nazi analogy for a soccer coach is beyond pathetic.

          • Mueller says:

            Thanks. The funny part is he copied and pasted it from above. I guess that is the response you get if you support the manager.

            • Fred says:

              That’s the response you get when no questioning of the coach is allowed —Ya Voll, Was ist die Richtung zur Vorderseite

          • Fred says:

            fall in line…sheep

          • Vinny Pascagula says:

            the analogy seems to be for the mentality of people who don’t allow questioning (like the Nazi’s, Stalinists,etc) The “klinsi aplogists” are acting like Nazi’s not that the coach is a Nazi.

    • The Garrincha says:

      Now this is gratuitous and ad nauseam, Bomb Popsicle, bottlecaps, crack N whip, whos it’s, and what not’s?.
      “Money Green” is good, period. and I have seen him play.
      yes most certainly more than you. if I were to brief you a log, over 500 minutes with Bayern, and the DFB.
      I affirm this, and has el Garrincho ever led any of you astray?,
      I hold no personal bias, prejudice, or agenda, save one, the total and complete improvement and evolution of American soccer, unilaterally across the board.
      the transformation is happening, although I wonder if the coaching change with the other half will leave us with a lot to follow?.
      I offer no apology on this and it’s nothing personal with any individual player.
      if it is obvious to me among others that player Y does not cut it over player X,
      playfully at times, and yes with respect I’m going to express that.
      My one and only concern related to soccer in the US, is that the best that we can possibly offer is presented to all of us.

      • just sayin says:

        gawd you are f-ing idee-ot. You should try pulling your head out of you a$$. Might help.

      • Dirk says:

        If Expat were still with us I am sure he would give you a big +1.

        • Jack says:

          You are so weird

          • The Garrincha says:

            welcome back jack,
            I hope you are talking about Expat Dirk-Julio?(he is my friend all of them/him, I rather enjoy his insight which seems to be triple the wisdom of many.
            Now, between you and me Jack can you keep a secret because maybe I don’t know jack?.
            However, since I am most certainly and assuredly just The Garrincha,
            Although this was once a man,
            Manuel Francisco Dos Santos, AKA Garrincha.
            The Garrincha is a synthesis you see, a fusion if you will of this legendary soccer player, friend and former team mate of Pele.
            This is why the ghost of Garrincha, is always looking for Pele.
            He is a messenger, and divines the gods of the “beautiful game”.
            His playful, sarcastic, witty, and cynical side is that of “The Grinch”.
            thus manifested to fight the crime of perpetual ignorance and it’s institutionalization in the soccer world today.
            You got that Jack?, have a nice day…

    • Howie says:

      +1000

    • Brett says:

      Who he plays for is irrelevant, as is his inexperience. What is relevant is his talent and drive to show that talent to the world. That’s why he made the team, not because of his club situation.

      We had little chance to advance with Donovan, so saying we have little chance without him isn’t exactly a revelation. I think our chances improve without Donovan, because Donovan is a known quantity and good teams know how to neutralize him (as history has shown). At least Green believes he can meet the challenge, Donovan defeats himself before he even tries.

  11. Randsall says:

    Pretty interesting to go back and read this

    link to soccerbyives.net

    And yes I do have too much time on my hands

    • EQeki says:

      Im glad you pointed that out!

      Good read and quite hilarious comments as well. A Projected 2014 World Cup squad where only 3 players made it.

      • away goals says:

        This is why you never take youth players to gain experience for the next world cup.

        • QuakerOtis says:

          Right. NEVER. Especially if it’s 2002 and his name is Landon Donovan…

        • Brett says:

          So then how do players get World Cup experience? We wait until they’re in their mid to late 20s and then put them up against tougher competition for the first time? Then of course that puts them in their 30s when the next cup rolls around, so their “experience” turns to “age”.

          Every team needs a mix of veterans and young talent, and some of those young talents will be unproven. It’s the nature of a 4 year competition cycle.

      • Brett says:

        Projections are tough in a sport where the player pool is deeper than any other.

    • JayAre says:

      Only 7 players actually made the roster considering that was 4 years ago that’s pretty impressive.

      • Darwin says:

        8 players from this readers comment (check IVES reaction!)

        GK: Howard, Guzan, Hamid

        DF: Ream, Gonzalez, Opara, Lichaj, Boss, Williams*, Castillo, Garza*

        MF: Landycakes, Bradley, Edu, Holden, Bedoya, Diskerud, Okugo, Shea

        FW: Altidore, Davies, Dempsey, Taylor

        * – shots in the dark

        (SBI-So you’d rather throw up 12 long shots so you can have one or two you can look back on and be proud about? How is that a reasonable approach? I’m trying to offer up the most practical squad based on what we know now. These aren’t shots in the dark. Anybody can throw darts at a board.)

        • Brett says:

          LOL Ives. Making poor predictions since 2007.

          This one made me laugh harder than the “Jozy will score 14 league goals” gem.

    • Jack says:

      I liked this comment

      Xander Crews says- Let’s not kid ourselves: Bradley is an average player who works hard. There’s no shame in that, but he’s hardly the type of player you build a midfield around.

      If Michael Bradley’s our most talented player four years from now, we’re in trouble.

      • Randsall says:

        I thought the best comment was someone advocating for Chad Barrett of all people. Can you imagine an alternate universe where Klinsi called HIM into the 23???

      • The Garrincha says:

        True Jack
        MB is a good box to box midfielder who has some creativity and ability to score. he does not posses the fluidity, body movement, and control to be a consistent and reliable attacking option.
        He has worked very hard to become a very solid and complete player,
        and one never really has to question his competitive spirit, passion heart, and desire.
        He is invaluable and his role is solid and defined.

      • Brett says:

        He wasn’t, nor will he ever be, our “most talented” player.

        He runs for 90 minutes, gets stuck in, plays box to box, reacts well, and has great positional instincts. In most countries that makes you a middling footballer, but in the US it makes you a must-include because MLS does not produce such players.

        Just as Reyna was the most important player in 2002 while he was not the most talented.

    • Chucks says:

      Yura Movsisyan :(

    • Josh D says:

      The glory days of Soccer by Ives when Ives actually cared to build and contribute to a community, even if it was snarky.

      What that list teaches you is no one knows what’ll happen in 4 years and journalists are just as good at predicting players as fans.

    • foooo says:

      Even back then people were worried about how thin our backline looked.
      Bornstein? Really Ives?

  12. Rob says:

    Green us going to tear it up in Brazil.
    Even if he cost us a goal, falls down and injures himself an fails to beat anybody 1-1 his fan boys will talk about that one pass he completed as if he’s Messi.

  13. castroviejo says:

    as donald Rumsfeld so eloquently stated. There are known knowns and there are known unknowns and there are unknown unknowns.
    landon being the former and Green being the latter.

  14. Roy says:

    This is like a Theo Walcott Smells Like Teen Spirit remake.

  15. ilikefreddyyesadu says:

    The US needs a guy who can score clutch goals. Someone who can lead a comeback in the WC even if down by a couple. A guy who can score a last minute goal to move them forward or secure a spot. A guy who can calmy convert a pk. Anyone in the pool have that track record?

  16. TGA says:

    Julian Green is the next Landon Donovan? Actually he is so much better now than Landy Cakes was at 18. And you MLS-heads are so enamored with your league. It is still 4th division soccer.

    • Your Mom Owes An Apology says:

      Is this even real? What’s up with these lazy “somebody argue with me please” comments? Seems too shameless and weak for expat, even. Does Ives owe somebody money or something? This is like a Yahoo! comment designed to generate activity. I guess it worked. Barf.

  17. AlexH says:

    Well I doubt anybody in camp would be saying, “This guy sucks, I can’t believe he made the team!” I’m not saying that it’s true but if it were nobody would say so, which makes any sort critique of JG’s performance worthless.

    • MFP says:

      I think it’s a totally separate issue from Donovan’s cut, and feel bad for the kid that so many fans are lumping them together. But yeah, considering that the only folks who regularly see him – Bayern Munich, Germany and JK – don’t seem to think he sucks, I doubt that the US players in camp secretly think that he does either.

      • MFP says:

        And nobody in camp is saying the JG is the US soccer saviour, or should be captain or anything, which would sound suspicious. The quotes have all been that he’s really skilled, speedy and has a ton of potential for a kid his age. That’s pretty much in line with everything we’ve heard from anyone else who’s seen him regularly.

        I can imagine a hot 18-year-old-prospect who’s been coveted by some of the best club and national teams in the world as potentially being a useful spark off the bench for the US in Brazil, even if I’ve only personally seen 20 minutes of him in our shirt. I don’t get why people who haven’t sen more assume he couldn’t have possibly earned a place in that role based on skill.

  18. Julio says:

    My only wish is the exact same as The Garrincha’s. That soccer in the U.S. is greatly improved across the board, in the Nat. Team, in MLS, in youth development and especially in fan interest. As I stated above, it think cutting Donovan and then his having a brace and an assist just 3 days after is a great thing. And I believe that Julian Green will be the catalyst we have always needed, but have never had, a true world-class young player that will make soccer finally mean something in the USA.

    I, and El Garrincho too, simply can not understand why what we want for U.S. soccer is taken so negatively by so many. There can be only one reason, that there are many here who don’t want that. They want the U.S. to go 3 and out at most world-cups and maybe get out of group once every 3 or 4 cups.

    So I ask those of you who don’t want soccer in the U.S. to improve. WHY?

    • Jack says:

      I think all those things have just been promised so many times before. We’re just going to have to wait and see it, to believe it.

      • Julio says:

        That is far removed from my question Jack. There is no promise, there is only a chance. Why do you rag on and on about how bad Chandler is and Green too when all evidence points to the contrary?

        For instance, yes, Green plays for Bayern’s reserve team. But the fact that Bayern were going to loan him out to Hamburg for this recent season, where he would have been a starter, but Pep nixed the deal, he wanted Julian to train with the first team, which you must admit, have some world-class players, means nothing to you.

        Please answer my question.

        • Jack says:

          I guess we’ll see

          • Julio says:

            Okay, you won’t answer the question but fair enough, Then can I be relieved that I will no longer be reading your posts saying how bad Chandler and Green are until after tomorrows match

            • Jack says:

              I’ve never said Chandler is bad , I just don’t think he cares at all about the US team and is only here to play in a World Cup. When have I ever said Green is bad? Its like you’re just looking for a fight from anyone who suggest Green might not best the great footballer to walk the earth right this second.

            • Jack says:

              I’ve never even said Green shouldn’t be on this team. You’re clearly just trying to pick fights that aren’t even there.

              • Julio says:

                I am so sorry Jack, you explained it, you are ragging on Chandler for a, to you, good reason and it has nothing to do with how good a footballer he is, he, to you, is NOT committed. Okay, but you are wrong there.

                But do you see my side, that I see you constantly rag on Chandler? Can you see why you confuse me so much and why I asked the question, why do so many here (including you) not want the usmnt to get better?

              • Jack says:

                Klinsmann has made his choice and Chandler is on the team, I hope he now shows the same level of desire to match his ability. If the US is any better I guess that will just be decided in a few weeks.

    • Lil'Zeke says:

      Mostly crickets, Julio, because you’ve incorrectly stated the nature of your opposition

      • Julio says:

        Please Lil’, tell me. What is the nature of my opposition? I have not been able to figure it out.

  19. petro4ever says:

    Green’s story this tournament might actually be an interesting one. I think Klinsmann has essentially picked Green to play the “Brek Shea” role — a winger who can play on the left who, due to a combination of athleticism and youthful fearlessness (or stupidity, depending on how you want to look at it), will go right at defenders and try to create something from the moment he’s put on the field. As Shea showed us this cycle (at least during his better games), having a player on your bench who can play that role is useful, and Klinsmann’s previous affinity for Shea shows that he is intent on having an spark-plug to bring off the bench when things aren’t going well. In fact, Klinsmann’s previous use of Shea might be the ultimate proof that Green didn’t take Donovan’s spot. Green was never really competing against our starters and main rotation players for a spot on the team — he was, in fact, auditioning to fill a role that Brek Shea left open when his disastrous club season pushed him out of USMNT contention.

    At this point, it’s an open question as to whether Green can really be that guy. His Mexico appearance showed that he is indeed fast, technical, and willing to take on defenders. On the other hand, physically, he’s still a boy among men and even on the wing, he’s in danger of getting pushed around (this isn’t a perfect analogy, but think of Fredy Adu in the 2011 Gold Cup final — he was technical enough to deliver some killer passes in the early minutes but couldn’t cope with the physicality as the match went on — Green is, of course, faster than Fredy was, but until he get’s older, he’s is going to be equally if not more susceptible to physical play). I’m looking forward to seeing if he gets a run-out in any of the send-off friendlies. Should be interesting to watch…

    • Julio says:

      Be prepared then. What would you do if he got much more than a “run-out” in the 3 friendlies?

      • petro4ever says:

        It’s possible, particularly if Fabian Johnson is played at LB. My guess is that he won’t get big minutes though, since his lack of size will prevent him from helping out much defensively. At this point in his career, I think he’s a guy you use in limited minutes when you really need a goal and giving up one won’t make things that much worse than they already are. Don’t get me wrong, he may be a star in the making, but probably only a 15-20 minute player at most.

  20. slowleftarm says:

    The fix has been in from day one with Green. He’s going to play in every game and actually I think he’s got a reasonable chance to start.

    • Julio says:

      Wow! Hi slow, what makes you say he’s got a reasonable chance to start?

      • Julio says:

        Seriously slow, Even though I don’t agree with you most of the time I respect your position and know where you are coming from. I think if we met at a pub we would get along great.

        Please, why do you think Julian may start?

    • slowleftarm says:

      Because JK likes him for whatever reason and has already given him far more than he deserves. What on Earth has Green done to earn a spot in any USMNT camp, let alone the 30 man or 23 man roster? Nothing. Other than one two minute appearance, he’s a prospect who plays in the fourth division against semi-professionals and other teenagers. So why wouldn’t JK start him?

      I was saying all along Donovan wasn’t making the 23. I’ve been saying it for weeks and a lot of people said I was crazy. Now people are saying JK taking Green instead is ok because the last few players aren’t really needed (which isn’t really true) and he won’t play or will only play in garbage time. I think he’s going to play a lot.

      • Jack says:

        I agree, Fabian being be moved to fullback is a pretty big sign, Green is going to start

      • Julio says:

        Thank you for your reply slow. With respect, here is where I disagree with you. Even though Julian has not started a single game at Bayern and has only been seen for 30 some minutes against Mexico, I can understand your position. But only because YOU have not seen Julian more than that.

        What I say is that Julian has done much more than earn a spot at the camp and a place on the 23, he has already earned a starting position. I believe that the each of the other 29 at camp and all of the coaches have seen Julian Green play more that you or I. They know how much Julian Green can mean to the team. This is what I say, I trust them because they are the ones who know, not me or you who have seen only 30 minutes of play.

        Also, consider this. Our host Ives Galacep who provides us this great soccer forum had thought of Green just as you still do and he stuck to his guns before and after the Mexico friendly. Yes, Ives is stubborn and had strong negative opinions about Julian Green, just as you have.

        However, Ives does know his football. After all that what did he do? He put up an article “GREEN IMPRESSING IN USMNT CAMP AS EXPECTATIONS MOUNT”.

        • Jack says:

          Your writing style gives you away every single time.

        • Rob says:

          Bringing Green to the national team is a gamble in Klinsmann’s part to tie him to the US, not because he belongs in Brazil. If we are inferring things then we need to take into account the fact that the Bayern coaches gave him a chance in the first team an then sent him back to the fort division and took his name out of the first team player sheet. What do you make out of that?
          When it comes to spotting young Talent I’d take Guardiola over just about anybody in the world and he didn’t think Green was good enough to keep around like the other 18-19 year olds he gave first team minutes to.

          • Julio says:

            when did Bayern and Pep do that Rob?

            • The Garrincha says:

              My goodness, my friends,
              are we all not bent and twisted out of shape?.
              Half of you are talking BS.
              The other half, drank the cool aid.
              We all maybe need a vacation.
              I hear,
              somewhere between the Ukraine,
              and Turkey,
              Azerbaijan, seems like a very nice place?.
              Peace to the world,
              and the beautiful game.
              good night and good love.

            • Rob says:

              Last time he made the team sheet was around week 14, a couple of months before he got injured in the Mexico game.
              You have the face the fact that, unlike other youngsters, the Bayern coaches just didn’t think he was worth first team minutes and will most likely be shipped out this offseason.

          • Julio says:

            Yes, Pep started the 18yr. old Hojbjerg in a game when Julian Green went to Arizona to play for the USMNT. Then when Julian returned he had a separated shoulder so he didn’t start anywhere for Bayern, and Hibjerg got more playing time. Why would Pep and Bayern risk their investment, Julian Green, when he had a dislocated shoulder?

            You are not telling the truth, Pep Guardiola in no way thinks Julian Green is not good enough, not only to keep around, but to start for Bayern.

            • Rob says:

              You can use the injury excuse or you can look at the facts. After a brief run with the first team Green failed to even make the team sheet three months before his injury.
              It’s a well known fact in the Bayern circles that Green has no place in the first team anymore. He got a shot and just couldn’t cut it. It happens.
              I really don’t understand why people have so much invested in a player they haven’t even heard about a year ago.

              • Julio says:

                Well Rob, all I can say is you are as wrong as wrong can be. Nothing you said happened, not even close. I could give you evidence to the contrary but it wouldn’t do any good so I won’t.

                Let’s wait, the world cup is coming up and Bayern will be playing in the Bundesliga next season.

              • Julio says:

                By the way Rob, are you a good friend of a commenter here known as biff?

              • The Garrincha says:

                Rob.
                Give you an anecdote.
                i’m sitting with a friend back in Berlin about 3 years ago.
                I believe it was the German U17′s, Euro championships?.
                Anyway this kid scores one looks great, bags one more and sets up another, then I hear his name… Julian Green, i’m chocking on my bratwurst, because I realize he has a very American last name.
                But at that same moment I realize he is already with the ELF. and we never even got to get to the Geo Rossi romance stage with him. Sure enough life comes at you fast and things change.
                A couple of years, a lot of work, and a few phone calls later,
                and we got “Money” baby!.

              • Julio says:

                Isn’t it funny Garrincha, here it is, a day before the 23 go into their first friendly and what do we hear? Lies about Julian Green.

                Why do you think people like Rob, do it? I mean, you and I both know Rob has no clue, is telling lies about Julian. LOL, he even said “it is a well know FACT that Green has no place in (sic) the first team. Why do you think Rob is telling that lie here?

                Everyone that knows European football knows that there are attacking players that will no longer be at Bayern next season. Kroos, Shaqiri, Mandzukic, even Mueller. I am not saying all of them will be gone, but a couple will.

                And since Pep nixed the loan deal of Julian to Hamburg why would anyone not believe that Julian is in Pep’s long term plans?

  21. Randall H. says:

    Klinsman’s bias towards German players is so transparent and will undoubtedly effect locker room morale. Green is a child and I’m sure a great prospect but nothing he has accomplished would merit a world cup spot. Chandler dissapears for all qualifying and then shows up for the last training camp and makes the team. Brooks has two shambolic outings and makes the team. Klinsmann obviously has an incredibly low regard for American players and he really has dissed American soccer fans with the way he has treated Donovan. Klinnsman: great striker, disastrous coach.

    • Jack says:

      If I was Fabian I’d be kind of mad. He has to be thinking why did I spend all those hours flying back and forth going to early single camp and qualifier. I could have just skip out on all of that too.

    • The Garrincha says:

      Randall H. can I call you Randy?,
      because we might be spending a lot of time together.
      So please find the appropriate response to you’re comment up above.
      or I could just tell you, but I fear that would not be as fun for you.

  22. bryan says:

    interesting, looking like Bedoya at LM and Zusi at RM. FJ at RB with Beasley still holding down LB. at least for the game tomorrow. which is weird, i thought Chandler would start for sure.

  23. long time reader says:

    I am so happy and looking forward to the world cup in Brazil. More so than any other in my lifetime. I will watch every minute of the friendly tomorrow.

    From reading the comment section here for a long time Expat made a huge impression, he predicted Julian Green would join us and gave his reasons why. He even made a bunch of bets. There is not one day that goes by without someone mentioning his name. And here is the special part.

    There are so many posters here that are trying to be Expat, or maybe are accused of being Expat. Sometimes I think Dirk was, and I still think that is a good possibility, but the others, not so much. Look people, Expat is not the only person reading this blog that knows football and Julian Green.

  24. Advocate says:

    Most of the discussion about Donovan and the quality of his “competition” for a place on the roster doesn’t consider what, to me, is the only truly important point: In addition to the goals he scores, Donovan creates as many or more goal-scoring opportunities for his teammates than any other three guys on the roster combined. Just last year, Altidore, Bedoya, Dempsey and Zusi (who may well all start against Ghana) had 10 assists between them, while Donovan, alone, had 8. At that rate, if Donovan replaced Zusi or Bedoya, the number of team goal-scoring chances would increase by something like a 40% to 60%. This is what Donovan has done for the National Team for the last decade. This is what he did at the Gold Cup last year. And this is what a person of his skill and experience would have been expected to contribute to the team in Brazil. Of course, all that would be out the window if Donovan were fat and slow and out-of shape, as some said as recently as last week, But those reports of his deterioration were clearly premature. As his performance on Sunday demonstrates, he still has the vision and touch and more than enough speed to raise the game of all his teammates, as he always has. I don’t know why Klinsmann did what he did, and don’t much care. Whatever the reason, it is tragic not only for Donovan, who deserved better, and for the team, which is clearly weaker as a result, but also for the team’s supporters, who have rather arbitrarily been denied a last chance to see this very special talent perform on the world stage.

    • Brett says:

      Haven’t we seen enough of the Donovan effect? Yes he creates boatloads of chances against minnows and MLS scrubs, but what does he do against the better teams? How many impact performances has he had against Ghana? He’s not the player he was 10, even 5 years ago.

      LD is the past. We are moving on to a brighter future. I give LD props for what he’s done, but he’s grown to this mythic status now and I don’t think he deserves it. His career for me has been defined by disappointment and an unwillingness to face challenges. When the going gets tough, Landon takes a vacation and runs back to the comforts of MLS where he knows he’s a cut above the rest. He shys away from tough competition and no championship team ever has a leader like that unless they play against lower competition.

  25. Advocate says:

    Brett: The “minnows” theory doesn’t really work, does it? When Donovan (or anyone else) played against the “minnows” in 2013 he was not out there alone. He had a bunch of teammates joining in any given attack. Why weren’t other forwards or midfielders scoring and assisting in such profusion as Donovan — particularly if you think they are as good or better than he is? Of course, Wondolowski and Bedoya DID do well against the “minnows,” which is at least part of the reason why they are going to Brazil. But in 2013 those two, together, scored an aggregate of 7 goals and 5 assists while Donovan, by himself, had 8 goals and 8 assists.

    Nor does it make much sense to ask what Donovan has done against the “better teams” or against Ghana in particular (although I think you’ll find he’s done perfectly well). The proper question to ask is who, among the numerous candidates for a spot on the roster, has done as well or better than Donovan against tough competition or may reasonably be expected to do so in Brazil. An honest answer to that question leads ONLY to Bradley, with an honorable mention (close, but no cigar) to Dempsey and arguably to Altidore. And the latter two (as well as Wondolowski) need the support of someone like Donovan to help them do their best — only he won’t be there.

    It is true, as you say, that Donovan is not the player he used to be. Few older players are. But it does not follow, as you seem to think, that he is any less lethal, only that he’s different. While he no longer has the blinding acceleration of his youth, everything else is still there — the vision, touch and creativity — to which experience has now been added. It was all on display against Philadelphia on Sunday.

    In any event, I disagree that you have any standing to express “disappointment” regarding Donovan’s career. He doesn’t owe you anything. He had no obligation to “face challenges” you would consider appropriate in order to gain your approval. He was and is entitled to live his life in whatever way would best make him happy. He has done so and I, for one, applaud his decisions.