Ecuador friendly to be Landon Donovan’s USMNT swan song

LandonDonovanUSMNT

Photo by ISIphotos.com

By FRANCO PANIZO

Landon Donovan has not yet played in his final match for the U.S. Men’s National Team, but now we know when that final match will be.

U.S. Soccer announced on Tuesday that Donovan will represent the U.S. one final time in the Oct. 10 friendly against Ecuador. The match at Rentschler Field in East Hartford, Conn. is going to be Donovan’s first on U.S. soil since the World Cup and the last for the 32-year-old legend, who has announced he will retire from soccer at the end of the MLS season.

“Playing for the U.S. national team has been a huge part of my career and I’m ecstatic to have the opportunity to play for my country one last time,” said Donovan. “I’m so grateful to all the fans that have supported me and this game will give me the chance to say thank you to all of them. I look forward to a great evening and I’m thankful to U.S. Soccer for making this happen.”

U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann did not issue an official statement on the news of Donovan’s final national team match, but he did offer this message via Twitter:

Donovan is the U.S.’s all-time leader in goals (57) and assists (58) and is second in caps earned (156), but many thought his legendary international career was history after U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann left him off the World Cup roster in May.

The iconic attacker will, however, get one more chance to play with his American teammates in the U.S.’s first stateside friendly since finishing in the Round of 16 in Brazil.

Donovan is also no stranger to playing Ecuador. He enjoyed one of his best performances in a U.S. jersey back in 2007, when he scored a hat-trick that led the Americans to a 3-1 victory over the Ecuadorians.

The friendly is not a testimonial for Donovan, but will be a chance to honor a player widely regarded as the best in U.S. national team history.

“For 15 years, Landon has thrilled us with his amazing abilities on the field and impressed us with his gracious approach off the field,” said U.S. Soccer president Sunil Gulati in a statement released by U.S. Soccer. “We are looking forward to celebrating his legacy during our next home national team match and allowing fans the opportunity to thank him for all the memories he’s provided over the years.”

—–

What do you think of Donovan getting a farewell USMNT match? How surprised are you by this announcement? Planning on trying to attend this game? Think he goes out with a strong performance?

Share your thoughts below.

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116 Responses to Ecuador friendly to be Landon Donovan’s USMNT swan song

  1. James says:

    SO glad this happened. It would have been so disappointing had he never gotten a send off game.

    • Gary Page says:

      Somehow I have this suspicion that this wasn’t Klinsmann’s decision, but was forced on him by Gulati. Hope Landon starts and gets a goal and/or an assist since he is the all time leader in both. It would be a fitting send off.

      • Kosh says:

        Hahaha, OK.

        On a more serious note I do agree with your hopes on Landon getting the goal and/or assist and how it would close out a very successful career with the Nats.

        • AJH says:

          Does Klinsman strike you as the type of guy who would go out of his way to include an aging player who will most definitely not be a part of his team in the future just for posterity sake? Even if he actually liked him? No.

          • Kevin says:

            This early in the WC cycle? Yes, I have no doubt that JK is fully on board with the plan to have Donovan on the team for this game. No doubt at all.

            You are simply speculating based on your dislike of JK. I’m speculating, too, of course, but it’s totally different because I’m right.

            • Joamiq says:

              Actually, reports have said that the idea did originate from Gulati. Klinsmann signed off, but celebrating Donovan was more important to US Soccer than any problems between Donovan and JK.

      • The Imperative Voice says:

        But in an ironic way it seizes back control over closure from the guy making commercials.

        • Dirk says:

          LOL, you can be sure of one thing. Klinsmann had nothing to do with this. Jürgen, on his own, would have never decided to play Landon in any match.

          Someone overruled our coach, the best soccer coach that has ever been. I wouldn’t be surprised if Klinsmann resigns tomorrow. I mean, what else could the very best coach in the whole wide world do in the face of this? Someone making him play the has-been Donovan. This points out the main problem. We W

    • The Imperative Voice says:

      What about Boca all he got was sent off with a good swift kick in the @##. And he was just as important to the same era, and steady about it, where Landon might disappear or not play defense some nights.

      • Wood chi zip says:

        Cant agree Boca was as important, but he certainly deserves it as much as Landon. And the way he was treated by Klinsmann is equally as disturbing. I was at one of his last, if not his last, match for the US – a WC qualifier vs Jamaica and he completely bossed his area of the field and controlled the defense. He was still very much what the US needed in the back. Klinsmann is an idiot. Simple as that

        • GW says:

          “And the way he was treated by Klinsmann is equally as disturbing”

          You are easily disturbed. Do you watch pro sports much?

      • Nate says:

        Except missing out on that whole 2002 world cup quarterfinal run…

  2. Alex H says:

    I hope Landon demanded and got a cut of the gate, because I doubt the majority of fans will be there to see a classic USA-Ecuador friendly, and I would hate to see the worthless federation suits be the ones to pocket the cash.

    • el gringon says:

      Yea that poor SOB Landon Donovan, he will be out on the streets if not. He is richer that the “suits” that pocket the cash.

    • Kosh says:

      This is one of the stranger posts on here. What does this even mean??

      • Ali Dia says:

        Ok good I’m not alone. I think everybody is at fault for something, but that’s as far as I got.

    • Dumbo Model 5005BA says:

      Fanboy cream dream

      • Alex H says:

        Not a fanboy, but a realist. I think the federation is motivated to honor Landon Donovan so they can fill up the many empty seats that come with early cycle friendlies, and turn a lackluster TV rating into something big. There is nothing wrong with the people who actually bring the audience demanding a piece of the action especially since LD will probably give the cash to Cambodian orphans or wayward whales.

        • Diego's Maradoughnuts says:

          This is one of the more unusally complicated theories I’ve seen on here, but I’ll play ball.

          I guess you could say I’m a little curious why Gulati would select Hartford for the game then…. for LD’s send off, you’d think he could fill a bigger venue, assuming all he’s doing is grabbing cash

  3. Del Griffin says:

    Glad I got tickets for this.

  4. Chris says:

    WOW.

    Shocked and excited for this. Really glad it’s happening.

    • I guess Sunil called Jurgen and explained how it was going to be.

      • MIdwest Ref says:

        True – regardless of whose idea it was, it is the classy thing to do by giving Donovan another 1 off, in a home game for the USMNT.

        • Philly Union Rule says:

          Only classy if Jurgen finds time for Donovan on the field 90 minutes on Klinsi,s bench would be akward.

      • Kosh says:

        This strongly presumes that Jurgen has to be told what to do here. This isn’t play ground ball where when Johny doesn’t pick you you’re enemies for life. After tempers subside and the dust settles adults remain.

        • Dirk says:

          Oh really? And you believe Jürgen Klinsmann is an adult?

          This will not work out so well but it will be very entertaining.

          Who wants to bet? Klinsi will not be the usmnt coach in 2016.

          • Kosh says:

            I don’t even know where to go with these posts of yours.

            I get it your still burning about the selection thing and probably will still hold onto this flame well after JK and LD have moved well beyond what happened. That’s your thing I just don’t see how it’s theirs.

            So JK is a child now? I don’t even know how to address that one.

            Please enlighten us about what it is specifically that won’t work and how it will be entertaining. Are you suggesting that LD takes his ball and goes home rather than play in his final farewell match? I am sure even you see how foolish that would be.

            Unlike you I don’t have a magic 8 ball so I will not be playing the internet betting game with you on this. That said I have a good feeling that JK being fired by 2016 has will have everything to do with results and GC success – feuds, hurt feelings and grudges will play a minimal role (if any) in this future vision you share with us.

  5. jaybeezwax says:

    Will the MLS season be over by then? What if the Galaxy are in the middle of the playoffs???

    • Quit Whining About Soccer in the US says:

      I think they have a game against Dallas right after.
      I realize that all the fans want it including me….but part of me says just be done.

      I guess he has to do it, but part of me ( if I were him and could actually play soccer ) would think, I am busy, in the middle of my last season and thanks, not bitter, just moved on.

    • Dinho says:

      Not over by then. Galaxy has a regular season game on 10/12 at FC Dallas. I think we see Landon play 46 minutes in this one….

    • beto says:

      November (@ Ireland) is the next window and that would be during the mls playoffs.

      this game is probably the best time; although i was hoping they would do a game on the west coast.. maybe even vs el tri … for LD

    • Gary Page says:

      Given who the Galaxy coach is and his closeness to and affection for Donovan, my guess is that Donovan will at least start and get pretty significant playing time. If he scores a goal early, he could come off right after that, though.

    • Diego's Maradoughnuts says:

      Lot of potential here… I can practically hear the ESPN Update:

      “Controversy today as the Landon Donovan — the USA’s all time leader in goals and assists– has been stunningly ommitted from Head Coach Jurgen Klinsmann’s final 23 man roster on the eve of the Landon Donovan Send Off Friendly. Neither Klinsmann nor Donovan has commented on the story, although ESPN understands the decision was attributed to the recent form and superior fitness of initial outsiders Tony Beltran and Robbie Rogers, as well as the recent performances of one-time phenom Freddy Adu in securing first row seats to a Serbian relegation.

      “The USA’s opponents in the since-renamed Brian Ching Testimonial, Ecuador, expressed disappointment at the omission and confirmed that several of them were familiar with Donovan’s unique skills, having acquired him Manager Mode with impressive returns. To quote one: ‘he’s the black guy right?;

      “Stay tuned for an ESPNFC update, in which Alexi Lalas will explain his thoughts over the course of three painful hours, after which he will spontaneously combust. And of course,Taylor Twellman shares his experiences with concussions by causing you to slam your head into a desk

  6. The Other Jeff says:

    Did Klinsmann issue a statement in connection with this or just Gulati?

    • wiger toods says:

      google

    • Maykol says:

      All i know is that he just posted a tweet
      link to twitter.com

    • Ali Dia says:

      An Other Jeff sighting. The unexpected news just keeps rolling in. Until this happened, here were the three things I was most excited about when I saw this story.

      1) This stale triscuit of a friendly has been upgraded to must-see TV. If this is going down, let’s just do it all the way — loaded to the hilt with misty-eyed tributes, career retrospectives, standing ovations, prolonged hugs… you name it. I am not kidding in the least. Donovan will score and it will be awesome. Mark it.

      2) Once we have partied into the night and celebrated Landon until our throats are sore and our neighbors have called the police, we can wake up and open the next chapter properly. There is too much to be excited about to live in the past anymore. Too much talent that deserves our attention. And lots of opportunities to be excited for. But it’s not all fun and games…. we have a big pile of knee-jerk speculation and over-the-top prognosticating to do here if we want to be prepared as a group for 2015/2016. It takes a village… and I can only watch Julian Green sleep for 5-6 nights a week before I need a ringer to help out.

      3) I hope NOBODY tells Ecuador about the Donovan send-off. Not a word. I really want to see the reactions… how many of the team will have ever seen Donovan play? A couple? All of them? Does anybody really know? Probably the best choice on the planet for this send-off. It’s a superb and meaningless litmus test to answer the age-old question…. how does the football world outside the USA rate LD? It is the USMNT fan’s version of “Do these pants make me look fat?. There has never been a satisfying answer,and there won’t be one vs. Ecuador. It’s gonna be awesome.

    • Ali Dia says:

      An Other Jeff sighting. The unexpected news just keeps rolling in. Until this happened, here were the three things I was most excited about when I saw this story:

      1) This stale triscuit of a friendly has been upgraded to must-see TV. If this is going down, let’s just do it all the way — loaded to the hilt with misty-eyed tributes, career retrospectives, standing ovations, prolonged hugs… you name it. I am not kidding in the least. Donovan will score and it will be awesome. Mark it.

      2) Once we have partied into the night and celebrated Landon until our throats are sore and our neighbors have called the police, we can wake up and open the next chapter properly. There is too much to be excited about to live in the past– it’s expensive. Too much talent that deserves our attention. And lots of opportunities to be excited for. But it’s not all fun and games…. we have a big pile of unsupportable speculation, angry judgment, and over-the-top prognosticating to do here if we want to be prepared as a group for 2015/2016. It takes a village… and I can only watch Julian Green sleep for 5-6 nights a week before I need a ringer to help out.

      3) I hope NOBODY tells Ecuador about the Donovan send-off. Not a word. I really want to see the reactions… how many of the team will have ever seen Donovan play? A couple? All of them? Does anybody really know? Probably the best choice on the planet for this send-off. It’s a superb and meaningless litmus test to answer the age-old question…. how does the football world outside the USA rate LD? It is the USMNT fan’s version of “Do these pants make me look fat?. There has never been a satisfying answer,and there won’t be one vs. Ecuador. It’s gonna be awesome.

      • Rusten Hurd says:

        As to your third point, I think it just might be possible that maybe they might remember Landon scoring a hat trick against them the last time they came to the US for a friendly against the USMNT… Just maybe.

        • ali dia says:

          this is me with my pants down. i got lazy.

          however, if i must backpedal out of this mess, i would say that there would be less than 5 players in the Ecuador squad that takes the field in October who were there in 2007, and quite possibly zero.

          and with that, i’m slinking out of here.

  7. quozzel says:

    Hopefully he will not take the opportunity to stick Klinsmann in the back.

    I look at Donovan these days and I see a good player who used to be a great player, a speed guy whose legs are starting to go and who doesn’t have the turn of pace or the ability to recover and train like he used to. Opinions vary but I don’t think he would have had a major impact on the outcome of the World Cup…Germany and Belgium were better than us and would have been better than us with or without Donovan, and we took care of business against Ghana despite the fact that we lost Jozy 20 minutes into the game and we got robbed of three points by a Portugal team that we thoroughly dominated, thanks to being gifted an early goal thanks to a deflection that bounced to Nani and a defense that fell asleep with maybe 30 seconds left in extra time.

    And now it’s pretty much established that the USA doesn’t need any one player. Sorry, people can say “it was personal” with Donovan and Klinsmann, but I honestly don’t think it was. I think it was a calculated decision designed to knock the complacency out of the USMNT setup, and I think it’s going to have a pretty substantial effect down the road because now all prospective USMNT players are aware Klinsmann has the cajones to cut ANYONE.

    Sorry, that’s healthy. Teams that rely on single players and have a “superstar” culture where the players feel they rule the locker room rarely do well.

    I’m glad he’s getting his send-off…hopefully he will use it well and not sow acrimony at a time when the USMNT is poised to take a big, big step forwards.

    • slowleftarm says:

      While most of your comment is pure trolling, I take issue with the statement that we were robbed against Portugal. We didn’t finish that game off and got punished for it.

      • Maykol says:

        Im not sure you know what trolling is

        • Nate Dollars says:

          “Hopefully he will not take the opportunity to stick Klinsmann in the back.”

          “Teams that rely on single players and have a “superstar” culture where the players feel they rule the locker room rarely do well.”

          “hopefully he will use it well and not sow acrimony”

          i thought those lines were a bit trollish, since he’s implying that the usmnt had a ‘superstar culture’, and there’s no evidence that donovan would ever do something like quozzel’s hoping won’t happen.

          • Maykol says:

            Lol please thats not a troll comment. Regarding the “superstar”comment, i think all of us are educated enough to know the US has never been a one-man superstar team, but to many outsiders, the fact that Donovan as the best most popular name out there, i dont think saying “superstar culture” is such an outrageous conment, while it is also not an accurate depiction of the US

      • Diego's Maradoughnuts says:

        Easy guys it’s not trolling. Is quozzel poking for a response? I’d guess he might be. But it’s not lazy or profane or disrespectful. It’s a legit and organized statement of a person who feels strongly about his views on this rage factory of a story. Who here has not done this in the last 3 months? Even FRANK’S output on LD/JK is about 30 times his combined research elsewhere.

        And besides Carlos Bocanegra just released a statement that we are all f*cking dead for forgetting about him.

        • quozzel says:

          Really wasn’t poking so much as saying I hope Landy doesn’t snipe. He’s sniped a couple of times…especially with that “I’m not going to let one person’s bad decision” statement.

          It was divisive. Granted, he’s entitled to his opinion…and nobody likes being cut, but Klinsmann divined – correctly, it appears – that Donovan may not have had the fire in the belly anymore.

          And getting by without Donovan was big…especially in terms of establishing program-over-individual. Is the state of the USMNT such that it can generate competitive results without catering to individuals? It appears so…and it was established, forcefully. Because especially with his “I can’t train like I used to, and Bruce Arena understands that” comment, Donovan was effectively lobbying for special treatment and telling the coach – publicly – how he was to be handled.

          It got him cut. I think ten years from now, even Donovan will admit it…and facepalm a bit when he thinks about it.

          In the meantime, I’d feel a lot better about giving him his sendoff – and his career – if he doesn’t dig at Klinsmann on his way out the door. We’ve got an opportunity to really build on this past cycle, and a coach who I believe has a very clear idea of what he’s trying to build…and we could use buy-in from the public (and the player pool)…instead of knifing each other.

          Just my .02, anyhow.

          • Diego's Maradoughnuts says:

            For what it’s worth I agree with most of it. Pretty much where I’m coming out. But I’d bury the whole topic forever after this game if everyone would agree to at least make a concerted effort to do the same.

            Everybody has about 10,000 words on record here by now so it’s memorialized. Nobody is likely to “be right” in the way that they want but it’ll always be there if the opportunity somehow arises.

            I’m gonna watch the game and celebrate the guy and I think it’ll be super. I wouldn’t worry about LD or JK pulling any stunts at all. LD is a strange cat sometimes but he isn’t a fool or a hothead, and I’m sure JK will relish the chance to show he is an adult and a professional who appreciates the contributions of LD to the identity. So it will a nice affair. Positive vibe. Really cool hopefully.

            Then that’s the end for me. Too many other topics

    • Ben says:

      Speed doesn’t usually make you the all time assist leader. I don’t think Donovan is as one dimensional as you would like him to be.

    • wann says:

      Agree! I loved watching him play, but I don’t think he would have had a big impact on our WC.

    • DGH says:

      Klinsmann’s an idiot, he could have had this:

      Jozy (Johnson)/Dempsey
      Donovan/Bradley/Jones (Beckerman)/Feilhaber (Zuzi, Mix, Sasha)
      Cameron (Beas)/Gonzalez/Besler/Fabian (Yedlin)
      Howard

      I think this team could have gotten further than 16. I’m over it, but don’t be mistaken, Donovan being left off had everything to with Bayern ’09–on both sides. You think it was a coincidence his sabbatical happened right after Jurgen was hired? I’m sure he knew Klinnsman was going to be petty and he had to think about whether he wanted to put up with it or not. I imagine they both tried finding a point of tolerance for each other and I guess they didn’t/couldn’t. Unfortunately Klinnsman held the bigger hand in this d*ck contest.

      • Anthony says:

        You are making an illogical jump based on some flawed assumptions. First of all, your line up is wrong:
        Defense:
        Cameron (Beas)/Gonzalez/Besler/Fabian (Yedlin)
        – since when does Cameron EVER played left back? It was clear that Gonzalez was coming back from injury. Beas/Cameron/Besler/Fabian was a good line up (with Gonzalez playing back up (he had a tendency to make a 1 or 2 mistakes anyway.

        Midfield:
        The Turkey game showed us that we have to play 5 in the midfield with one them being a withdraw striker/#10 . That is a position that Dempsey/LD/Feilhaber all play to different degrees. Sacha is not a winger and has played poorly when placed there. In his system, JK requires a high work-rate from his wingers (especially o the defensive end) and then add a little on the offensive end. LD does not have the motor for that anymore, Vermes forced Feilhaber to play defense to a certain degree in midfield. He was right with Jones on one wing and Zusi/Bedoya on the other. Beckerman had a good WC sitting in front of the back 4, so I really don’t know what your complaint is.

        Forward:
        Jozy and EJ as a back up. That I agree with you. Wondo has never impressed me on an international level, but JK brought him a late game sub/poacher. I still think LD could have been that off the bench instead of Wondo, so I would have brought him instead. However, the statements that LD was making during the World Cup documentary really had me question whether his heart was really in it anymore. As far as EJ, maybe he saw a meltdown/cancer that was festering. Based upon the way EJ has acted with DC, JK was probably right.

        • DGH says:

          The point being he could have brought a better team with way more cohesion and camaraderie (not to mention options); players that have built their careers playing internationally who’s time was this cup.. And if you think Donovan is slow you obviously haven’t been watching LA Galaxy games lately. He recently made Yedlin look like a high schooler with his speed.

      • Diego's Maradoughnuts says:

        DGH,
        Understand please I ask this simply out of curiosity not to try to antagonize…. I just want to “get it” better about the BM experience and its impact on the omission… and why it is so problematic for you (and others).

        If I read correctly, you are saying that the decision to drop Donovan was based on a negative assessment of Donovan that JK had reached and maintained following the unsuccessful experiment of bringing LD to Bayern when JK was head coach. Not the stated reason, but a plausible suggestion certainly. Do you mean that you:

        1) Are upset that JK’s experience working with Donovan in a prior context was included among the factors in JK’s squad seleection?. And presumably futher upset that this was not disclosed?
        or:
        2) Are upset with Klinsmann simply for not accurately disclosing what you believe to be his his primary reason for dropping Donovan, though willing to accept the reason itself as valid had he been forthright?

        Or is it something else? it’s not some sort of trap I promise… I just want to understand better Thanks

        • DGH says:

          No, it’s not rocket science, i’m sure you could come up with your own opinion with a little googling.

          • Diego's Maradoughnuts says:

            I have my own opinion. And we’ve all become nauseatingly over-informed about ths topic…

            I want to know YOUR reason for being upset. I think it’s a pretty easy question but maybe not

            I’lll ask once more…. are you upset that JK was disingenous or dishonest in his stated reasons for the omission, or do you believe that he is wrong to exclude the player based on the past work experience, as well? If this had been his motive, would it be ok if he had just been honest?

            TO YOU.

            And if it helps I’ll share my intuition… if you think JK’s a dishonest guy and lied about his reasons for not bringing JK… that’s fine w me…. so be it.

            What I don’t understand is the idea that JK shouldn’t include his past experiences with LD in his decision process if he feels they are important. Seems like a very strange, practically impossible expectation.

            So there you go. Eager to hear your thoughts.

            • DGH says:

              Fair enough, ANY OTHER PLAYER that performed the way Landon did during the 2013 Gold Cup (link to youtube.com) and 2014 WC qualifying; combined with the fact that he finished in the top 5 of the “beep test” in WC camp (just to address the out of shape b.s.) would not have been left off the roster by any means.

              I think there were problems between the two (no secret), and Landon, after much thought, came to a conclusion that he would give it “his best shot,” which he did and over achieved every hurdle placed in front of him. I BELIEVE Klinnsman made him jump through hoop after hoop all the while knowing he was not going to include him. He wanted Landon to not be as good as he was, and to ME, it seems like he was done dirty, and as an old time, life-long USMNT fan, it turned me off to JK a bit–he seemed slimy. Post announcement, his son really didn’t help his case as far as I’m concerned and furthered this theory in my humble opinion.

              JK was saying all along that players had to “make their case” and LD did that more so that at LEAST 1/3% of those on the roster.

              TH, CD, MB, JA, DM, LD, EJ, CG, SK, and the likes had worked hard over the last few cycles to get the team where they were situated to have a great cup, with lots of experience and skill and familiarity on the field and I think JK put himself in front of the team.

    • That_Guy says:

      We lost by 1 goal in both games. A player could definitely have an impact on either of those games. Especially late in the game.

    • Gary Page says:

      I am betting you are one of those who supported leaving Donovan home by saying he was fat, slow, and out of shape. Never mind that he has played 90 minutes in just about every MLS game since the training camp or that he is still faster than either Wondolowski or Davis and not much older than either. you obviously don’t care about the facts. You also don’t know jack about soccer. As I wrote before the World Cup, “I would much rather have Donovan out there late in the game with his experience when the US really needs a goal.” If nothing else, the sitter that Wondolowski missed against Belgium showed what a terrible mistake it was to have Wondolowski rather than Donovan. Compare that to Donovan’s recent goal where he ran onto an errant shot, slid, and roofed the winning goal.

      • GW says:

        Mr. Page,

        You are being a little optimistic about guranteeing LD’s performance had he been in the Belgium game rather than Wondo.

        I’ve seen LD miss sitters for the USMNT. I’ve also seen Clint, who is arguably more clinical than LD, miss easy sitters for the USMNT as well. In fact Clint probably could have done a lot better on that last chance he had in the Belgium game.

    • Dirk says:

      “Hopefully he will not take the opportunity to stick Klinsmann in the back”.

      This has to be the funniest comment ever here at SBI. Don’t worry, no one is going to stick Klinsi in the back. It will be just like all the other times Klinsmann has been run out or town, the blow will not be to the back, it will come from right in front of him, a straight shot to the nose. And here is the most important point, just like all egotists, Jürgen will not see it coming.

      • Diego's Maradoughnuts says:

        Quite amazingly, I don’t actually disagree with you entirely on this assessment. To be clear, I don’t think that Klinsmann has a single thing to worry about right now— he is golden and he is the apple of Sunil’s eye until further notice.

        However, I think you have identified the Achilles heel of Klinsmann (and charismatic leaders in similar situations). He won’t get fired anytime soon (or likely ever) for results/performances. He won’t get fired for tactical philosophy. Gulati has more or less signed off on his scorecard for these things through 2018.

        But there is one thing Klinsi could do that Gulati has zero patience for and that is ethics violations. Gulati would fire him and get him out by close of business if he found out Klinsi was knowlingly dabbling in activities that would compromise the USSF’s standards here, which are sacred to Gulati as he has been there for about as long as anybody now.

        Do I think JK has committed an ethics violation? No (sorry guys, unpopular player selections do not count). But the rumors about Green being offered guaranteed spots in Brazil in return for their commitments would certainly raise eyebrows if substantiated (I don’t buy it, but I’d listen if somebody said they could prove it). The concern is that he does dance close to the line sometimes and when you do that you attract scrutiny (Iceland probably have a contract out on him after AJ),

        I don’t think he’ll get axed, but JK would do well to watch himself, because he won’t get a second chance to even finish his sentence if he puts Gulati in a situation where he has to apologize for an ethics breach of the USSF. Not with what Gulati is trying to do in his own work politicking for the Copa America / World Cup. Credibility is one thing we have to hold close.

    • Super Nintendo Chalmers says:

      Puh-leaze. I guess he’ll show him by scoring a meaningless goal in a friendly match.

  8. Tony in Quakeland says:

    He should have told Klinsmann to shove it.

    But he’s too classy

  9. DGH says:

    This is cool, but it really should be against Mexico. I honestly think the Mexican fans would like to see him off as well.

  10. Brain Guy says:

    I’m envisioning Donovan playing the first half and starting the second half, getting lifted in the 47th minute, and then walking straight past Klinsmann while applauding and waving to the crowd on his way to the bench.

    • Edmondo says:

      I like Donovan and all, but some you guys here are ridiculous. Honestly, it is pathetic the way you guys hold on to things.

      • Brain Guy says:

        You misunderstand me. I offered no opinion on LD vs. JK. I just described what I thought LD might do.

  11. Old School says:

    Will this get everyone’s panties out of a bunch? I hope so…but probably not.

  12. Reid says:

    I’m hoping this will spark my interest back in to the national team. I can’t pin down one reason, but this past cycle my interest wasn’t as great as the 3 previous cycles.
    Just picked up the tix and looking forward to seeing the crowd at the game, don’t know if it will be a sell out but I could see 30k+ at the game.

  13. PD in Philly says:

    Every significant player should have the opportunity to have a send-off match or a moment of thanks, especially one that has contributed so much to US Soccer. That said, while he clearly still has much to contribute on the club level, I’m one of the fans who thinks the game is moving past the role LD played in the early 00’s, as it eventually does to all athletes once seen as indispensable. At one time, there is no doubt he was the most important American male field player, but everything changes. MLS is now in a different place, the national team is now in a different place. The man got paid handsomely and was given marquee status and celebrity for playing the role he was asked. Soccer in the US would not be where it is today without his contributions on and off the field, and while many folks will get all misty-eyed over the ending of his career, I for one and eager to have this done and over with it so that the next generation of US players can take stage and begin their own climb up the ladder.

    • Paul says:

      Could not have said it better.

    • Wood chip zip says:

      And Landon obviously is ready to have it over too, but it doesn’t change the fact that he deserved a record fourth world cup, which he had earned as much Beasley, and deserved a spot over Brad Davis and a few others.

  14. AcidBurn says:

    Hey, I looked at my phone and it told me that Landon Donovan is getting a well-deserved send-off game. Well done US Soccer for making it happen.

    • Diego's Maradoughnuts says:

      This is good. I liked this. Kind of like an “adult contemporary” cover of the shock rock that gets blasted around here when the kids are worked up. Almost soothing, really.

  15. kevin says:

    Seriously!? They couldn’t get Mex w/ marques for his send off game?

  16. Matt says:

    Klinsmann tweet seems tongue in cheek. What a joke

  17. DB says:

    Wonder if TH will postpone his sabbatical to play in this one…

  18. Chris L says:

    Anyone know what happened to the rumored friendly against Colombia in San Antonio? Is it not going to happen after all?

  19. MiamiAl says:

    I wish Cherundolo could have gotten a send off match over here…

  20. FRANK says:

    TRADE JURGUNNS KID GOALIE TO EQUADOR

    • Btown says:

      classic frank.

    • Horsewhistle says:

      Frank, why did you misspell Jurgen yesterday as Juergen and go double ‘n’ today?
      Are you doubling down to get back the money you lost at the track?
      You should let me hold onto anything valuable that you own so I can make sure it ends up in the right hands.

  21. delan says:

    Well deserved for Donovan, an American soccer legend!

  22. USMINT says:

    While we are at it, Boca deserves one too.

    • Diego's Maradoughnuts says:

      Indeed he does. Although the last remarks I saw from Boca with regard to the USMNT (Spring 2014 sometime) included a strong statement that he still considers himself to be an active player and available for selection. I guess that shouldn’t surprise anybody with him. No need to force it down his throat… but when the time comes I hope he is not marginalized (not that we could make him feel much worse than he must’ve watching the World Cup on television after returning home from playing in front of 87 lame duck Chivas USA supporters. A lesser man would’ve waterboarded himself with his own tears)

  23. User222 says:

    October is when Landon normally goes on sabbaticals….

    • Wood chip zip says:

      Love Timmy but at least it wasn’t a year long sabbatical so he can make money commentating for NBC sports and selling his memoir. And for two seasons he did spend his off season playing in the EPL, the most demanding league in the world. Perspective

  24. Norn Iron says:

    I’m glad he is getting a send off match, but I still think it was a travesty that he did not get a spot on what would have been his 4th World Cup team, and this send off match in no way compensates for that. No one will EVER be able to convince me that Brad Evans and Chris Wondolowski were better choices this past summer. The minute Jozy Altidore got hurt in our match against Ghana, I knew that leaving Donovan off the roster was going to severely hamper our depth, and it did. This guy has done more for US Soccer than any player, EVER. Yes, while Brian McBride, Tab Ramos, Claudio Reyna, and others were fantastic players, Donovan did more on AND OFF the pitch to help elevate the game in the US, and being left off of the 2014 WC squad was not only a poor tactical decision, but a slap in the face to all he has done for soccer in this country.

  25. Wood chip zip says:

    Sorry Gulati, too little too late. You are a spineless, pathetically Klinsy smitten, Jacka$$

  26. Mikey K says:

    Swag song!

  27. Joamiq says:

    Bought my game/plane/train tickets for this as soon as I heard about it. Have to pay my respects and celebrate everything he’s done for us. He’s more than earned it.