Donovan only available for Costa Rica friendly, will miss Belgium trip


Photo by Howard C. Smith/


CARSON, Calif. — Landon Donovan will only be playing in the first of the U.S. national team's two upcoming friendlies.

According to an official with U.S. Soccer, Donovan will not be traveling with the rest of the national team for its match against Belgium in Brussels on Sept. 6, stating that there was an agreement before the roster was announced that he would only play in the Costa Rica game on Friday.

This development allows Donovan to join the Los Angeles Galaxy as they take on Sporting Kansas City on Sept. 5 at Livestrong Sporting Park while his U.S. teammates travel overseas. In addition, it means less travel for the Galaxy captain, as Los Angeles will venture down to Mexico to take on Monarcas Morelia the following week in a CONCACAF Champions League match. 

While Donovan is being held out of the Belgium friendly, Clint Dempsey, Steve Cherundolo and Kyle Beckerman won't be available for the match with Costa Rica, as they will join the team in Europe.

How do you feel about Donovan missing the match against Belgium? What do you think it means for the Galaxy's match Sporting KC? Who would you like to see step up in Donovan's absence?

Share your thoughts below.

This entry was posted in MLS- LA Galaxy, U.S. Men's National Team. Bookmark the permalink.

90 Responses to Donovan only available for Costa Rica friendly, will miss Belgium trip

  1. Erik says:

    Can we call up Mix to replace him for Belgium?

  2. spencer says:

    all I know with all the people missing 1 of the 2 games this should give us a lot of different things we can see. It will really test Klins to field a team and get a cohesive unit out there even though there are changes from game to game.

  3. euroman says:

    Same old favoritism that BB had for special players. Great for morale Kilinsy!

  4. DeLarge says:

    If it was agreed to before the roster announcement, I doubt there will be a replacement named in Landon’s absence.

    Man, that Belgium friendly might be brutal…

  5. maddog says:

    which national team coaches don’t show this type of favoritism

  6. jmansor says:

    I blame MLS though it is a friendly not like Robbie Keane being held back for Euro qualies. As we get more and more international players it seems stupid for MLS to continue with there ignorance of international dates. They don’t need to switch to Aug to May calendar but they should observe these International Weekends.

  7. Tremendous says:

    I don’t know that Bradley had that track record of treating players as different as Donovan and Beckerman exactly the same, which is what Klins appears to be doing.

  8. ChrisTheLSUTiger says:

    Trolls gonna troll.

  9. abc says:

    Special players like… Kyle Beckerman?

    The only thing I don’t get is why Altidore can’t skip the Costa Rica friendly, when Dempsey, Donovan and Beckerman are allowed to do just one.

  10. Brader says:

    This isn’t your high school team.

  11. Moe says:

    this is smart by Klinsi. it is best for American soccer as a whole. Don’t think Landon or anybody would play well in Concachampions game after travelling LA-Brussels-LA-Morelia. Landon is fit enough to play a lot of games but that travel would be too much for anybody. only a vain fool like Beckham would even try, and we know how that worked out, or rather didnt.

  12. Colin says:

    That same “favoritism” you mention is also for the likes of Beckerman, Cherundolo, and Dempsey. This sort of player management happens ALL the time, and players know it. This isn’t a high school team, they’re professionals. I don’t think it’s affecting morale at all.

    Besides, if anyone has earned “special player” status, it’s your all-time leading scorer.

  13. Brader says:

    JK is managing players on a case by case basis, just like every other int’l coach in the world, just like BB did.

  14. AC says:

    Can’t argue with it. It was an agreement with his club team before. Besides, Donovan rarely ever gets an extended break, like Dempsey. They are only in their late twenties, but have a lot of wear and tear on their bodies. They might be in great condition, but still need a break from time to time. It also gives Klinsmann a chance to experiment more.

  15. bryan says:

    damn you MLS, recognize international dates!!!

  16. Leo says:

    You should go ahead and change your name to eurotroll.

  17. John says:

    Looks like Arena still has some weight to throw around with the national team setup.

  18. Ted says:

    bit of a disappointment that we won’t be able to see one of our best against a good opponent like Belgium, but should provide an interesting opportunity for possibly someone like Brek Shea to get a start against quality opposition.

  19. Benny Dargle says:

    When they announced the friendlies and their location/dates, it was obvious to anyone that it would likely involve two different rosters — an MLS/Mexico roster for Costa Rica and a European roster for Belgium. JK didn’t want to go that far as a formal matter because it’s his first real camp with the players, but it’s not far away from the reality with these moves. Bradley would have been even more likely to go with split squads.

  20. tim says:

    When u become the all time leader in goals and assists and are arguably the best American to ever play the game, I think you have earned a few privileges. If he was skipping the Belgium game to go on vacation thats different.

  21. Jeff Awesome says:

    Although Donovan is my favorite player, he has been a part of the national team for so long that it is interesting to see the team without him once in a while. What if he gets injured? The team always needs a backup plan.

  22. JoeL says:

    I have no problem with Donovan missing the Belgium game. Similar move pulled by Real SL for Kyle Beckerman. It just means the MLS playoffs are approaching fast and these teams\players are in it to win it. :)

  23. Michael F. SBI Mafia Original says:

    I didn’t get the first part of your post but +1 for the rest. MLS doesn’t need to switch to Aug to May calendar but they should observe International dates.

  24. Dave says:

    I agree and that may be the reason Klinsman is fine with this.

  25. rory mclean says:

    Rumors of a falling out between Donovan and Dempsey over the Bradley firing won’t die down now. How many games has that made that the two won’t have played with each other?

  26. Rory Mclean says:

    No kidding. Everyone brace yourself and remember how talented those Belgium kids are.

  27. Dune Man says:

    He is in the camp. That is what is important. Even Johnson who isnt cleared to play just yet for the games was brought into the camp. That is where the players learn about each other, bond, become a team, etc… not just the 90 mins on game day.

    We already know he can play. There are other people that we dont know that about just yet. So, its good for LD, good for LA, good for MLS (because of the CONCACAF game) and good for USMNT because they can try a few different things between the two games and get experience in a friendly.

    While LD and Clint are two great players and I want them on the pitch together as much as possible, I think these two games will be interesting so close together to see how the team features with just one or the other on the field at a time.

    LD’s schedule aside….I think it was clear and mentioned before the two games that one would involve more MLS guys and the other more Europe players. We worry about depth…this is a great way to explore our depth with good mixes in both games and not using the same 7 at the start for both while maybe only test one or two guys at a time during the game.

    These are not qualifiers or natural rival matches…they are good opportunities to build our team. Lets get as much diverse talent into camp so our team has some great sessions together, and then just come up with a plan come game day with roster options so that we have solid options and dont feel like we fall apart when one starter goes down with an injury during a game.

  28. rory mclean says:

    remember when Bradley sent a second string to the Bahamas in a World Cup elimination match? I mean, sure we were up 7-0 on aggregate, but still… what favortism to rest all the best players and to get a look at the fringe players.

  29. DC Josh says:

    The USSF can be blamed for scheduling an absolutely meaningless friendly against Costa Rica 6,000 miles away from where our best players are employed. They should have played the two games in similar time zones. We will have to wait until October now until we can see a potentially full-strength squad. It is hard to gauge a player’s potential when he is surrounded by different players each game.

  30. rory mclean says:

    Yeah, thankfully we could send a bunch of New York players anywhere since they aren’t going to the playoffs.

  31. Brader says:

    yeah, not sure what your point is.

  32. Eric says:

    What are you talking about? I never heard any rumors about something like that.

  33. JJ says:

    Landycakes is an unpatriotic terrorist!

  34. Sitka says:

    It’s A FRIENDLY!

  35. ACS says:

    To give a little perspective Dempsey’s new teammate Ruiz isn’t making the trip for Costa Rica either.

  36. Sitka says:

    Exactly Right.. It provides a chance to see other possibilities in a starting role.. It’s a FRIENDLY

  37. says:

    Good opportunity for other players to get involve… We need Rogers, Shea
    , pontius playing their spots and get more experience

  38. Sitka says:

    You are CORRECT Sir! That is the objective.. because sooner, rather than later, both Dempsey and Donovan are going to age out of the National team!

  39. Sitka says:

    Settle DOWN Nancy !@&

  40. Joe says:

    Is Donovon seriously missing another match against a big team? Belgium may not be up there in the rankings yet but the young players and team they are putting together is quite impressive. I’m not one for conspiracies and have never bought into this one in particular, but its getting to the point where this is absurd. what makes him so special that he gets to make arrangements to miss games? what other player, anywhere else in the world gets to make arrangements regarding which friendlies he’s going to play in? i know it makes sense some times to not call certain players in from europe given certain circumstances, but i don’t agree with this.

  41. STKohls says:

    Heh. Of course, *now* there will be rumors…

  42. Taylor says:

    my thoughts exactly.

    whenever they are both there, there’s no doubt they’ll both be on the field. now, in two separate matches, we get to see how Klinsmann fields each team when he has just one, i’m very excited.

    it would be really nice to see Gatt join the team in Belgium since LD is gone and Gatt can fit into the vacancies that LD leaves, as I feel he has similar skills

  43. ACS says:

    Bunbury is the only player that is missing a game, since only 5 teams are playing between now and next weekend. The only reason Bunbury is staying with the team is because of Sporting KC’s depth at forward, and him being the 3rd or 4th best forward on the team.

  44. biff says:

    I see an English language story out of Egypt, and it appears that Bob Bradley is fighting tooth and nail to be named coach of Egypt’s national team. Very interesting story, with this hilarious quote from BB: “The Egyptian player is a talented one unlike the American who depends mainly on his fitness.” He also declares: “I can lead Egypt to qualify for the coming World Cup finals.”

    The story does not mention that BB was fired as the USMNT’s coach, instead saying that “Bradley left his post with the USA last July…”

    Here is the link:–World-Cup-.aspx

  45. Jamie Z. says:

    Of course, because why settle for rational explanations when we can have ridiculous conspiracy theories!

  46. Jason B says:

    Yeah, I noticed that too. Their roster doesn’t seem too intimidating without him on it.

  47. Alex says:

    They should still recognize international dates

  48. Jamie Z. says:

    He was being facetious.

  49. Jason B says:

    It’s a friendly. If this was a WC Qualifier in Trinidad and Tobago, he’d be there.

  50. biff says:

    The situation with Kyle Beckerman is totally different from any of the others named to the USMNT. Beckerman is the only one to actually have a game this weekend, a key match against Philadelpia that is important for RSL to win a playoff spot. The link below connects to a story that explains how conflicted he to be missing the USMNT training camp this week and the Costa Rica game Friday.

    link to

  51. frest says:

    what you fail to understand is the importance. You want some respect around the world for US soccer??? You WIN these games. Not lose 3-1

  52. Eric says:

    Not sure I believe that quote. As funny as it is, it seriously sounds out of character as a Bradley quote. The guy was the most “close-to-the-vest” person with the media so I can’t imagine him saying something like that, especially when it appears to diss American players.

  53. MTs says:

    f^ck him LoL.

  54. primoone says:

    So Bradley…aka Master Tactician…will organize the talented Egyptians as opposed to the Untalented Americans?

    Right then…

  55. Good Jeremy says:

    Disagree about switching schedules. Winter games would be brutal, while you can generally schedule around the heat by doing evening games in the summer. Also, soccer won’t do well on that schedule when it is competing against college football, college basketball, the NFL, and the NBA. Summer also gives kids a chance to go to games while school is out, which like it or not, is an important part of the audience for teams without die-hard fanbases.

  56. Good Jeremy says:


  57. trickhog says:

    Actually, MLS did observe this international date. LA wasn’t suppose to play this weekend (I think you’ll notice only a couple games are scheduled this weekend). But KC had to postpone their originally scheduled game vs. LA from early in August, and it got moved to the one opening in LA’s schedule on Sept. 5th…..

  58. john says:

    We are probably better off with beckerman missing the match. haha. Not quite at the international level (see wondo in Gold cup) but I love to see everyone keep brining up that is a “friendly” Lets see how you all respond after Belgium beats the US in the friendly 4-0. My guess is u wont be as forgiving. You always want to put your best team out there no matter what label is placed on the game. MLS should understand that and respect the dates. It will help the MLS much more if the national team plays well.

  59. Second City says:

    Rumors they never had a falling out and continue to be “bros” despite losing their favorite manager Bob Bradley won’t die down now.

    How many games has that made they’ve played together in comparison to without their fellow bro?
    Fail attempt at rumor fail.

  60. Second City says:

    individual talent doesn’t equal success. Brace yourself for a reality check = England.

    there’s no denying they’re loaded on paper but paper never wont any trophies unless it was a match of “who can shoot more wads of paper into the garbage can”.

  61. biff says:

    I agree. The quotes strike me as odd coming from someone as boring as Bob Bradley. My hunch would be that he was speaking to Egyptian officials, trying to convince them to give him the job and using flattery, telling them how great they are in soccer compared to Americans, and that he thought it was an off-the-record situation, but that some reporter was in the room sitting over in the corner taking notes. And the Egyptian officials would have no idea how sensitive that statement would be to the US audience. In any case, I expect BB will be issuing a statement that he was either misquoted or that the quotes were made up.

  62. Second City says:

    how is allowing a player (many whom demanded he rest his body just a little over a year ago) that’s nearing 30 years old not seen as prudent and instead consumed with some supposed favoritism.

    hyperbole is thick in these parts of the woods.

  63. Second City says:

    how many games has “respect” won on paper? I know talent does and talent is developed and cultivated….ala playing time within a system under a manager.

    you can opt for respect, i’ll opt for more experience for players within the pool and for our manager to decide who can play at this level and who can’t.

    i can only imagine one of those attributes will help win matches.

  64. Brian says:

    That’s BULL. Bob would never say that.

  65. Brian says:

    Well I guess we should be glad because maybe Donovan wouldn’t have played in either game if both were in Europe or if one was on the East Coast and the other in Europe

  66. says:

    not disappointed at all, only when it matters most, i am sure he will be there

  67. Second City says:

    Have you watched Bradley interviews the past 8 years plus?

    There is no realm of possibility he said that, so instead I laugh with you…as I know you posted it as a joke.

    Hilarious stuff.

  68. Artie says:

    Rumors they never had a falling out and continue to be “bros” despite losing their favorite manager Bob Bradley won’t die down now.

    How many games has that made they’ve played together in comparison to without their fellow bro?
    Fail attempt at rumor fail.
    Do the two fails mean he succeeded, like a double negative?

  69. biff says:

    Wait a second, when I read the story the first time I just scanned it quickly. I just read it again and see that BB supposedly made the statements to “CNN Arabic,” not as a job pitch to Egyptian officials as I originally thought. Yeah, that would be totally out of character for BB to make those statements to a reporter, especially if it were a TV interview. Maybe he was misquoted, a language problem, or a bad reporter–or both.

  70. rlw2020 says:

    paper covers rock.

  71. rlw2020 says:

    don’t know why that double posted.. but yes i agree two camps.. get the most player exposure for Klinsy

  72. Matty says:

    As a Sporting KC supporter, this sucks, even though I’ll get to see Donovan in person again. Good for the league, though, and not a big deal for the US in the big picture.

  73. primoone says:

    “I expect BB will be issuing a statement that he was either misquoted or that the quotes were made up.”

    Yeah…but only after the “mis-quotes” served their purpose…?

  74. primoone says:

    And he would never add anyone to the national team camp who was not playing for club…

    Quite frankly the man was shite on for quite some time and finally got dumped for a hotter younger…more exciting girl the US was after before Bradley. Became public enemy #1 in the media and in soccer forums after a craptastic year following the World Cup.

    A comment like that? I wouldn’t put it past him.

  75. Tyrone says:

    LOL, thank you, I thought it was just me who noticed that.

  76. tarfpir says:

    Best field player. I’d argue the most influential is Brad Friedel, in his short stint. . .
    This is strictly for conversation sake.
    And to think this all started from a Eurotroll. . lol

  77. tarfpir says:

    The whole of my existence is dedicated to taking down the NFL as much as possible. At the end of the day, and how it is in Europe, people like to look forward to the weekend games (in the US it’s NFL, in Europe EPL, Bundesliga, etc). That’s what we eventually need in the US. American football in general needs to get exposed as being an inferior sport to soccer, which is a debate, but a debate none-the-less.
    Now, bring on the NFL lovers to hurtle insults at me. .

  78. tarfpir says:

    Great point. I do wonder what we would do without our two best field players.

  79. Gbott says:


  80. gbot says:

    Great analysis…couldn’t agree more!

  81. Peretz48 says:

    As the years have gone by I’ve become more & more convinced that NFL football is a very overrated sport. That said, I have no illusions about its place in the U.S. sporting landscape. Many people consider it more American than mom and apple pie. Your dream will never become reality. I only hope that soccer can continue to grow become a more significant player in that landscape.

  82. Second City says:

    In the realm of failure, two fails make twice the fun and double the fail.

  83. thadeuce says:

    all these fails and no actual facts to back up the arguments. facts fail.

  84. SilverRey says:

    MLS did schedule the weekend to be open. These are all make-up games.

  85. SilverRey says:

    Classic Egyptian double translation.

  86. Bart says:

    Good…LA needs him. The world knows what he can do

  87. Robinswood says:

    From my perspective, either Donovan could give a shi* about national team play (more and more likely, lately) or he and the Galaxy are shaking in their boots, as Seatttle’s play has risen to a level that is utterly off the charts at the moment.

    I’m tempted by the first…. but it’s probably the latter.