Klinsmann: Donovan still undecided on his future

Photo by ISIPHotos.com


When the USMNT roster for January’s training camp was announced on Sunday, Landon Donovan’s name wasn’t on the list. That wasn’t really all that much of a surprise, but Jurgen Klinsmann’s comments about his absence provided some insight into where things stand now.

“Landon has not been invited because obviously he is taking his break,” Klinsmann said on Fox Soccer’s Goals on Sunday. “He’s thinking about his future. We stayed in touch after the MLS Cup Final and he’s not at a point yet where he knows what he wants to do.

“It’s simple as that. That’s why we didn’t invite Landon,” Klinsmann said. “We are as curious as anybody else what his decision will be in the future time, but right now he is not part of our camp.”

Donovan made no secret of his desire to take a long break after the 2012 MLS season, so it never seemed like a realistic possibility that he would be a part of the USMNT plan in early 2013. If Donovan does, in fact, skip the January camp it would make it highly unlikely that he would take part in the February 5th World Cup qualifier against Honduras.

The real word on Donovan’s plans will come later this month, when the LA Galaxy report for pre-season training camp. If Donovan doesn’t join the Galaxy, we can begin the serious conversation about the possibility of him walking away from the game. As things stand, Donovan is just a month away from having finished the last season. Not much time for a player who clearly had some soul-searching to do.

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67 Responses to Klinsmann: Donovan still undecided on his future

  1. MemRook says:

    I just hope that whatever LD decides, he does with full commitment. A disinterested to half-interested Donovan is detrimental to the USMNT. I respect and thank the guy as much as anyone, and a 100% committed Landon means good things for the US. So that’s what I hope he decides. But don’t come back if you’re not gonna give us your all.

    • pkT says:

      Send him to psychiatrist this kid need that services.

    • Josh D says:

      It won’t be detrimental to the USMNT because while Donovan was crying in the corner about losing his manhood, the team has moved on. He has to work his way back on and earn back the respect of the coaching staff who have had to deal with his antics since Klinsi became coach. Last season he was not up to standards and he can not live on his past accomplishments. However legendary they are.

      • Lil' Zeke says:

        Wait, huh?…

        Oh I get it: You’re crazy

      • chris_thebassplayer says:

        He walks on the field as a starter as soon as he decides to commit.

        • 2tone says:

          Totally disagree. If the UMSNT is performing really well without Donovan. Then no he won’t walk right back on as a starter.

          • chris_thebassplayer says:

            If he sets his mind to commit, I think he will out compete anyone we have. If we are doing well, we will do even better with him in the line up. He reads the game at a whole different level. Who is going to take his place?

          • Fredo says:

            Yes he will.

        • Josh D says:

          I don’t agree at all. Donovan had maybe two or three games last year where he really brought his 2010 level of play. Otherwise, he was good, but not great while the likes of Zusi not only captured form in MLS, but brought it to MLS.

          Donovan has had opportunities with the USMNT in the past two years and only once, against Scotland, did he perform. Otherwise, we fans have been on his back after each game and he’s even be subbed out in friendlies at halftime. Two years ago, you wouldn’t dream of that.

          Donovan is simply not the player he was. Doesn’t mean he can’t be later, but right now he finds himself on the bench.

          • chris_thebassplayer says:

            I thought his combination play with Keane in the second half of the season, especially in the playoffs was stellar, and he wasn’t close to being 100% physically. I don’t know if he’ll come back. I tend to think he will, but I’m not holding my breath. I have a very high regard for his ability to compete and rise to the occasion…we disagree on LD. We’ll just have to wait to see how it plays out.

  2. Sean says:

    I am a huge fan of Donovan. But he really needs to consider team chemistry. If he doesn’t get involved now, the team has every right to close off the group in the interest of style, player roles, and chemistry. It would be awful to lose Donovan with the Nats but it could also be very bad for other players to insert Donovan at later stages.

    • downintexas says:

      by that logic no one new can ever make it into the NT. LD and the rest of the boys will get along just dandy. They are pros

    • The Imperative Voice says:

      This is more like a tryout camp. I think chemistry issues are more applicable if he starts consistently missing qualis or A team type efforts like Russia. Given his traditional fitness and talent levels, I think we can indulge on chemistry a little. One of the leading scorers and players in NT history….not like this is Torres still trying to prove he can contribute….in which case I care how many camps and games he misses.

    • HansomeJake says:

      Chemistry isn’t an issue with LD, if he comes back to the USMNT it will be his responsibility adapt to the chemistry of the new team. It’s been almost a year since he dressed for the US and he’s only played for JK a few times. The current USMNT has already moved on and he knows it. When he’s ready to return the team will welcome him back.

    • GW says:


      What you are proposing is called, in other quarters, cutting off your nose to spite your face.

      The single biggest boost to their World Cup chances that the USMNT could realistically get is a healthy motivated Donovan .

      So if JK is going to play nice with Chandler he sure as hell will be nice to LD.

  3. Dave from charlotte says:

    My hope is that he is able to achieve the perspective that once he walks away he likely will never, ever play the game competitively again.

    In the context of his life, which likely would be to age 75+ barring any unknown genetic issues, 3-4 more years dedicated to soccer is a drop in the bucket. He will have 40 years to do all the other things he wants to accomplish. But, it’s his life…wish him well and thank him for the great soccer watching memories.

    Having said all of that, I would like nothing more than to see him live out his playing days by turning on the TV and see him playing for Everton again. That was fun.

    • Lil' Zeke says:

      I don’t know… It’s been said: Ain’t nobody on their death bed ever wished they’d spent more time in the office.

      Unless you think he’s going to accomplish something different than what he’s already accomplished, he should spend his time doing what makes him and his happy

    • r.benjamin says:

      I think that ex wife of his messed him up bad. I mean he was always kind of a soft character and I say this as a fan. See his trips to Germany.

      His best purple patch was when he was talkin openly about how much he loved her. He’s acting a damn high school heart broken kid. Depressed and unmotivated.

    • solles says:

      I’m not sure he’d never play again, if Alexi Lalas can take a year off and then play again, surely LD can.

    • harryr says:

      Yes p[ease , just love him to come to the Royal Blues of Everton
      just what we need ,he loves it here at Goodison park.
      The oldest and best loved club in Liverpool England

  4. PetedeLA says:

    I don’t care about his Galaxy career. I just want him in our starting eleven in Brazil 2014.

    I want:

    Donovan———————————————-Zuzi/Shea/E. Johnson
    F. Johnson————————————————————–Dolo/Chandler

    This is my dream team. Let’s make this happen!

    • BD says:

      YES, THIS! Maybe Gatt on the right if he can step up in the next year and a half!

    • Michael F. SBI Mafia Original says:

      Delete E. Johnson, Edu and Dolo (he’s lost a step in my book and that will cost us a year and a half from now in Brazil – and you’re on to something.

      • PetedeLA says:

        I didn’t want to include Dolo, but then I realized that our back four has zero games played together. The more veterans that can pull their weight, the better for team cohension.

    • Josh D says:

      Holden over Williams and Jones? Wake up, it’s 2013. Holden is currently out of the picture and has been for years, while the others have taken their game up a level.

      • PetedeLA says:

        Remember: Dream Team

        Regarding, “while the others have taken their game up a level”, I don’t know if I agree.

        I like both Williams and Jones, but for me, Holden and Bradley at their best would trump any other central midfield duo.

        Whether or not Holden can be at his best for Brazil 2014 is another issue.

        I’ve been able to see quite a few games of both Jones and Holden. Holden’s package of quick feet, technique, ability to create chances, competitive spirit, set him apart for me. For an enforcer, Jones has decent technique. But he’s still an enforcer. And I think we have that covered with Bradley. I don’t think Holden’s ever played centrally for the US. But I’d really like to see this.

        In any case, the story here is about Donovan.

        And I want him in my dream team, too.

  5. Jimmy Bobo says:

    Anybody know what Landon is up to? Hanging out on a Mexican or Jamaican beach? Climbing a mountain? Becoming a vegetable in front of his big screen TV? Chasing babes?

    • Brolo says:

      He doesn’t need to chase anything

    • PanchoMiguelMoralesdeConejo says:

      LD is taking part in the Newton soccer night out. Regardless of what you may think of his abilities – he is a class act for taking time to do this at this time.

  6. el paso tx wants NASL says:

    As a soccer figure in the US, donovan needs to step up and decide now, since many young soccer players want to be like him. Well, in reality he is our only modern soccer figure the US has because he has played in the MLS for years. Donovan needs to wake up from his athlete depression now, if not he will end up doing the wrong thing. As for the Galaxy, they can easily get two new DPs since they are for real, for example kaka, lampard, a pre contract with ronaldinho, drogba, anelka, iker, torres, snijder. Galaxy have a buffet of Dps to select from, only if big markets like seattle, chicago, denver, dc,chivas usa can go for those Dps. That’s is why, world cup year 2014 make it 4 dps per team and maybe even 5 with a mandatory young DP.

  7. Jake says:

    I’m not sure this is news. I agree that the real news will be based on what happens with the Galaxy training camp. With the March WC qualifiers and the CCL it seems like if he wants to contribute early in the season his break would end up being shorter than he wanted.

  8. Old School says:

    Take your time, Landon.

    You’ve earned it.

    • Brian says:

      He hasn’t earned anything of the sort. If he were a true competitor like Beckham, this wouldn’t be an issue.

      That said, it’s his life to do with it as he wants. But, again, it has nothing to do with earning it.

      • Good Jeremy says:

        Do you take vacations at work? Because he doesn’t. He has been working summers and going on loan over the winters, plus MLS playoffs and doing FIFA dates up until the last year. He deserves a break. He has probably taken less time off work than any of us over the last four years.

      • Old School says:

        “He hasn’t earned anything of the sort.”

        Sure he has.

  9. Old School says:

    Officially the worst post I’ve ever seen on SBI and that’s saying something.

  10. squirt-lover says:

    Spot on.

  11. YO says:

    Forget him! Lets move on and do our best.

  12. The Imperative Voice says:

    “Right now he is not part of our camp” arguably implies a positive phone call, email, or text could change that in a second. Camp does start tomorrow, but it hasn’t started yet and it will continue in the LA area (where Landon lives….) for 20 days before the Houston flight/game. I think he’s giving him room to change his mind anytime he wants.

  13. Chris says:

    Well said!

  14. Beto says:

    Now is the time to take a break. Let him be, plus he wasnt part of the past few january camps… Get ready for the storming comeback later this year

  15. GW says:

    Biggest non-story in a slow news month for the USMNT.

    • Brain Guy says:

      So true. This is a non-story. It will be a story if LD decides to skip the camp before the first qualifiers. (For MNT fans, I mean.)

  16. Stubbs says:

    What a little b!tch…

  17. Brolo says:

    The intangibles he brings will be the biggest takeaway if he walks. I think we can say by 2014 quality-wise someone will have caught him but his leadership and WC experience would be missed. Luckily, Tim and Bocanegra (although not as a starter) will be there.

    • Josh D says:

      What leadership? He leads by playing well but I’ve never seen him stand up for his team mates or verbally lift the team in need. Jones, Bradley, and Howard are next up for the captaincy.

      • Brolo says:

        Read what I’ve said. I’m not calling for him to take captaincy just that I’d rather have him over someone just as talented but with nowhere near 3 WC under his belt. That’s what would be missed most..I have heard interview where players talked about his leadership during WC. Maybe you haven’t been looking closely

      • PanchoMiguelMoralesdeConejo says:

        you don’t remember him motioning to EJ to hustle up against Mexico before sliding a goal past the keeper Sanchez- who then kicked out at EJ in retaliation?
        you don’t remember him telling his teammates to concentrate for 5 minutes after scoring a big goal? You missed the part where he slammed a goal against Slovenia and then Algeria and still was humble enough to credit the team? How about the fact that 24 hours after playing in WC2002 he flew back to the states to be with his Earthquake teammates? As a 20 year old!
        He is a leader in action and words.
        You’re not paying attention if not.

        • Josh D says:

          I said he leads by example; not words. As a captain you need to lead with both. And every player has his moments of encouragement. However, the guys I’ve listed for the past few years have always been the first to stand up for players, the first to protect players, the first to run to the ref to ensure we get fair treatment. Donovan doesn’t do those things.

          • Anthony says:


            I hate to say this, but you make some obtuse, poorly founded statements about leadership. I think you really need to think about the metrics that you are using.

  18. el paso tx wants NASL says:

    In europe or even mexico, landon would not even be able to say< I need a break because fans will start chewing u apart, the manager will send u to the B squad and someone will take ur spot in a second. For example, christiano ronaldo, iker, balotelli, drunky adriano, rafa marquez in red bull and many more. So landon, make up ur mind bcus lampard, drogba, kaka are waiting.

  19. Brian says:

    LD is a head case. He is 30 and saying he is exhuasted. People say he deserves a break because he has been playing since he was 16. Beckham started playing top flight soccer at only a bit older, is 37 and all he wants to do is continue playing. And he played a boatload league, cup, and national team games.

    • PetedeLA says:

      Fair point, but it’s apples and oranges.

      A lot of Donovan’s game is his ability to be faster than his opponents. Beckham stopped trying to outrun opponents a long time ago.

      Of course, keeping his passing and crossing game takes work, but Donovan’s bread and butter skill (his speed) is (IMHO) more taxing on the body.

    • Good Jeremy says:

      In the last four years he has done:
      4 MLS seasons
      4 MLS playoffs
      WC 2010
      WC 2010 Qualifiers
      Confederations Cup 2009
      Most US friendlies prior to 2012
      3 offseason loans

      It’s very selfish and petty to knock him for being lazy or uncommitted with that schedule.
      I’m assuming most of us have more than one vacation every four years, so he has a right to be exhausted and take a break. Our desk jobs probably wear us out a little slower than pro sports as well.

      I’m disappointed that he may not play in the upcoming qualifiers, but given that he has only had one offseason in the last four years I can see where he is coming from.
      I’m hoping that he gets his rest this offseason and comes back rejuvenated and hungry.

    • solles says:

      LD [i]has[/i] been playing pretty much year round, just as Beckham has, for most of the last 4-5 years. How much more do you want from the guy.

  20. Freegle says:

    The beauty of our current pool is that it is no longer “Landon Donovan and the USMNT.” That concept has been replaced by “the USMNT and Landon Donovan.” He is a valuable piece of the squad but no longer the irreplaceable cog that he once was.

    IMO he should feel free to take as much time as he wishes and if he gets his headand body right and is ready to come back and be a part of the team he shouls continue to be a part of the pool.

  21. chris_thebassplayer says:

    We’ll see what happens as we get closer to the start of the season…I’d love to be a fly on the wall for that Arena/LD phone call.

  22. MikeG says:

    Enigma: a puzzling or inexplicable occurrence or situation. That word covers him.

  23. Heebz says:

    This is a likely starting 11 for Brazil 2014, assuming Landon Donovan does indeed retire, and John Anthony Brooks chooses the U.S over Germany.

    Other likely faces on that lineup barring any injuries are: Mix Diskerud, Terrence Boyd, Omar Gonzalez, Michael Parkhurst, Graham Zusi, Joe Corona, Danny Williams, Sacha Kljestan, Juan Agudelo, Bill Hamid, Brad Guzan, and Herulez Gomez.

    _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ Altidore _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

    _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _Dempsey _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

    Shea_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ Gatt

    _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ Bradley _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

    _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ J.Jones_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

    F.Johnson_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ Chandler

    _ _ _ _ _ _ _ Cameron_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ Brooks _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

    _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ __ _ _ _ _ Howard _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

  24. 2tone says:

    The fanbase needs to realise that Donovan is a million miles mentally away from the USMNT. Now is the time to see what other players are capable of.

  25. JP says:


    If he enjoys the game, play. If his passion is gone, go find something else to do.

  26. SL says:

    Sometimes you need a break, burn out is real, and there’s nothing you can do about it. Hopefully he will come back to the sport naturally. Also hopefully, at that time, he’ll do well enough to have an impact. The sad thing is, I imagine in 10 or 15 years time he’ll look back and wonder why he had so much trouble. The window to compete is so small.

  27. TGA says:

    no we now why he didnt go to europe full time. if he is burnt out playing Minor League Soccer…the EPL would have killed him…