Klinsmann discusses his final 23-man USMNT roster

Jurgen Klinsmann

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171 Responses to Klinsmann discusses his final 23-man USMNT roster

  1. Ralph says:

    Makes sense.

    Feeling much more confident about the back line. Excited to see the boys suit up and have a go.

    • Marco says:

      Three and out at this World Cup. Would say it will be 50/50 whether we score any goals at all… maybe some garbage time goals or in the last game if Germany is through.

      Hope Sunil gets fired after the Cup along with Klinsy. (Yeah, I know it has to be an election).

  2. Lord Farquad says:

    We’re going to have a potent starting lineup.

    Jozy, Wondo
    Johnson or Bedoya, Jones, Bradley, Zusi

    That lineup is scoring goals.

  3. tga says:

    OK. Did you see LD try and dribble Marquez v Mexico. It was pathetic. He is done. If he had made the team…where would he have played. He came on as a sub v Mexico and did nothing.
    Thanks for the memories LD.

    • Pat says:

      I also saw Julian Green in that game. … Donovan would have been ready. He always is. Green? Well… we’ll see.

      • Luke says:

        If you had paid attention to what Klinsmann was saying the past 3 weeks you would know it was never Donovan vs Green or Davis. He clearly indicated he saw Donovan as a forward. The players who edged him were Wondo and Johanssen.

        • Seriously says:

          If you have a brain in your head you know that suggesting that LD could have only even been a forward on this team is ridiculous.

          • Ralph says:

            You’re actually making a very strong case for Donovan being left off.

            He was already a super-sub, and given that he can no longer play on the wing at that international level, he’s competing against the CAM/FW types.

            Donovan struggled out wide at the start of the Gold Cup. He and Klinsmann decided he would have to play inside and forward where he had limited defensive responsibilities and could be given freedom. Donovan himself made that suggestion.

            • Marco says:

              Well we have Klinsy on record now saying that Donovan is the first one called in if a striker gets injured. When that happens we will see what Klinsy does.

        • Louis Z says:

          In today’s interview a reporter asked JK since he [JK] made the remark that LD lost a step or two and was more of a passer, that wasn’t that trademarks of a midfielder? JK sidestepped the questions with an unrelated answer.

          • Bac says:

            That reporter was Bob Ley, who has covered the usmnt since ~ 1990.
            I think the answer he gave was perfect and professional, because any other answer would have directly implied he didnt have the skills or stamina to play midfield in this world cup.. And I think Ley picked that up right away and thats why he didnt press him on it.

            • Patrick2 says:

              Lack of Stamina….hmmm you know, I wonder how LD did in the conditioning drills. If LD did just “ok”, Klinsi may have had a real quandary if several other guys came in and just killed them.

              • Bac says:

                Jeff Carlisle is reporting the conditioning guy said he was doing good every day. I obviously don’t KNOW specifically what any of it means, but if JK went in any other direction with Ley’s question, it would have made all this much worse. What if he said something like “he didn’t beat anyone off the dribble all 10 days” or “he hasn’t scored in like his last 15 games” or anything like that he would have been directly calling him out right after he cut him… He gave the only answer he could

              • Bac says:

                And Carlisle said, as you said, it kinda makes you wonder and is open to interpretation…
                You do bring up a great point though.. What if he got overmatched in every drill or flat out outplayed the last 10 days.. What are the other guys thinking…..
                Who knows…..

          • Ralph says:

            Because the only reasonable (and completely factual response to that) would have been to rip Donovan.

            Donovan is literally no where close to Bradley, Jones or Beckerman in terms of fitness or stamina.

            Because when you say something like ‘he could play midfielder,’ thats what you’re saying. You’re saying Donovan would start over Bradley or Jones.

            Klinsmann took the high, high road on that.

            • Bac says:

              Ok.. so u said it better than me..

            • grant says:

              And what about Mix? Does anyone think that LD is not better than Mix in the midfield?

              • Bac says:

                Totally different positions at this point. Mix will be used as a sub at CM if we need more offense in the lineup, doubtful he is there as Dempseys backup.. If Deuce goes out, look for a 4-4-2.. AJ..

    • Helium-3 says:

      I completely agree. Donovan’s game is mostly about speed and space. He does not have individual skill to beat players 1 on 1.

      While he does have good vision, he no longer has that speed to get past people (by pushing the ball to side and outrunning them) or create space for himself.

      If you have 15 mins for someone to make a difference, you want a younger, more hungry player like Green or Yedlin, who are relatively unknown to the competitors, and could be the x factor in the waning minutes of a game.

      • ronniet says:

        Awesome post name but its exactly what your blowing with that comment!

      • Jesse says:

        But Mixx, Wondo and Davis don’t have pace get buy anyone either. Donovan has more pace then all of them and better vision.

    • Ralph says:

      I used to love seeing Donovan fly down a flank at someone, so that moment was particularly tough to watch.

      It wasn’t simply that Marquez stopped him, it was how he stopped him. He barely moved. He knew exactly what Donovan was going to do and knew he was quicker than Donovan. He just stuffed him.

      • slowleftarm says:

        Ok and on the basis of him being stopped once, he’s out? Wow, tough crowd.

        • MiamiAl says:

          Being stopped by Marquez, who is absolutely garbage, says it all…

          • Hopper says:

            Marquez started for Barcelona. Barcelona doesn’t start garbage.

            • haydenjo says:

              yeah like a hundred years ago

            • Jason says:

              “Used to”…that is the point with LD. He WAS great, the best ever American, but as a sub with 10 minutes left behind by a goal, (which was going to be his role) you need someone that can fly down the field and cause a disruption against defenders on tired legs. Is Green (or even Davis) a better player than Landon is NOW? Probably not…but at the end of the bench, Klinsi is looking for situational role players. A kid with Nitro in his legs and a precision deadball specialist, not a brilliant (“used to” be) counterattacker that has lost a step.

              BTW, for those of you hating on Julian Green…did you forget LD was a 20 year old MLS in his first world cup?

            • Yes, Marquez played for Barcelona but it was decades ago, now he would not make the reserve team at Barcelona.
              Joe Santos Sr

              • Cosmosfan says:

                it was 4 years ago

              • Ralph says:

                To Cosmosfan,

                Marquez wrecked his knee in April of ’09. He returned for a few appearances in 2010 before being let go immediately following the end of the season.

          • slowleftarm says:

            Well, not really, because being stopped once by anybody doesn’t really prove anything. JK still picked him for the 30 after that, so even he didn’t see it that way.

    • Petro4ever says:

      Wasn’t Marquez who stopped him. It was Father Time…

  4. El Homer Simpson says:

    Could be a potential 2002 with the young players hopefully playing fearlessly. OR it could be a 1998 all over again. Or they could shock the world and win the World Cup. Or, I’ll stop now.

    • wood chip zip says:

      Bruce Arena’s take,

      “If there are 23 better players than Landon, then we have a chance to win the World Cup.”

  5. Changed my mind says:

    I’m cheering for Ghana!!

  6. Outlaw says:

    Me too

  7. bryan says:

    just heard Ives ask JK a question at the press conference. lol

  8. President Obama says:

    Please sign my White House Petition to get President Obama to put Landon Donovan on the World Cup Team. We need 100,000 signatures . . .

    link to petitions.whitehouse.gov

  9. Luke says:

    One of the key points I heard someone mention yesterday was that Klinsmann releasing his 23 man roster almost 1 1/2 week before he had originally planned was a shrewd and calculated move so the distraction of Donovan’s exclusion to the team would die down by the time the World Cup comes around. Could you imagine the circus it would have been if he did wait until June 2nd? This way, there will be the public uproar for a couple of weeks and the shock to the players on the team but will die down and the team can focus in on the task at hand and the fans will rally around them.

    • Dc says:

      Or, the backlash of not playing Donovan in any of the warm up friendlies probably would have been worse than this.

    • MiamiAl says:

      You are correct. I believe it will actually die down with a win against Azerbaijan.

      • HJK says:

        +1 The USMNT will demolish Azerbaijan by at least 10-0. Azerbaijan coach Herr Berti Vogts is special advisor to USMNT coach Herr Jurgen Klinsmann and they go back a long long ways together on the German national team and both will be celebrating if Germany wins the World Cup this summer. Look for Julian Green, John Brooks and Timmy Chandler to have man of the match games against Azerbaijan showing that they deserve to play in Brazil. WC 2014 isn’t about WC 2014 it’s about Klinsmann.

        • Eric says:

          No, you’re wrong. See? I can write unsupported and unsubstantiated opinions, too!

  10. Vic says:

    Klinnsmann is a reckless phony, the Germans know it, the American players know it and the American fans are starting to realize it. Unfortunately, Sunil Gulati loves him.

    • GW says:


      Sunil is one vote out of 14.

      If Sunil had the power you talk about JK would have been hired sooner but he did not have the votes with the USSF, After BB lost the Gold Cup final then he had the votes.

    • Eric says:

      What have the American players told you, personally, since no media report has indicated otherwise?

      A world class player who played at the highest levels in Europe, won a World Cup, played in two others, and coached a team to third place in the World Cup is a phony? How high are your expectations?

      • Ralph says:

        It’s cool.

        The second greatest striker in the history of Germany knows nothing about anything. :)

      • Vic says:

        No player can go on record and say anything negative about Klinnsmann, therefore no journalist can write anything. A journalist can use anymous sources but he/she runs a risk of losing access/credentials. Its widely known among insiders how the players feel about Klinnsmann.

        • Jovins says:

          Insiders like whom? Eric Wynalda, who thinks he should be the coach? Insiders like Alexi Lalas, who feels like the American team should be a bunch of try-hards without any real skill because that’s how his team achieved mediocrity on the world stage?

          Seriously, every coach is going to have their guys, and there will ALWAYS be players who feel like the coach has it out for them.

    • Hogatroge says:

      You do realize Klinsmann ruffled a lot of feathers with his squad selection for the 2006 WC and still ended up in 3rd place, right?

  11. Dc says:

    I am still a bit baffled at his decisions, but I do feel more hopeful after hearing Klinsmann explain the situation. We have no choice but to trust the guys who watch them perform in camp. I have been on these boards clamoring for new young players before. I guess I should be happy. I still think to say that certain players weren’t competing against Landon is just a way of dodging the question. Of course they were. That is the whole point of the damn thing.

  12. I have a write-up on Donovan’s omission if anybody cares to read it. It includes some quick stats comparing him to those that did make the roster: goo.gl/PKXVxF

  13. BenC says:

    LD might have lost a step but Klinsmann has lost his mind!!!!!! He didn’t have to make the decision today, LLOLLLL . He had until June 2 LLOOLLLL!! At least see how the players do in at least one friendly. He wanted to make the cuts now because if LD would have shown well, it would have made cutting him even more difficult.Jk has a problem with LD and that’s that. I still think the U.S. can get out of the group and will be cheering them on through thick and thin. I hope I don’t party like 1998, though, and Klinsmann doesn’t turns into Sampson 2

    • arsenal says:

      Or, he makes the cut then of Donovan and it becomes a distraction for the rest of them team going into Brazil. It makes perfect sense.

    • SilverRey says:

      Bring back the 3-6-1!!!!!!!!!

  14. Brad says:

    Look, we are all surprised that it happened. The writing has been on the wall for some time, but most of us never thought Klinsi would do it. Fine.

    But people need to hold it together. If you are really considering not watching or any variation of dissent, you have a general misunderstanding of the USMNT.

  15. Charles says:

    Whether one agrees with the 23 or not it is much better that they have been named now before the first friendly against Azerbaijan and the others. This way the players and coaches can avoid all distractions and work towards one common goal. Putting the best players on the field and playing the best they can in Brazil.

    I am very happy we have Tim Howard, he wants to win. Not only will he help identify the back line but the attackers as well. Every great keeper, and Tim is certainly that, knows that the best for him is to have his team scoring goals.

    I am now looking much more forward to the Azerbaijan match.

  16. Jack says:

    I think what bothers me more then anything is Chandler being back in this team. Lets face it, he could not care any less about playing for the US, other then the fact that this is a World Cup. I won’t even be that surprised when he scores an own goal in the Germany match.

    • Ralph says:

      Please, just stop. It’s highly insulting.

      These are people. Human beings with their own issues. Especially what it’s like to be a black American living in Germany. Life isn’t black and white, and disparaging people like you are doing is offensive.

      • slowleftarm says:

        Why do you trot out the race card? There’s nothing racist about questioning Chandler’s commitment.

      • Charles says:

        Besides Jack’s being insulting and offensive he is also telling a lie. Chandler very much cares about playing for the U.S. National Team. He is very proud of it.

        • Jack says:

          Look I’m willing to give him every chance to prove that going into Brazil. I guess we’ll just see.

          • Charles says:

            However, your every post shows that you are not giving him any chance to prove that.

      • Jack says:

        I love Jones, Fabian, and would take Boyd on this team over Wondo in a heart beat. However Chandler has done just about everything he can to make it clear playing for the US isn’t something he’s too worried about.

        • Eric says:

          And yet Chandler worked his azz off this season to make it back. Go do a little research on Chandler’s past couple of seasons, and you’ll see that you are misinformed about his intentions.

      • Aquaman says:

        I don’t understand why everyone questions Chandler’s commitment and not Landon’s. Landon played one more hex round game than Chandler after taking an extended vacation from football himself. After the Hex Chandler was injured for a few months, but then played well for the past few weeks in the Bundesliga. After Landon’s vacation, he seemed to use up the rest of his gas on the Gold Cup and his form in MLS has seemed to suffer for it.

        • Jack says:

          I think a lot of people question Landon’s commitment and he’s not in the team.

          • Bac says:

            Well all of a sudden everyone is bringing up Cambodia, Bayern, “the rift” , the Strauss article.. a lot of heresay and media and fan fodder…
            But nobody seems to be bringing up any of the “off the record” comments made by players when LD wasn’t around during qualifying.. such as we can win without him, we go with who we got, he’s got his reasons… etc..
            All heresay…..
            #DOUBLE STANDARD

    • Louis Z says:

      Just so you know, the unofficial reports from people on the know how, are saying he has been very commanding in the back line and he is one of the best players in the team. He may surprise you and and all of us.

      • Ralph says:

        He’s be a great addition to that back line. He’s been in such form these past few months. No surprise that bigger clubs are making a run at him now that Nur is going down.

  17. Vic says:

    Altidore=worse form, Chandler=less commitment and Brad Davis=slower, older. Klinnsmann=Hypocrite.

    • Dc says:

      Hah, exactly.

    • Eric says:

      Klinsmann, who understands the forward position, says that he was fine with Altidore’s season. Chandler worked very hard to make it back into the USMNT, and Davis possesses a skill set unique to the team. What has Klinsmann said or done before that contradicts what he has said or done recently? A link to your proof would be helpful.

      • Vic says:

        Its an OPINION. All these comments on here on opinions. Klinnsmann is a good/bad coach is an opinion, not a fact.

  18. Bac says:

    Things from the press conference the newborn anti JK conspiracy theorists don’t want to either admit to or look past their own personal feelings:
    – We like when our experienced players speak out, but we as coaches are spending all our time watching all our player’s games and in some practices, while they are busy with their own games they can’t see as much info as us coaches, that’s why we as coaches have to make the decisions
    – Regarding Wondo(who beat out LD)- He’s been working his tail off for 3 years, and he’s finally getting it, he’s the first one in practice and never stops working and looks great and is a giver
    – Regarding Green- Yes he’s young, but we’ve been scouting him for 2 years, watching his practices and games, and taking input from Pep
    – Regarding Chandler- We hoped he’d come back from injury, and never lost contact with him, and even sent our own trainer to work with him to see his fitness, he’s an example of why you have 50/50 guys, to see if they’re fit and ready, and he is
    – Regarding Brooks- Yes he had an up and down season, but we’re looking at who’s playing well now and peaking now
    -Regarding Landon- Didn’t go into specifics, but gave enough hints, such as his one on one play, his finishing, his pace as his biggest weapon, and how he’s changed his game as he’s gotten older
    – As he said, he’s been watching him and this was about the last 8 months, where he saw his weaknesses, and his form right now.. (He got beat out by Wondo and AJ.. and don’t think he only started telling him this a few weeks ago)
    – Bob Ley even said he was probably prepared for this otherwise he wouldn’t have made those comments the last few weeks etc
    -Regarding the question about this is a roster for the future- He basically said if he doesn’t get it done now you know what happens in the world of soccer

    Some things to consider before you hang him and become Ghana fans…

    • Charles says:

      Thanks for your very informative post Bac.

    • arsenal says:

      Excellent post and I think he gave an informative press conference. He didn’t even dodge the question about his son.

      • jb says:

        Yeah he was very direct when answering that one. He mentioned that his son was devastated after his tweet went viral and wasn’t aware he had followers besides his friends ( I don’t do twitter so I don’t know about that one) Also mentioned his son had a Donovan jersey in his room. But JK didn’t make excuses either, saying his son owed LD a huge apology, and something about his having a father that would put him in line. No doubt Klinsmann can run a press conference, but I found myself believing every word.

    • Matthew R says:


    • Eric says:

      More SBI commentors should be like you. Thanks for the post.

    • Jack says:

      If he’s looking at whose peaking now, why isn’t Boyd in the team? Didn’t he score like 6 goals in 4 matches?

      • Ralph says:

        Because Wondo peaked higher.

        People keep answering this for you. Why ignore them and copy/paste it everywhere?

        • Jack says:

          Fine you’re right everything Klinsmann does is perfect ,we’re going to win the World Cup

          • Ralph says:

            Stop doing that. You asked why Wondo over Boyd. From everyone (even Donovan), Wondo has been probably the best player in camp so far.

            Per Donovan, ‘everything he touches has turned to gold.’

        • Bac says:

          And to further make my point, his first response is about Boyd, who was competing for a forward spot.
          Edu is in form, but got beat out by Beckerman
          Parkhurst playing pretty well, but beat out by Yedlin
          Corona much improved lately, but beat out by Mix

          Why not bring those up? Because it doesn’t fit today’s narrative, which is:
          JK cuts Donovan= JK is now the devil and 94.2% of his decisions have always been wrong his entire career

    • Cosmosfan says:

      Must of missed his comments about how Green and Brooks got roster spots despite doing absolutely nothing in their international and club careers simply to get them to take a one time switch or his explaination on why his son, in his house, held the negative opinion of Donovan.

      He ca say whatever prepared crap he wants in the interviews, there is no denying that he bargained roster spots on the 23 to Brazil to dual citizens to coherse then into joining the USA; and all common sense points to the fact Klinsmann at home clearly holds a different opinion of Donovan that his public statements indicate.

      • jb says:

        You must have missed quite a few comments then, because he answered all of the ones you listed.

        Your second paragraph speaks to your true intentions and feelings, which are based on nothing more than imaginary evidence to support a preconceived viewpoint.

      • Ralph says:

        John Anthony Brooks, a.k.a. Brooks, is a 21 year old center back starting in the Bundesliga for Hertha Berlin.

        In April, he was named to a Bundesliga team of the week. link to bundesligafanatic.com

        He is a great talent who is already starting in a very difficult position in one of the top 3 leagues in the world.

        He’s more than earned a call up.

    • Ah says:

      Informative post. Thank you. I have never been much of a Donovan guy and think the critiques of his present game are accurate. So I’m fine with leaving him off in general. I just can’t justify it if it means you are bringing Brad Davis, who at his very best with the national team has looked competent, and at his worst has looked way out of his depth.

      He can’t create his own space to use that golden left foot to whip in crosses and I can’t imagine many scenarios where this team can afford to field a liability just so he can take set pieces.

      So while I don’t think Donovan is the best anymore, I just think he unquestionably has more to offer than Davis and so I don’t like the selection.

      • Bac says:

        Now there is a rational response. Your response is primarily questioning Davis’ inclusion correct? That’s a legit debatable topic. One could argue for moving Fabian up and keeping Parkie for example? Or Coronas versatility vs. Davis’ left foot? Or even though JK made it clear he doesn’t think LD has the chops to make it happen in midfield, at least that’s an argument that has nothing to do with Cambodia, Bayern, the Strauss article, the Germerican breeding program, and secret illuminati handshake backroom deals.
        Thanks for your good response

  19. Mike R says:

    It’s obvious from his roster that he doesn’t think this team is going far so he brought youngsters for experience.

    Bringing Wondo who has never ever score against a real a side intl team is a joke he is a pure cherry picker and we don’t have the playmakers to set up easy goals which is what he gets.

    He is the Aldi or Kirkland version of Chickenpizza hernandez

    • Jack says:

      If this is about youth then I don’t see why you don’t take Wondo over Boyd, who kind of maxed out at El Salvador in the Gold Cup.

      • Annelid Gustator says:

        I wonder about that too. I just don’t rate Wondo as highly as the other leave-behinds. Oh well, good luck, I’ll still be watching and hoping.

  20. Ronaldo Messi says:

    I will boycot this team. So will my family. I hope they go 0-0-3.

    • arsenal says:

      Not even a real fan.

    • Bac says:

      Congratulations on your new decision. Best of luck Mr. Arnold

    • MLS_Soccer_Talker says:

      …it baffles me how “Fans” can do this. Nobody is bigger than the team.. Nobody.

    • JB says:

      Rats desert a sinking ship.

      • Eric says:

        Rats deserting a ship that isn’t sinking and hasn’t left port yet.

      • Ronaldo Messi says:

        Do not pretend this ship ain’t sinking already. The hull has a big gash. What Klinsmann did will sink this ship. I don’t think for a moment that the veterans that have played with Landon all these years like Howard, Beasley and few more are not going to be affected by this injustice. Btw, if I am a rat, you are a roach afraid of the light.

    • Eric says:

      The team doesn’t need cancers like you. Good riddance.

      • Ronaldo Messi says:

        Listen to me you. If I am cancer you are like a malign brain tumor. The team does not need sheep like you either.

    • Tim S. says:

      You do know 0-0-3 would mean three draws, right? If Germany went 2-0-1 and Portugal tied Ghana (putting them both at 0-1-2), that would put the US through. I’d take 0-0-3 if we advanced!

  21. grant says:

    Mix > Landon Donovan??? LOLOLOLOLOL
    Landon as a forward is just cover for Klinsmann to cut him.

  22. MLS_Soccer_Talker says:

    I see a lot of posters on here …saying “I am not rooting for the USMNT”, “How could they do this??” Yadda, Yadda….Get a life and Get Real. No player is bigger than a team. No one. Did you forget Donovan turned his back on the team to do Yoga in Cambodia?!?!? Did you stop rooting for the team then too?!?!..

    If youre not rooting for the USMNT because LD is not on the team. Then you are NOT a USMNT supporter.simple.

    And dont even start with this “sentimental attachment” nonsense. Those memories arent on the field at the WC in 2014. LD did all he could do for the USMNT and will be missed. Now Support those who are on the team and Lets move on.

    • Eric says:

      Good comment.

      Why are so many wrapped up about who didn’t make the team? Why is there so little discussion about who did make the team and what the starting lineups for the group games will be?

      • Ralph says:

        The same reason an entire city/state devolved by a 1,000 years in a matter of seconds when LeBron decided to leave.

        I’d have to ask a psychologist for a scientific response, but I think we lay folk call it bandwagoning.

      • Vic says:

        Thats the other problem. It will be very distracting for players and Klinnsmann when media asks about Donovan. In addition to Donovan being one of our best players it will also hurt morale by not calling him.

        • Ralph says:

          Did you speak with the US MNT players about their ‘morale.’

          Are they little children who need their hands held? Because the last time Landon Donovan took a walkabout, the other players were publicly pretty negative toward him.

          You’re projecting.

          • Bac says:

            As I responded to a similar question last night, if you’re worried about that, go ask which of the 23 would be willing to give up his spot to Brazil for him??
            You can also read my post earlier…
            # DOUBLE STANDARD

            Good post

  23. The Other Jeff says:

    The five stages of grieving are playing out pretty quickly. We’ll get through them in time to get back to rooting for the US in Brazil.

    Denial… He can’t have done that can he? Unbelievable. There must be some explanation we aren’t hearing. What about Algeria? …Check.

    Anger… JK is an idiot. I’m going to root for someone else or just tune out. Petition the President. …Check.

    Bargaining… maybe he’ll be brought back as an injury replacement? …Check.

    Depression… we’re going to lose badly, I didn’t expect us to get out of the bracket anyway but now the dream is well and truly dead. …Check.

    Acceptance… Maybe it’s for the best, he might have been a drag on the team, he might not be the LD we pine for. Maybe Klinsmann has more information than we do. He must have a secret plan, can’t wait to see it. Maybe, just maybe, those young ‘uns really are ready and will surprise, like LD did at the beginning. Maybe, just maybe, this is the first step toward becoming like Germany under Klinsmann. …Still a work in progress.

  24. Joseph D'Hippolito says:

    This shouldn’t be about Donovan’s break because once he returned, Donovan played with a vengeance. Not only did he excel in the Gold Cup but he and Robbie Keane formed a dynamic offensive pair for the Galaxy last year. It was neither his nor Keane’s fault that the Galaxy couldn’t find offense from anybody else.

    But something is happening with Donovan. He’s badly out of shape. Not only has he developed a paunch but he was winded terribly late in the friendly against Mexico, when he was a substitute. He likely doesn’t have enough time to get into the kind of shape the team needs in a World Cup.

    Donovan is a very sensitive man. My guess is that something is off the field is bothering him deeply, and that problem is affecting his game. When people are clinically depressed (and I’m speaking from personal experience), their professional lives suffer greatly.

    Also, Klinsmann is trying to put his own stamp on the program at the expense of the team. Leaving Donovan off the team, given what I said (assuming what I said is true), is understandable. Leaving Parkhurst and Goodson off the team is absolutely moronic. Beasley is a defensive liablity at left back. Gonzalez will soil his underwear in Brazil. Besler can’t cover for everybody; not even Baresi or Maldini could do that for Italy (and they were among the all-time greats at center back).

    Let’s not forget than when Germany excelled in the 2006 World Cup, Juergen Low had the tactical nous. Obviously, Klinsmann is infatuated with his own power and is using his contract (hired through 2018 World Cup) to wield that power with a sledgehammer. Just ask Martin Vasquez.

    • Bac says:

      Joseph, I totally respect the possibility that you raise in the first half of your post. It is obviously just a possibility, or potential observation, not an accusation or comment meant to belittle.
      But I do disagree with the second part.
      With Cam being moved to the middle, you’re now choosing two of Gonzo, Brooks, and Goodson. Even though Gonzo has regressed, I’d take him over the other two in a heartbeat, so it’s really Goodson vs Brooks. Experience vs. Athleticism and current form in Bundesliga
      Close call, but Goodson ain’t exactly a track star
      Parkie is no CB in the World Cup. JK said this afternoon Chandler has dominated, so basically it’s Parkie vs Yedlin, or vs Beasley… He chose speed.. period… don’t forget Fabian listed as Def.

      And by the way, despite the contract.. we look like crap and go 3 and out he’s done anyways. So the future/2018/stamp on the program stuff is just an emotional response to the shocking news of the last 24 hours…period

  25. The Other Jeff says:

    Aaagh… moderation for commonplace words. Repost.

    The five stages of grieving are playing out pretty quickly. We’ll get through them in time to get back to rooting for the US in Brazil.

    Denial… He can’t have done that can he? Unbelievable. There must be some explanation we aren’t hearing. What about Algeria? …Check.

    Anger… JK is an !d!ot. I’m going to root for someone else or just tune out. Petition the President. …Check.

    Bargaining… maybe he’ll be brought back as an injury replacement? …Check.

    Depression… we’re going to lose badly, I didn’t expect us to get out of the bracket anyway but now the dream is well and truly dead. …Check.

    Acceptance… Maybe it’s for the best, he might have been a drag on the team, he might not be the LD we pine for. Maybe Klinsmann has more information than we do. He must have a secret plan, can’t wait to see it. Maybe, just maybe, those young ‘uns really are ready and will surprise, like LD did at the beginning. Maybe, just maybe, this is the first step toward becoming like Germany under Klinsmann. …Still a work in progress.

    • Jack says:

      Which stage is what ….wait, why on earth is Brad Davis on this team? South Korea’s B team was running circles around him.

  26. bryan says:

    30for30 just released a clip for Episode 3 of the US mini-series. the clip is JK talking to the 23 after making cuts. realllllly great video. you can feel the mix of emotions, can’t wait to watch the episode.

  27. Petro4ever says:

    So the SBI-verse is exploding over Landon Donovan’s exclusion. While it’s sad to see a World Cup career end, I can’t say I’m shocked by it or even necessarily all that worried. As much as I’ve loved watching Donovan over the last decade-plus and might have kept him on if I were in Klinsmann’s position, honestly, I can’t really fault the manager for doing what he did.

    The reality is that this team has learned to play (and experienced a degree of success) without Donovan. It performed well in those early Hex qualifiers when Donovan was still on sabbatical and other players continued to carry the load for the team while he worked his way back onto the roster. After his return, he had a couple of good moments (scoring against Mexico, for example), but could almost never string 2 good games together. The only stretch in which he played well consistently this cycle was the Gold Cup, and that was against mostly B-teams and lower-ranked CONCACAF teams. He rarely duplicated that quality as the quality of opponents improved, and even during the Gold Cup, he only got going when he was shifted into a second striker position/CAM role — a position that’s occupied by our captain and where the most likely back-up is Aaron Johannson, who is younger and has been scoring club goals more frequently in a league that’s at least as good if not significantly better that Donovan’s.

    Had Donovan been included, it’s not really clear what his role would have been. As I said above, he was unlikely to crack the top 2 as a CAM or 2nd striker. The only other option was to put him on the wing, where has underperformed this cycle, and where there are also players ahead of him — if Fabian Johnson continues to be pushed up to LM, he has greater speed and is just as good a passer, and Bedoya’s had a more consistent club season, making him the likely first-choice RM. At that point, you’re essentially talking about him as a back-up winger, and it’s not entirely clear that Graham Zusi doesn’t fill that role better, or that AJ can’t be shifted over to one of the wing positions if we need another goal-scorer who drifts to the middle. That essentially pushes him out of the rotation, and if Klinsmann is looking for non-rotation players, he’s probably better off taking a young player who might be a wild-card (Yedlin, Green, Brooks) or a specialist who understands that he might not play every game or at all (Wondolowski, Davis). After all, is it worth the potential media hassle and locker room disruption that would come with calling in a player with a star reputation and then keeping him anchored to the bench for most (or even all) of 3 games? Especially when you don’t know whether he’ll be physically capable of producing immediately if you send him in late in a game?

    This isn’t an attempt to throw dirt on his National Team legacy. He is arguably the best field player this country has ever produced and he’ll likely keep that title for at least a few more years (if not significantly longer). But the fact is that the USMNT program qualified for the World Cup (mostly) without him, and our senior team player pool has enough depth now that he was a borderline case even before the roster announcement. As I said, I might have kept him, probably cutting either Davis or Green, but Klinsmann’s decision — as difficult as it was — doesn’t really strike me as wrong.

  28. Joe says:

    Its beginning to be a toss up on who I like to listen to less between Klinsmann and Obama. Both will say anything and little of it is true. How is Davis or Green a little ahead of Donovan? They will never be as good as he is today…ever.

  29. MCQ says:

    How about changing things up a bit. Let’s talk about a couple of guys who made the team after years of toiling on the outside looking in. This was the last chance Wandolowski and Beckerman had. These guys have busted their asses for the better part of the last 8 years or so, hoping for a call up to every and any friendly and willfully filled in in the Gold Cup when the bigger names played in the glamor tournaments and games then being passed over for the WC. These guys were great representatives of US soccer and paid their dues more than most. Now after all that hard work they got the call for the big one.

    Not only are they going to the World Cup but the one that is shaping up to be one for the ages. I must admit that I myself have had a bias towards European based players but find it hard not to congratulate these two. I am sure if they never play another game after this June, they will both look back and think it was all worth it. As they say across the pond “well done lads!”

  30. RealMenChewGum says:

    I don’t have any bold predictions for how this squad will perform on the field, or conspiracy theories about off-field drama. But I can unequivocally state that we have some goofy-looking dudes on this roster:

    link to isiphotos.photoshelter.com

    Maybe they should fit in some Saturday morning smiling practice?

  31. Dennis says:

    Here is a comparison of the 2010 and 2014 squads. I rated the players as an improvement (1) in 2014 over the 2010 player, -1 for a decrement and 0 for about the same. You can quibble with some of my pairings and some of the ratings and ask why not a bigger scale range. The answers are it is seldom an apples to apples comparison and there will be enough disagreements with whether the 2014 player is better than the 2010 player or not without trying to get into by how much.


    2010 2014 1=improvement -1 = decrement 0 equivalent

    Brad Guzan Brad Guzan 1
    Tim Howard  Tim Howard 1
    Marcus Hanhemann Nick Rimando 1

    Jonathon Spector DaMarcus Beasley 0
    Carlos  Bocanegra Matt Besler 0
    Chad Marshall John Brooks 0
    Jay DeMerit Geoff Cameron 0
    Steve Cherundolo Timmy Chandler -1
    Jonathan Bornstein Fabian Johnson 1
    Clarence Goodson Omar Gonzalez 0
    Oguchi Onyewu DeAndre Yedlin 1

    Maurice Edu Kyle Beckerman 0
    DaMarcus Beasley Julian Green 0
    Michael Bradley Michael Bradley 1
    Landon Donovan Graham Zusi -1
    Sacha Kljestan Brad Davis 0
    Ricardo Clark Jermaine Jones 1
    Clint Dempsey Mix Diskerud -1
    Benny Feilhaber Alejandro Bedoya 1

    Jozy Altidore Jozy Altidore 1
    Robbie Findley Clint Dempsey 1
    Herculez Gomez Aron Johannsson 1
    Edson Buddle Chris Wondolowski 1

    total 9