If this explanation felt dubious and hollow, it's because it made no sense. Donovan had lost a step and gained a bit of weight, sure, but he was still one of the best five or six players on the team. Klinsmann, meanwhile, had elected to bring Green, young defenders John Brooks and DeAndre Yedlin, old poacher Chris Wondolowski, and Brad fucking Davis. These guys are going to Brazil for a vacation. If they're not going to play, and if Donovan's not going to play, why not bring the greatest, most important American soccer player ever?Stefan Fatsis: Why Jürgen Klinsmann Never Trusted Landon Donovan (Slate)
Without Donovan the U.S. doesn’t stand much of a chance in Brazil. And to be fair, they wouldn’t have had much of a chance with him on the field either. Given the national team’s status as a not-quite-contender, it’s possible that cutting Donovan is a move designed to bolster the team for the future, and to make it very clear that this is Klinsmann's team now.Allison McCann: Should Landon Donovan Be Going to the World Cup? (538)
It will be difficult to know whether Klinsmann made the right decision until June 26, when the U.S. finishes the group stage of the tournament. Because of Donovan’s name recognition and fan following, his absence might hurt World Cup viewership in the U.S. But the fact that the men’s national team is finally bigger than one player is great news for soccer in America.Graham Parker: The Landon Donovan Decision (Grantland)
In the end, Donovan may have scored more World Cup goals than any other U.S. player, and beyond Michael Bradley and Clint Dempsey, he may still be the best U.S. outfield player of his day, but when faced with the choice of building the best team for the next two months or laying the foundation for the next four years, Klinsmann has chosen the latter while making a sacrificial point about what he expects from them.Ray Hudson is NOT pleased. SBNation's Twitter roundup. Donovan's extra time goal against Algeria in the 2010 World Cup again because why not.
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