Rift between Landon Donovan, U.S. national team continues

Landon Donovan, left, vies for the ball with Monterrey's Jose Basanta during a Champions League game.
(Miguel Sierra / EPA)

The question of whether the Galaxy’s Landon Donovan will rejoin the U.S. national team continues to drag on.

Donovan, the U.S. team’s all-time leading scorer, “is set” to be left off U.S. Coach Jurgen Klinsmann’s team for the World Cup qualifying matches next month, reported Tuesday.

But later in the day, Donovan said in a podcast on the Galaxy’s website that “Jurgen has not told me that it was definitive” he wouldn’t selected and “that I wouldn’t be there. You never know.”


The uncertainly has sparked a debate among soccer fans on Twitter, with some insisting Donovan should be quickly added to the U.S. team and others arguing that Donovan has yet to earn the roster spot.

Donovan, 31, took an extended leave after the Galaxy won its second consecutive Major League Soccer title last December, citing mental and physical exhaustion. He finally returned in mid-April.

Since then he’s scored one goal in MLS play, but he’s also missed two consecutive penalty kicks, with both coming in games that the Galaxy lost, 1-0. The Galaxy’s next game is Wednesday night against the Union in Philadelphia.

“If I’m looking at it objectively, do I think I can help the [U.S.] team? Yes, absolutely,” Donovan said on the podcast. “Do I think I’ve really earned my way back in yet? Probably not.

“But I really do believe if I do get called in that I can help the team,” Donovan said. “Even if I’m not playing, I think I can help. I think my experience, having been through this three times, can be very beneficial.”


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