Tribute to Landon Donovan

Howler Magazine and artist Noah McMillan created this tribute to Major League Soccer and the USMNT’s All-Time Leading Scorer, Landon Donovan

On the eve of the 2014 World Cup, let us pause a moment to consider all that #10 has done for American Soccer this millennium.

Thank you, Landon Donovan. We wouldn’t be where we are today without you.

[gif courtesy of Howler Magazine, which happens to be the best Soccer magazine available in the USA, bar none]

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  1. He should easily be on the World Cup team.

  2. No doubt – it’s really weird that he’s not. I swear I felt sick to my stomach when I heard he was left off the roster.

    The more I’ve thought about it though, the more I see where Jurgen is coming from. I could write 5000 words on this – but here’s the my theory in a nutshell:

    Jurgen has repeatedly said that he likes his players to be uncomfortable, that he thinks players perform best when they are pushing themselves to do something out of their comfort zone.

    Considering that Donovan didn’t fit well into the diamond formation Jurgen is going to use anyway, that it was going to be a challenge to shoehorn him into the system, why not really shake up the rest of the squad? Why not make them eminently uncomfortable? Without Landon to lean on, maybe each player’s focus will be heightened just a notch.

    I don’t know, but it seems plausible to me. There certainly is no doubt that the squad could have used Donovan’s skill and experience, at least off the bench. In my opinion, Klinnsman’s decision had to be a psychological play, or there is something behind the scenes that we don’t know about.

    • There’s a past history between the two, and I think it’s fair to say that may have had a play in it as well. Even in his “aged” state, Donovan remains one of the top 5-6 players in the nation. And even if one doesn’t believe that on a three-game basis (I’d argue otherwise, but for the sake of this comment we’ll say that’s true), he certainly could bring something off the bench that so many US players don’t have. And he can play forward or even a midfield spot. He’s versatile and I have zero doubt he would be ready for the World Cup.

      Making a decision that physically weakens your team so that you can create a psychological play is a terribly poor decision. It’s also a weak man’s way out to try to create a message if that’s the way you have to do it. If you are a true leader, create the message and keep your best players, even if that means it’s harder to spread whatever message you may want to create.

      No one is going to tell me Green deserves a spot more than Donovan. That’s probably the spot Donovan would’ve had.

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