Thursday, May 22, 2014

Keep Clam!

Over the last 5 hours a good  portion of the U.S. fanbase seems to have lost their head over the exclusion of Landon Donovan from the 23-man World Cup roster.  Personally I'm shocked but not dismayed by it.  I assumed inertia would keep Donovan on the roster, but I'm not sure he deserved it at this point.

Yes, Donovan is the best field player the U.S. has ever produced and saved our butts against Algeria.  But that was 28-year old Landon Donovan 4 years ago.  This is 32-year old LD who has noticeably added weight, shows a lack of engagement with the Galaxy this year, and took a sabbatical last year leaving his Nats teammates to handle the SnowClasico and the Azteca without him.  He has publicly questioned his own commitment to the game in recent months.  Does that sound like a guy who's an automatic inclusion on a World Cup squad?

Yes, LD has shown if he wants it he can flip a switch and play at a world-class level, but that also shows he doesn't want it all the time.  Putting him on the roster would mean you're counting on him to flip that switch, and he hasn't made that flip in a long time.  That doesn't mean taking him would be a bad choice or a wrong one, but leaving him off isn't nearly as risky as a number of fans and media pundits have claimed it is in the last 300 minutes.

In the long run if our World Cup chances live and die with Landon Donovan then Klinsmann and the USSF have bigger issues that they've missed in the last 3 years than LD's roster spot.  In reality the success of this team was going to be based on Bradley, Howard, and Dempsey before today's announcement and it still is.  That hasn't changed and everybody should take a deep breath.

Oh, and I'm going to get my tin foil hat theory on record in case it happens.  ;)  Jurgen left LD off intentionally to piss him off and get him playing with fire.  Then sometime in the next 3 weeks an attacking player (Julian Green?) is going to get "injured" necessitating a replacement from the 7 cut players.  Klinsmann then brings Donovan back to the roster and gets a fired up striker who storms out of the gate looking for a Ghanaian and Portuguese keeper he can make look stupid to prove how he deserved to be on the roster from the beginning.  :D

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