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Time for Landon Donovan to prove a point

by Dave Gardner
Jul 15, 2014 6:53 PM EDT



Landon Donovan cut an increasingly forlorn figure as the summer left him behind.
Much has already been written about Jurgen Klinsmann’s decision to cut him from the squad.
He was too disruptive, too needy, too old.
But was the real problem simply that Donovan was too honest?
It probably wasn’t a good idea to admit to Los Angeles Times columnist Bill Plashke that he rooted against the team in one of the World Cup warm-ups, even if he did have a change of heart the next day.
And few athletes would openly admit, as he did in 2012, that burnout was the reason he needed a break from the game.
You’re supposed to man up, tough it out.
If he really wanted to go to Brazil, perhaps he should have picked up a German accent.
As much as I respect how far Klinsmann took his team, I am firmly in the camp that believe Donovan’s experience could have got them past Belgium. Remember the goal against Algeria in 2010?
All that is moot now. I wouldn’t imagine he has a future as an analyst after his wooden and frankly rather churlish cameos on ESPN.
So what does the future hold for Donovan?
Above any other player, he has been the American face of the MLS. He may have played in Germany and England but he was virtually ever present once the season began in the US.
If the national team doesn’t want him, his Los Angeles Galaxy manager definitely does.
And after a comparatively restful summer Donovan has the one thing that could drive him harder than anything else.
A point to prove.