Landon Donovan sets MLS goal scoring mark right after we were told he’s no longer good

Posted: 05/26/2014 in soccer
Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

It takes a lot to get me to pay attention to soccer as most of you know.

But something happened Sunday night that sure caught my attention – Landon Donovan scored two goals to become the leading goal scorer in MLS history.

Donovan has kind of been in the news a bit lately after we learned that he is somehow no longer one of the best 23 soccer players in the United States and was passed over for the World Cup team.

Let that sink in – the guy who scored one of the biggest goals in U.S. national team history to beat Algeria and get the Americans out of pool play in the 2010 World Cup and the guy known as the most prolific scorer in U.S. history, suddenly isn’t one of the top 23 players in this country.

Donovan found out earlier this week that he didn’t make the cut when the national team roster was revealed so it certainly is kind of fitting he scored twice to help the Los Angeles Galaxy to a 4-1 win over the Philadelphia Union on Sunday.

The 32-year-old Donovan was the face of the U.S. team in the last three World Cups and it is hard to believe he won’t be representing the team in Brazil next month.

Coach Jurgen Klinsmann has only four forwards on the roster and the omission of an offensive-minded midfielder like Donovan also might be due to a rift between the two. Certainly seems a bit odd that Klinsmann’s son – a guy named Jonathan Klinsmann – mocked Donovan on a social-media site when his omission was announced.

And then the younger Klinsmann pulled the cowardly act of deleting his account after introducing himself to the world as a first-rate buffoon. That smells bad and reflects on the elder Klinsmann and definitely casts doubt on whether his public comment can be accepted as a honest explanation for cutting Donovan.

“The ones we chose are just that inch ahead of ones we didn’t choose in performance terms,” Klinsmann told reporters.

I’ve heard of forwards Clint Dempsey and Jozy Altidore but am unfamiliar with the names – and skills – of Aron Johannsson and Chris Wondolowski.

Perhaps either Johannsson or Wondolowski is about to emerge as a big-time talent and be a difference-maker in the World Cup. I’m not going to bash those two guys – I can’t even tell you who they play for most of the time – and will keep this narrative focused on Donovan and how there has to be a way for him to be on a 23-man roster for the biggest soccer event in four years.

I see there are eight midfielders on the roster. Something sounds a little fishy for Donovan to not be one of the top eight.

Klinsmann says the players who were chosen were an inch ahead. Shouldn’t they have to be four or five inches ahead to knock a proven World Cup talent off the team? Maybe even a foot ahead should be the measure.

We’ve seen how valuable experience is in these World Cup games and I can picture a scenario occurring in which the U.S. offense has been stagnant and unable to get shots on goals and there is just 20 minutes to go and a tying goal is badly needed.

Sure would think signaling Donovan to go into the contest 70 minutes into the game when the opponent’s defenders and midfielders are tiring in the South America heat would be a soothing preference than calling on someone without a World Cup goal when you’re down one-nil.

After failing to make the national team roster, Donovan asserted he felt he was “at least as good as everybody else in camp.”

I have a hard time believing that isn’t true. To me, the face of U.S. soccer should have the opportunity to show the world whether he is still on top of his game.

We’re supposed to take the word of the coach that he’s no longer all that good.

But what I see are two goals and an assist in his first game since we were told he is no longer a World Cup quality player.

Simply put, Landon Donovan should be on the World Cup team.

For him to be at home watching on television like the rest of us clowns is just unacceptable.

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