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An Uncertain Donovan

Discussion in 'USA Men: News & Analysis' started by neems, Oct 23, 2012.

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  1. Bolivianfuego

    Bolivianfuego Your favorite Bolivian

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    The best LB in the world.... why the surprise?

    Not to mention he's a dirty little SOB... that will ROCK you mentally if you are susceptible...

    With that said, MOST LB's wouldn't be able to hang with Donovan...
     


  2. schrutebuck

    schrutebuck Member+

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    The man played in 80 consecutive US matches in official competitions between 2001 and this September, so I can understand a little weariness. Klinsmann or any other manager cannot simply replace him, but I'm glad Klinsmann is moving forward finally with a more positive vision for Donovan's spot than an out of position DM.
     
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  3. IndividualEleven

    IndividualEleven Member+

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    Donovan was a bit too aggressive in the Brazil game. His starting block which looked like a winger's was too high; he should have been positioned further back as in the Confederations match against the Selecao. He competed well enough winning tackles and delivering 5 key passes off of set pieces though. That showed the growth in his game more than the Scotland match in which the entire opposition crumpled. He was physically outmatched by Marcello but didn't back down and disappear as he would have in days past.
     
  4. LouisZ

    LouisZ Member+

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    Do you think JK is waiting for LD to regain form? I think JK has already moved on and if LD comes back it will be pleasant surprise for JK.
     


  5. twoolley

    twoolley Member

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    He called him up? Unluckily LD got injured a few days before camp...
     
  6. deuteronomy

    deuteronomy Member+

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    Nice article from TSN addressing the situation

    USA needs Donovan more than it needs him:

    But Donovan might not need the national team. He said he will take a much-needed break after the season to re-evaluate his career and his direction. Perhaps he’ll travel to distant places alone. Perhaps he’ll realize he needs a change of scenery and make that move to Europe. After all, he said this week that Everton “stole my heart.”
    Ironically, playing in the English Premier League would allow Donovan to escape the part of the spotlight he seems to find most burdensome. He’d be just another player on a diverse, talented squad. He’d miss his family, sure. But he’d be revitalized and challenged on and off the field. It sounds invigorating, after all those years in California. After proving himself on loan and at the World Cup, he surely is comfortable in his own skin as a player. After picking up stakes and taking his chances on a new home, he’d be empowered as a person.
    A whole person, not just a soccer player.
    Donovan didn’t earn the right to follow his whims or change his mind about his circumstances after winning his fourth MLS Cup or scoring that goal against Algeria. He always has had it.
     
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  7. moytoy12

    moytoy12 Member

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    I think there is a disconnect between the last sentence and everything before it. Today, LD is not the same player as he was 2, 4, 6, 10 years ago. In terms of what we would be losing, i think we need to look at it in the context of what he has provided in 2012. In 2012 for the NT, he was a solid player, but not the superstar we saw in years past.

    I think too many people are taking his historical ability and suggesting that is what we would be losing. We would not be losing the LD from 2002 or 2010. We would be losing the one from 2012. Those are two very different players.
     
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  8. IndividualEleven

    IndividualEleven Member+

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    The team's doing decently enough without him. If it's his ambition to play for Everton however one can't begrudge a retirement from the National Team to prolong the career ala Friedel.
     
  9. ebbro

    ebbro Member+

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    Donovan has improved with age.

    If not for injuries, is he really that different from 2010?
     
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  10. Lloyd Heilbrunn

    Lloyd Heilbrunn Member+

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  11. LouisZ

    LouisZ Member+

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    I hear ya, but the "difference" is relative to ones opinion.
    In 2010, he scored goals with a lot in the line. If you go just by that, he was one of the players that made a difference. If you go by " he controled the game, or he was the hub that made everyone better" then in my opinion he wasn't.
     
  12. ebbro

    ebbro Member+

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    To quote Lloyd Heilbrunn - Huh?? Seriously, I can't quite get what you're saying here - maybe I've been working too hard today.
     
  13. HartwickFan

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    Good point, moy. To the extent Donovan's form has dropped, we've already had to deal with losing him. I guess I hold out hope that he's not washed up, and that he could recover his peak form. Certainly there are plenty of players who could still dominate the opposition at his age. Maybe he's lost a step over the last decade, but as people have pointed out, his game has matured in other ways.
     
  14. Suyuntuy

    Suyuntuy Member+

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    Donovan seems to like the familiar. He loves California, his Galaxy, and seems to have been very used to Bradley as the coach. So that could be part of it. He's quite loyal to his preferences, and puts country above money, like players of old.

    Perhaps, since he seems to prefer long-lasting attachments, the straw that broke the camel's back were personal matters. At that age, most men have a wife and kids, a settled family life. Landon is, basically, in the air at this point.

    I'd feel quite unnerved by my own situation.

    PS: "Sensitive" often comes with "smart."
     
  15. Berks

    Berks Member+

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    One very key statement in your post: the LD from 2012 is a playmaker. That is not the LD from 2002. In some cases his age has actually been a benefit.

    What the USMNT needs right now actually isn't a striker. We seem to finally have a decent set of those. What they do need is a playmaker. And that's where LD has been excelling for probably about 3 years now - Confederations Cup year, Evertonian stints, and MLS the last three years.
     
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  16. neems

    neems Member+

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    Been away for a bit. Grading papers is time consuming.

    I find it interesting that he has always been a leader. Bocanegra has been the team captain consistently, but Donovan is a player who leads by example. This is a great thing when he is on the field. He plays a with a composed simplicity that you don't find in a majority of international caliber players... Especially in our country. There seems to be a very complex psychology behind it all, but I'm not at liberty to analyze all the factors in the mans life. Rather, I worry about the example he is setting for other players through his blatant indifference.

    I can see him following Friedel and calling it off due to the crazy travel schedule. If this is the case, then more power to him, but the timing and additional commentary are terrible. I, personally, despise ambiguity and find it repulsive that he maintains this me-me-me mentality. Things like, "Well I could do this instead...", or "I've done a lot for this sport...", or "There is other things I'm more interested in...". It's not terribly surprising, but its really unneeded. To a certain extent, US soccer does this to itself by creating poster boys and icons. Problems arise, however, when players seem to become larger than the team itself.

    The US team is changing and we're losing a lot of our key guys from the last decade, but I prefer to look at it as a opportunity to completely redirect the style we play. We as a Nation need to move beyond relying on two field players. One thing we do need though, in order to maintain, is to make the World Cup. We can argue the context of his wording and additional layers of meaning, but frankly that's ridiculous...

    Landon, obviously lots of things can happen before the next World Cup, but it would be nice to hear you are doing the absolute most you can to be there and perform even better than the last time. Sitting on the fence and saying so in a interview is a frustrating distraction.
     
  17. sMiLeYz

    sMiLeYz Member

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    I'm not that worried about his attitude, he can say whatever he wants and not have us overanalyze it death... he has earned that right.

    Landon is one of the most naturally talented soccer players in the world. He has given everything for the USMNT, and it shows. I guarantee you if he played his best years at the relentless pace of the EPL he wouldn't be the same player due to tiredness and injuries. So I think we can all forgive him for not playing for Manchester United or Real Madrid at his prime.

    With that said, hes just going through some self-reflection... he just went through a divorce and some injuries.

    When you play and train at a high level like Landon does, you miss the game when you can't play. Playing makes you forget your problems, it's all about those endorphins.

    I wouldn't be surprised if he retires in about 4 years but definitely not before 2014.
     
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  18. Berks

    Berks Member+

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    You mean he has other interests than soccer like normal people?!?!?! You don't say!

    Or that one of his interests is teaching young men to be professional through soccer?

    Or that he tried to come play on a bum knee recently after getting called up to the Nats, skipping an MRI?

    Or that he has given 12 years of service to the National Team and it's a series of minor injuries this year that has actually kept him out?

    Or that one of the things he wants to do in retirement is see his mom and siblings more?

    Yeah. That guy sure sounds selfish. Guess those years he gave to the national team were all about him. (You know, there's that other guy that held out against his current club to go play for another club in August. How'd you feel about that guy?)
     
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  19. neems

    neems Member+

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    Everyone has challenges, mate. I'm just saying it is not helpful to make it a spectacle. I also reiterated that it could be a problem created by the sport in our country. Obviously reading a number of your posts, you have a knack for following celebrity and spectacle. It's OK to be a huge fan of a player. No need to be defensive here; more so, there is no need for rhetorical and ironic statements. I appreciate Landon staying true to himself (?).

    These are details we should not obsess over.

    That guy Dempsey? I love Dempsey. I guess you could say he was selfish by trying to force a career move. It appeared to me that it was a situation between he and his employer. The details are not of my concern, as long as he it playing and contributing to the Nats. I would be more disappointed if he came out in an interview and shared a lot of superfluous information.
     
  20. StrikerX4

    StrikerX4 Member

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    Landon is an emotional guy. This is obvious. I think he is the type of guy to speak with the moment in mind. Right now, he's a little disheartened to be hurt, to have missed the qualifiers, and to have to be a spectator. So, it's natural he'd wonder if his life would be easier if he gave up playing.

    At the same time though, Donovan is a guy that has a huge passion for the game. Once he can get back on the field and start enjoying playing again, he'll re-capture his fire. He always has, and I have no doubt the he will again. Going back to Everton will likely rejuvenate him more as well.

    Obviously I don't know him personally, so this is just my guess. But I can certainly empathize with temporarily losing the drive to compete in your profession. And if you're honest about it, you may say things like Landon has (he's not trying to be political at all).
     
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  21. tab5g

    tab5g Member+

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    Not sure I see the "spectacle" that Donovan is making with the "superfluous information" that has been shared in this most recent interview, nor do I see how it is "not helpful."

    For the program, JK, his teammates, and the fans, this interview given by LD in Oct 2012 (one week after Hex qualification was assured) appears well-timed (if it was going to occur at all) and is beneficially informative and honest, more than anything else, imo.

    The US is about 3.5 months out from its next meaningful game. This will blow over and be somewhat forgotten and other things will replace and surpass this "news/story/update" in the next 3-12 months.
     
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  22. Berks

    Berks Member+

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    Not saying everyone doesn't have challenges Neems, just that Lando generates some pretty heated discussion, and generates some statements that I honestly don't know where they come from, like the me/me/me stuff you posted and the mental toughness stuff from elsewhere. The dude is actively trying to not make himself a spectacle by reducing his media presence (he's been very limited the last two years), and suddenly with 1 interview he's a spectacle? I just think people judge LD based on his introverted personality and expectations that he has no obligation to fulfill. Has nothing to do with the sport in our country, this one particular player has a special place in some fans hearts - be it good or bad. Not being defensive, but supporting my favorite player.

    I don't know what "I have a knack for following celebrity and spectacle" means - I'm a huge USMNT fan, and I follow several of our players, not just LD. I'm also not a bandwagoner nor swayed by huge stars. I'm a giant fan of Everton (who I started to like when LD wasn't even there, the draw was actually Tim Howard and the club's anti-status personality) - which is definitely not in the celebrity/spectacle arena. I just watched the LAG reserves play in El Salvador last night. LD is my favorite player on the Nats with Tim Howard second, but of late I've been following and reading about Boyd more and more as an example because I think he's honestly just awesome. Danny Williams and Geoff Cameron also fall into that list, and I think Omar Gonzalez deserves a shot based on our CB performances. But they do not get written about nearly as much as 1 particular LA Galaxy player.

    I don't find LD's interview superfluous, and that's probably the key difference.
     
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  23. Berks

    Berks Member+

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    Remember that it also takes place right before contract negotiations. That's probably more important. Theoretically LD should be signing an extension with MLS or being sold this offseason unless he wants to play just 1 more year. There hasn't been a single dingle peep out of MLS about an extension, while there have been a slew of rumors about Everton, and a slew of rumors about Frank Lampard going to LA. I don't think this was a missive to Don Garber, but I do think it was a very open dialog about his emotional state that MLS can't miss and I'm sure Bruce Arena has talked to him about.
     
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  24. neems

    neems Member+

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    We've found it!

    I will re-state that its not him creating spectacle, but the people branding the sport and a lot of fans. I do find the interview superfluous, since it was completely unnecessary to leave people speculating (like this). Especially considering his role in the branding of the sport. I just don't think the interview helps and can be viewed as redundant.

    The fact that he alluded to as much before we played Scotland is one thing. Now, saying this directly before the Hex is another thing entirely. In fact, it's extremely distracting.
     
  25. StillKickin

    StillKickin Member+

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    Only to people who leap to conclusions.

    Tim Howard just gave an interview right before these last 2 WCQ games and said they never worry about LD; they know when he's here, he's ready to play. That was 2 days before LD got sent home after the MRI.

    You think Tim and his teammates and Klinsi don't know what's going on in LD's mind?
     
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