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  1. #81
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
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    Nashville
    Quote Originally Posted by JohnGalt View Post
    I agree completely that the injury hampered his development, but with one quibble: he ruptured his patella tendon, not his ACL. I think that's a notable distinction because it appears to me the ACL surgeries (ligaments in general, I guess) are much more common than the tendon ones (patella or Achilles). As such, I'd imagine that the timetable for recovery is much better established, as well. I don't have any medical knowledge to back that up...it just seems to be something I've noticed with Gooch being a prime example of my hunch. Anyway, I'd be interested it hear if anyone with a medical background has an opinion.
    You were totally right. My mistake. And, from my non-medical perspective, I've always thought that ruptured patellas are worse than ACL tears.

    If I'm not mistaken, Gooch's 3 month run with Sheffield at the end of this year is his longest sustained run of health and good form since that injury. That's a tough run of fitness issues for anyone to overcome.

  2. #82
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Austin, TX

    Landon Donovan Left Off Team

    I'm not sure how I feel about this yet. It feels wrong, but if any other player had the last 2 years he did, form wise, I'm not sure I can disagree. JK is clearly looking to 2018 a bit too with this squad.

  3. #83
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    NC
    Quote Originally Posted by A-Tex Devil View Post
    I'm not sure how I feel about this yet. It feels wrong, but if any other player had the last 2 years he did, form wise, I'm not sure I can disagree. JK is clearly looking to 2018 a bit too with this squad.
    I would not have believed 2-3 years ago that Donovan would be off while Beasley would be on the roster.

    There is certainly a youth movement on the roster, though. Altidore, Johannson, Green, Yedlin, Brooks, Chandler all under 25.

    It is somewhat surprising. There is a lot of talent, but the roster is a bit short on experience for sure.

  4. #84
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Durham, NC
    I was initially shocked, but the more I think about it the more it makes sense to me. Landon could certainly help this team, I don't think anybody (coaches included) think he would be ineffective. But he's admitted he can't go all out all the time himself, and we're obviously looking for a "90 minutes of hell" kind of thing. Not necessarily in a high octane high scoring offense, but in the sense that we will be running around, moving and chasing the ball all game. Given the group we have and how we have fared in the past, maybe something this crazy is what we need to go somewhere in this WC. Lets see who steps up and what kind of play we can put together for these guys...the "pundits" claiming this is a huge distraction for the team are way off base if you ask me. If anything, this is just going to lock the guys who made it in, if you got picked over Donovan you know that its time to get serious.

  5. #85
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Undisclosed
    Would really like to have an experienced play setter and steady foot. Landon has played well the last year. I am not in a position to really second-guess the guys who live this and see it all, but -- did not see his coming.

  6. #86
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Sullivans Island, SC
    The real question is what the hell do I do with my Donovan panini now. Leave it blank or still stick him in?


  7. #87
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Baltimore
    Quote Originally Posted by A-Tex Devil View Post
    I'm not sure how I feel about this yet. It feels wrong, but if any other player had the last 2 years he did, form wise, I'm not sure I can disagree. JK is clearly looking to 2018 a bit too with this squad.
    I'm so mad at Klinsmann right now. As far as Landon's form over the last two years, he tied for the Golden Boot, and won the Golden Ball as the best player in the 2013 Gold Cup, and he assisted on the first goal and scored the second goal in the latest dos a cero qualifier against Mexico, which we needed to win to clinch a spot in the World Cup. Tim Howard was interviewed just a couple days ago, and said that Donovan is one of our top two players when he is on the pitch, and is crucial to out advancing out of group G. http://www.goal.com/en-au/news/4034/...es-says-howard You can't tell me Julian Green, Brad Davis, or Kyle Beckerman deserve to be there over Donovan, and that's just counting the midfielders.

    Klinsmann clearly has had a personal problem with Donovan since Donovans sabbatical at the beginning of 2013. Did you see the since deleted tweet Klinsmann's son posted on twitter? He has to have gotten that animosity from his dad.

    http://www.soccerbyives.net/2014/05/...-omission.html

    I feel like Klinsmann put his own pride above the national team, and I think it will cost us in Brazil. I hope we go far, but if we don't advance out of the group (which admittedly would have been tough anyway, even with Donovan) Klinsmann deserves to be fired.

  8. #88
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Austin, TX
    Quote Originally Posted by toughbuff1 View Post
    I feel like Klinsmann put his own pride above the national team, and I think it will cost us in Brazil. I hope we go far, but if we don't advance out of the group (which admittedly would have been tough anyway, even with Donovan) Klinsmann deserves to be fired.
    I won't go that far. If we put up a France 1998 showing, then perhaps. But if we get more than a point, and don't get our doors blown off, I frankly see that as respectable [edit: originally said "success". It would not be a success] in this group regardless of whether LD was on the team or not.

    I get that LD looked good in the Gold Cup (note... it was the Gold Cup), and against Mexico. But he's been average to apathetic in the MLS this year. That said, I still do struggle to grasp how he isn't in the top 23 over Brad Davis and Wondo (who has scored exactly one goal against a quality team for the USMNT). I'm not saying those guys haven't played well enough to earn a spot, but not over Landon, I don't think.

    That said, it's done, and LD is still an alternate, so this may all be moot if someone gets injured in the lead up. Although based on what JK is saying, it would have to be a forward because he doesn't see LD as an attacking mid anymore apparently -- also puzzling, but I'm the amateur.

  9. #89
    I am a very casual fan of US Soccer -- I watch the World Cup games and key qualifiers, but that is about it. I am not at all qualified to opine on Landon being left off the squad.

    So, a question: if Landon had been included, would he have started? If the answer is no, then I could see why a coach may wanted to leave him off the team.

    At any rate, I will always have great memories of Landon. I recall watching him in the qualifying game at Foxboro against Jamaica in the run-up to the 2002 world cup. That was October 2001! We heard about airstrikes in Afganistan while waiting to get into the stadium.

    And, of course, there was the 2010 goal against Algeria. I was holding my weeks-old daughter, pacing the room, watching time expire. I was so delerious when he scored that I almost threw her in the air and dropped her. (Well, I did throw her in the air, but I came to my senses and caught her).

    It is sad to see these guys left off the team, but we have a coach for a reason. Hopefully he knows what he is doing.

    ETA:

  10. #90
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Nashville
    Quote Originally Posted by A-Tex Devil View Post

    That said, it's done, and LD is still an alternate, so this may all be moot if someone gets injured in the lead up. Although based on what JK is saying, it would have to be a forward because he doesn't see LD as an attacking mid anymore apparently -- also puzzling, but I'm the amateur.
    This from the coach who thought Danny Williams was a winger, didn't bother to call Bradley in for a few games and when he did call him in, made him play wide on the right at first, thought Eddie Johnson was a left winger, and actually played Jones, Williams, and Bradley together in the midfield at the same time.

    I don't think Klinsmann is incompetent, and the USMNT had a great run last year in qualifying and the Gold Cup. However, when he first took over, he had, um, interesting ideas about the best positions for players in the pool.

    Basically, I'm pretty upset about Landon being left off. If Donovan is too slow to play the wing now (he's not. That's total BS), then how is Brad Davis on the team? He and Yedlin would make the worst right sided midfield in the World Cup. They won't sniff the field (they better not). Even a diminished Donovan is better than both those guys. (I'm not trashing Davis and Yedlin. I like Davis' abilities to deliver in set pieces and Yedlin is full of potential, but they are not ready for the WC).

  11. #91
    Quote Originally Posted by COYS View Post
    This from the coach who thought Danny Williams was a winger, didn't bother to call Bradley in for a few games and when he did call him in, made him play wide on the right at first, thought Eddie Johnson was a left winger, and actually played Jones, Williams, and Bradley together in the midfield at the same time.

    I don't think Klinsmann is incompetent, and the USMNT had a great run last year in qualifying and the Gold Cup. However, when he first took over, he had, um, interesting ideas about the best positions for players in the pool.

    Basically, I'm pretty upset about Landon being left off. If Donovan is too slow to play the wing now (he's not. That's total BS), then how is Brad Davis on the team? He and Yedlin would make the worst right sided midfield in the World Cup. They won't sniff the field (they better not). Even a diminished Donovan is better than both those guys. (I'm not trashing Davis and Yedlin. I like Davis' abilities to deliver in set pieces and Yedlin is full of potential, but they are not ready for the WC).
    If Donovan were included on the team, do you think he would have started?

  12. #92
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Nashville
    Quote Originally Posted by cato View Post
    If Donovan were included on the team, do you think he would have started?
    To be honest, I'd be fine with him not starting if that's how things worked out. I'd even be fine with him not playing at all but at least being available in case of yellow card accumulation or injury during the competition.

    That being said, not having Donovan gives us far fewer options on the wings. Unless Johnson is going to move to the left wing and Beasley (a lesser left back) starts at left back, there are no great options for us to give us speed AND defense on both wings. Davis is slow. Zusi is not fast. Bedoya is a hard worker and the best defender of the group but he can only play one side. I hope he plays the left because allowing Johnson to make overlapping runs and attack with the confidence that his left midfield partner will get back on defense if necessary is essential. Johnson is often overlooked but is also one of our most important players. Donovan, with his defensive ability, is a perfect fit with Johnson on the left, even as a sub off the bench.

    Also, if either Zusi or Bedoya need to come off or aren't able to start, then there are NO proven wingers left on the roster. Green certainly has potential to be world class. But he hasn't sniffed Donovan's success, yet. He also has hardly played for the USA and is not defensive oriented, at all. Davis is simply too slow and old for the World Cup and, quite frankly, even at his peak, wasn't a number one or two option. Again, the only option that makes sense to me is to put Beasley in at LB and move Johnson to LM, which means we really better hope that Johnson can play 90 min or more every single match.

    I'd dislike the move just a little less if Corona had been included instead of Mix. I hate cutting Mix, but in the absence of Donovan, Corona's ability to be a creative force on the right and in the center makes him a bigger asset, in my opinion.

    I just really feel like the team's options are more limited and our ceiling is lower. We can still advance with some luck (it would always take some luck), but I feel strongly that whatever problems Klinsmann and Donovan are/were having should not have had Donovan stay home in favor of Yedlin and Davis. Now he's not even an option off the bench or in a pinch.

  13. #93
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Washington, DC
    I don't think the question is whether Donovan would have started. I think even Donovan would tell you he was unlikely to start. The question is, we're facing Portugal in the jungle of Manaus, we're down a goal and a goal keeps our World Cup chances alive. In the 70th minute, who do you call in? I think most fans would want Donovan to be available to be called at that major moment. Saying it's likely going to be Davis or Green--the latter of whom has a grand total of 32 minutes of action with the national team or in the last 2 months--is what has people up in arms.

    Also, the 23 you take should be the best 23 you got at those various positions. Few believe JK when he says that all the midfielders and forwards that we have on the 23 are better than Donovan or even Boyd (who would have served as direct backup to Jozy if we need someone up front who can score in the air or be a back to the basket player). That just doesn't ring true.
    Check out the DBR Podcast!

    2003-2004 HLM
    Duke | Mirecourt | Detroit| The U | USA

  14. #94
    Quote Originally Posted by blazindw View Post
    I don't think the question is whether Donovan would have started. I think even Donovan would tell you he was unlikely to start. The question is, we're facing Portugal in the jungle of Manaus, we're down a goal and a goal keeps our World Cup chances alive. In the 70th minute, who do you call in? I think most fans would want Donovan to be available to be called at that major moment.
    I'm not sure I buy the premise. I could see the coach deciding it's counterproductive to bring back the former alpha player to sit on the bench.

    Using your analogy, which is better for the first 70 minutes? Perhaps a team who isn't thinking about the most prolific scorer sitting on the bench.

  15. #95
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Nashville
    Quote Originally Posted by cato View Post
    I'm not sure I buy the premise. I could see the coach deciding it's counterproductive to bring back the former alpha player to sit on the bench.

    Using your analogy, which is better for the first 70 minutes? Perhaps a team who isn't thinking about the most prolific scorer sitting on the bench.
    I don't buy the idea that the team would be distracted by having Donovan sitting on the bench. You really think experienced professionals (and accomplished players in their own right) like Howard, Bradley, Dempsey, Jones, Johnson, etc. are going to play poorly because Donovan is on the sidelines? No way.

    I get that Donovan isn't as good as he used to be. He's still better and more versatile than Davis and he is WAAAAAY more likely to be able to make a difference on the pitch than someone like Yedlin is. As I said in a previous post, the United States can still advance out of the group with some luck. But the ceiling of the team is lower if Donovan is not available even as an emergency option. Zusi and Bedoya absolutely must stay healthy and avoid yellow cards.

  16. #96
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Washington, DC
    Quote Originally Posted by COYS View Post
    I don't buy the idea that the team would be distracted by having Donovan sitting on the bench. You really think experienced professionals (and accomplished players in their own right) like Howard, Bradley, Dempsey, Jones, Johnson, etc. are going to play poorly because Donovan is on the sidelines? No way.

    I get that Donovan isn't as good as he used to be. He's still better and more versatile than Davis and he is WAAAAAY more likely to be able to make a difference on the pitch than someone like Yedlin is. As I said in a previous post, the United States can still advance out of the group with some luck. But the ceiling of the team is lower if Donovan is not available even as an emergency option. Zusi and Bedoya absolutely must stay healthy and avoid yellow cards.
    I agree with that. And it's now coming out that players like Brad Evans were training the entire time at positions that they don't normally play at for the national team or club, which leads one to suspect--whether wrong or right--that JK had his mind made up before he came to camp about who his 23 were going to be.
    Check out the DBR Podcast!

    2003-2004 HLM
    Duke | Mirecourt | Detroit| The U | USA

  17. #97
    I'm disappointed in JK's decision. And I guess I'm disinclined to credit fully the rationale offered in this piece. But it's worth a look, and perhaps some of you can comment on this perspective.

    http://www.mlssoccer.com/worldcup/20..._campaign=Paid

  18. #98
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Washington, DC
    Quote Originally Posted by gumbomoop View Post
    I'm disappointed in JK's decision. And I guess I'm disinclined to credit fully the rationale offered in this piece. But it's worth a look, and perhaps some of you can comment on this perspective.

    http://www.mlssoccer.com/worldcup/20..._campaign=Paid
    I don't hold a lot of credence to the possibility the media would jump on Klinsmann for not starting Donovan in Brazil. Most people that I know in the soccer world did not expect him to start for this team. But, just look at the press conference that Klinsmann had on Friday about the team. Almost every question was about Donovan not being on the team. If we drop any points in Brazil, expect that those questions to intensify worse than any questions about him not being in the starting lineup.

    As for the other things, tactics are one thing that you can always argue a player doesn't fit. But tactics can also be abandoned or altered, and they are every single match when you introduce a substitute.

    Landon Donovan may not be 2006 or 2010 Landon Donovan. But, in my mind, he is one of the best 23 players we got. Opinions may obviously vary, but in my world, he's better than 4-5 players on the 23. And you want that on the team. If it was personal or that Klinsmann didn't trust Donovan, then he should just out and say that and people would be okay with it. Different coaches, different players that he loves and all that. But this whole "there are better players than him" mess just doesn't hold water with anyone who closely follows the team.
    Check out the DBR Podcast!

    2003-2004 HLM
    Duke | Mirecourt | Detroit| The U | USA

  19. #99
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Durham, NC
    Quote Originally Posted by COYS View Post
    I don't buy the idea that the team would be distracted by having Donovan sitting on the bench. You really think experienced professionals (and accomplished players in their own right) like Howard, Bradley, Dempsey, Jones, Johnson, etc. are going to play poorly because Donovan is on the sidelines? No way.

    I get that Donovan isn't as good as he used to be. He's still better and more versatile than Davis and he is WAAAAAY more likely to be able to make a difference on the pitch than someone like Yedlin is. As I said in a previous post, the United States can still advance out of the group with some luck. But the ceiling of the team is lower if Donovan is not available even as an emergency option. Zusi and Bedoya absolutely must stay healthy and avoid yellow cards.
    Its not just that he isn't as good as he used to be, its that Brazil plays directly to Landon's weaknesses (conditioning, going full throttle in less than optimal conditions). Keep in mind he wasn't competing with Yedlin for a spot, they play completely different positions and you have to have depth all over the field. He was basically competing against two guys and lost out.

    As far as professionals like the ones you listed not being bothered with him there but on the bench, I'm not so sure. It is one thing to say that Donovan would have accepted his lesser role (I think he would have), but would the rest of the team have accepted it, or, down 2 goals in the second half would they be looking over to see if Donovan was on his way to save the day (which he can't anymore). Tim Howard said soon after Landon was cut that he is one of the 2 best players on the field for the US when he plays. That is a problem, and it isn't even true...you will have a hard time convincing me that both Dempsey and Bradley aren't better at this point in their careers than Donovan, and although not as relevant since he isn't running the field I would say Howard is better as well. So Donovan is 4th best (at best), but guys as experienced and with leadership responsibilities such as Howard do not see it that way. That is a problem for team chemistry. Now the guys on the squad know that Donovan isn't going to be the one to step up and save the day which wouldn't really have been likely even if he came. Better that the guys on the field a month from now know that the only people they can count on to get it done is themselves. Time to get focused.

    This is all not to say that Donovan isn't a good piece, he could contribute almost certainly but he is no longer a game changer. His speed is gone and he was never particularly crafty on ball, so now he is left essentially as a good passer with good vision (feel free to replace good with great but that only applies if you compare him to US players, WC is a global competition. Good is appropriate). We have other midfielders who can handle that, which is why he was competing with forwards. Tough but correct call mentally for the team and tactically. And we are going to have a tough time finding success this go 'round no matter who we bring.

  20. #100
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    The Northwest
    Donovan not being a starter is far less of a distraction than him not even being on the team. So that argument is bogus.

    The excellent point has already been made, but yes, even if he is not a starter (and half of them won't be), he is so valuable to be able to bring in as a sub.

    There is a good chance 2-3 of these guys never see a minute of game action in Brazil - unless they lead the US to WINNING the World Cup in 2018, I'll never believe the experience they gained just being on the team in 14 was more valuable than having the talent and experience of LD.

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