Landon Donovan is a 32-year-old American soccer player currently playing for the MLS team L.A. Galaxy and representing the country nationally with the USMNT.
Donovan has played with Bayern Munich and Everton in the English Primer League before coming back to the MLS. He excels at forward and winger, but can also play in the central midfield. He has worn the starts and stripes for the USMNT since 2000 and is on the verge of making the roster for his fourth World Cup. Donovan has 156 appearances with the USMNT and 57 goals. He is the highest scoring American soccer player in World Cup history, and also has the USMNT record for assists.
All these accomplishments are positive, but Donovan is not the player he used to be. Donovan used to be a goal-scorer and the star of the USMNT, but Michael Bradley stole that role. Donovan’s age and bodies inability to keep up with the style of play today are the two main problems Donovan is facing. This will be his last World Cup and he is battling for that roster spot.
But will Donovan even make the 2014 World Cup roster in Brazil?
As of right now, Donovan is on the edge.
Donovan could make the roster just because he is Landon Donovan. Every American knows he has talent and used to be the USMNT hero. He has the chance to play an important role in the upcoming World Cup, even if he is coming off the bench. He can bring his experience from the previous three World Cups to help out the younger USMNT players. If Donovan is fit enough, his role in the World Cup will be vital. He has knowledge of the game and finesse in the final third that can bring an edge to the USMNT as they have an uphill climb in their group stage. Donovan is known as a goal-scorer and excels at the penalty spot, which may land him a spot on the World Cup roster.
But there are some reasons why he may not make the roster. In the friendly against Mexico, Donovan did not start due to a nagging knee injury and sluggish play in training camp. He did come off the bench early in the second half, but the Americans looked better without him. In this game, the style of play from Bradley and Kyle Beckerman stole the show. They played well enough to forget Donovan was even on the team. Donovan is not ready for the tempo of these international matches because of his age. He now has to pace himself in training and stay fresh and alert to keep up with the team. Jürgen Klinsmann is also trying to chance the style of play within the USNT. Klinsmann wants to move toward a younger generation of players to develop both the players and team together. This way the team can be stronger in time, but it also keeps Donovan out of the mix.
Donovan has a chance to make the World Cup roster because of his past play, but some of the younger players can play just as well to take his spot for the 2014 World Cup Brazil.