June 5, 2014The Real Reason Behind Klinsmann's Donovan Decision
By now, every one and their moms have an opinion on why the United States Men's National Team
Coach Jurgen Klinsmann left American Soccer legend Landon Donovan off the 23 man roster for Rio this Summer. This article isn't to say that they are necessarily right or wrong, rather after reading your perspective may have changed.
I'm not saying I agree with Jurgen in the decision. Even the bookmaker
is skeptical about the move. The quotes from the US Boss explaining his decision are endless. The one that stands out the most is the one where he states that there are three or four other players on the list who were simply better than Landon.
No matter how you measure a player statically, Landon leads this country in just about any department. Hell, Landon leads much of the international footballing community in a lot of statistical areas. If you wanted to compare players by technical ability, Donovan is still one of the most gifted of the American players. Experience? How about three World Cups worth. Maybe fitness? LD has been the most rested he's been for a World Cup, all while still managing to push himself while playing for club and country the past four years.
So what is the real reason Jurgen Klinsmann left the most highly decorated American soccer star of the 2014 World Cup Roster for the United States? Because he can.
Backed by a new contract extension that pushed the German's job through the next World Cup cycle, plus the fact that the Americans face a daunting task in the Group of Death this tournament, Jurgen decided that now was the perfect time to leave Landon off and really stamp his mark on the team and work towards a definite future.
Landon is an American Old Guard if there ever was one. By leaving this player off, it also gives Jurgen complete control and trust from his squad. By leaving Landon off the roster, Jurgen is re-emphasizing his belief in the men he selected. This should bolster their confidence and push them to be at their best.
Having limited expectation thanks to a tough group also helped Jurgen make this decision. With expectations understandably low, Jurgen can experiment some with his selection and play of the team in Brazil. He'll be able to bring about new leaders in a squad which could use a fresh new face in front of the masses.
Again, I'm not saying any of this is right or wrong, but it's the truth. Jurgen made this decision because he would have to eventually and doing it now, like ripping off a band-aid in one quick pull, stings a lot at first, but you soon forget about it. Maybe the 23 Americans can give the United States something to forget about.
Posted by Rafa Gonzales at 12:16 PM