For U.S. Soccer, the Landon Donovan era must end

June 18, 2009 by  

At just 27 years of age, Landon Donovan has amassed impressive numbers with the U.S. national soccer team: more than 100 games played, 40 goals, three World Cup appearances. For a U.S. team that has been historically weak, Donovan’s numbers are mostly unprecedented.

But, still, it’s time for him to go. You see, the U.S. team has been Donovan’s team for the better part of seven years. And in those seven years, the U.S. has not even approached its form in the 2002 World Cup finals, where it made the quarterfinals and nearly upset Germany.

The past seven years reflects on Donovan. A small, fast attacker, Donovan has long been a star for Major League Soccer, and a disappointment on bigger stages. His two brief stays in Germany led to nothing. His teaming with David Beckham with the L.A. Galaxy led to nothing. And even with him, the U.S. team has accomplished very little.

In South Africa for the Confederations Cup, a Donovan-led U.S. team has been humbled by Italy and Brazil, losing by an accumulative score of 6-1. Donovan has shown no ability to rally the troops, and even more disconcerting, has shown no ability whatsoever to beat a defender on the dribble. With Donovan unable to lead the offense, the dangerous Altidore - receiving his first international experience for the U.S. - has been rendered moot and a mystery.

Basically, seven years from his biggest moment as an American soccer player, Landon Donovan has led the U.S. to exactly where they were prior to 2002 - a decent regional club that can’t compete physically or mentally with the best teams in the world.

For years, U.S. soccer fans have dreamed of the day when the likes of Jozy Altidore and Freddie Adu would join Donovan on the starting 11. Those days have come, but the younger U.S. players would be better served with their current captain off the pitch.



7 Responses to “For U.S. Soccer, the Landon Donovan era must end”

  1. theflatbackfour on June 18th, 2009 8:36 am

    Wow, that’s harsh. Watching both matches, I still thought that Donovan was easily the best US player (out of the average group) on the pitch and most likely to get them something. Unfortunately the supporting players does not seem to have the quality and skill level required.
    Still the most comfortable trio on the ball in the US team still were Bradley, Donovan and Dempsey. All three were disappointing in this tournament. Kinda regretting hyping up Dempsey right now…sigh…

  2. hugh.c.mcbride on June 18th, 2009 10:54 pm

    Yeah, but I just saw on ESPN that all the US has to do is beat Egypt by three or more goals, then have Brazil beat Italy by four or more, & the Red White & Blue is on to the next round.

    Whaddaya gonna say ’bout our boy Landon when *that* happens, huh Mr. Blog Guy?

  3. hugh.c.mcbride on June 18th, 2009 10:58 pm

    Landon Donovan has led the U.S. to exactly where they were prior to 2002 - a decent regional club that can’t compete physically or mentally with the best teams in the world.

    Now for a rare non-sarcastic comment. I’m not soccer-savvy enough to know how much LD is to blame for all this, but I’ve gotta say that the last 16 words of that quote appear to be spot-on.


  4. William K. Wolfrum Chronicles » Blog Archive » Landon Donovan, U.S. Soccer Team force obscure blogger to eat his words on June 21st, 2009 12:34 pm

    [...] And while I don’t know if I’ll completely back off the heavy critique I gave the U.S. and Donovan following the loss to Brazil, I give the team respect for delivering a serious rebuttal. The U.S. was dominant throughout and finished strongly, while Donovan was at his speedy and nifty best, setting up the second goal. [...]

  5. William K. Wolfrum Chronicles » Blog Archive » United States Soccer just beat Spain on June 24th, 2009 1:11 pm

    [...] I guess I picked the wrong week to slam Landon Donovan and U.S. Soccer. In fact, the team has done little wrong since I hit “publish” on that post. And I couldn`t be happier. [...]

  6. Hoping Landon Donovan thrives at Everton : William K. Wolfrum Chronicles on January 8th, 2010 3:47 am

    [...] have been fairly harsh on Landon Donovan for a while, and for this I blame myself, as I believe I asked too much of him. He`s been a great [...]

  7. Miracle on Grass! U.S. advances in World Cup on Landon Donovan’s last-minute goal « Soccer « William K. Wolfrum Chronicles on June 23rd, 2010 8:11 am

    [...] 1) I am forever sorry abour writing this post about Donovan. [...]

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