There was some uproar when US Men’s National Soccer coach, Jurgen Klinsmann, didn’t include US soccer legend, Landon Donovan, on the final 2014 World Cup roster, but in reality that shows progression. Donovan’s omission wasn’t much of a surprise because Klinsmann has made it clear that over time that US players need to play against players they will be facing in the World Cup, hence they need to join European leagues. The roster reflects that as one of the young players being questioned, Julian Green, plays for Bayern Munich. Even though he may not have experience, the fact that he is part of the Bayern Munich program means that he has a type of talent that possibly no other US player could match, so he has to be on the roster. Green had a choice to play for Germany, so obviously he needed to be on the US roster. But the bigger question is why do we think Donovan is the greatest American soccer player when Clint Dempsey and Tim Howard have both had superior careers against better competition.
Clint Dempsey – USA Soccer – The Captain
Tim Howard has enjoyed a successful career in England at Everton in the Premier League one of the top leagues in the world, while Clint Dempsey made his mark at Fulham also in the Premier League. But in America we salute the player who couldn’t cut it abroad and made his mark at home in the minor leagues. It is that mentality that Klinsmann has to battle to try to bring soccer up in this country. That is why in an interview with 60 Minutes Sports, Klinsmann mentioned that he wants to change the way that soccer is played in this country. Therefore it makes sense that Donovan isn’t on the team because it signifies a new era. These young players need to figure it out, and Donovan can’t really help them because he hasn’t been where they are trying to go. The US has been waiting to take the next step and be competitive on a world stage, and maybe that will happen now that they have let go of the past.