Friday, June 30, 2006

Donovan wasn't prepared

Landon says the words that we all new to be true, "for whatever reason, I wasn't prepared."

Okay, he admits it; he was not ready for Germany 2006, good first step. So how does he explain his performance?

"I didn't get the ball in places where I needed to, and when I did I felt like I hadn't touched it in 15 minutes, and I was thinking I better not do something stupid, instead of being aggressive."

I suppose one of those stupid things would have taking the clear shot against Ghana instead of passing into a crowded area 6 yards in front of goal. Okay, I'm not over that one yet.

He also seems a little angry over the way people are talking about the team. "Now it's 'Everybody sucks' and we're the worst players in the world. It's not like this World Cup was that much different. A few things went our way in 2002 that didn't this time. That's soccer."

The thing that he seems to miss is people calling for blood when their team fails is a big part of soccer. Is the US team the worst team in the world? Hell no. Does every player suck? Double hell no. But should fans be disappointed by the result? Oh yes, and that is a good thing. People only get angry if they care.

Something I read in 2002 really sticks out to me now. The writer, who I think wrote for the Guardian in London, said that the success of that year did not prove the US to be a soccer nation. However, if they fail in 2006 and their is an uproar over the play of the squad and a call for the coach's head, then the world will know that the US has arrived. I guess we are there.

Anyway, like it or not, there will be a constant story running through US soccer over the next four years, will Donovan recover? The good news for Landon is he can start right away.

With the LA Galaxy stinking up the MLS in Chivas USA 2005 fashion, they are in need of a hero. If he returns this team to good times, he will have proved something.

One of the images that follows Donovan around is that of a spoiled child. If things get too rough, he cuts and runs. Now he has a chance to change this image. He is currently standing at the lowest point in his career and the way he reacts to it will tell what kind of man he is.

"My goal is to go out and go right at people, and if I lose the ball dribbling, so what? My guess is I'll be a better player for playing that way."

Now let's see if he can live up to those words.



Post a Comment

<< Home