U.S.A. Men’s Soccer Coach Leaves “Captain America” Off World Cup Team
By Angel L. Quiles Jr.
United States soccer stalwart Landon Donovan will not be dancing the samba in Brazil for the World Cup 2014. Landon also known as “Captain America” was left off the squad by head coach Jürgen Klinsmann. According to Klinsmann, the decision was made because other players have skills that Landon can no longer provide.
Landon Donovan, 32, has played in the last three World Cups. Overall he has been a part of 156 games for the national team, and has scored 57 goals for the Stars And Stripes. He has five world cup goals, more than Argentinian superstar Lionel Messi, and Portuguese soccer rock star Cristiano Ronaldo combined. Who can forget his last minute goal against Algeria in 2010, that sent the U.S.A. to the elimination round in South Africa.
Nevertheless, it is time for Landon Donovan to fall back, and let the next generation take over. The game of soccer is a young man’s game, and it is apparent in 2014, that Donovan has lost his explosiveness. It is unfortunate to see him not added to the 23 men roster. He has provided so many great moments for the United States in his career, and been such a class act. The games popularity has increased in the United States because of Landon Donovan.
However, this is a natural progression in the game of soccer. Brazil replaces their superstars seemingly on a World cup to World cup basis, and they are the most successful team in World Cup history. This year they have left off former stars Kaka and Ronaldinho. Moreover, due to the nature of the competition the national team will be up against, it is probably the best idea for Landon to take a bow.
The U.S.A. is in the group G, a group believed by experts to be the “group of death”. First they will be facing Ghana on June 16th, 2014 at 7pm ET. Ghana has eliminated the U.S.A. in the last two World Cups. Followed by Portugal on June 22nd, at 6pm ET. Portugal has one of the best players in the world in Cristiano Ronaldo. Their last qualifier is against Germany, one of the World Cup’s historically powerful teams. They face off against them on June 26th at 1pm ET.
U.S.A. coach Jürgen Klinsmann won a World Cup as a player with Germany in 1990, and hopefully his expertise will help the Americans put on a good showing this year. His decision to leave a slower Landon Donovan off the team may prove to be a good one. The U.S.A. needs to bring as much speed, and youth to the table as possible. The teams they will be facing are dynamic in open space, and their ability to close gaps, and get back on defense will be tested constantly. Landon will always be “Captain America” and his legend will live forever but, it is time for the Americans to test drive Jürgen Klinsmann’s German engineering.