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US national team striker Landon Donovan has been one of the important players for the national team over the last decade, but he appears to have fallen out with manager Jurgen Klinsmann just weeks ahead of the World Cup 2014. His role in the team has been unclear for the last few matches, but the LA Galaxy star has stated that he is not worried about his position in the team. The 32-year-old took a sabbatical recently without the permission of Klinsmann and this seems to have started a war between the two parties.
Donovan has competed in three world cups – 2002, 2006, and 2010. Despite being a veteran of such major tournaments, it is expected that he will play a fringe role in the team. He may then be used out wide when his best position is up front. Further, the likes of Clint Dempsey and Michael Bradley are expected to be the main men in the team, but this does not bother Donovan. He came close to announcing his retirement from football a few years ago due to burnout. Now, he says that he is ready to accept any role within the team.
The US are involved in a tough group stage in which they have to overcome the likes of Germany and Portugal.
“I’m very much at peace with the whole process and what it’s going to be. I’m excited to help in a way I’ve never been able to before. I see it all very clearly now. I understand what it’s going to be like. I understand what it’s about. I’m not caught up right now in thinking about Brazil. I’m just focusing on what I’m doing now because I know when that time comes that I will switch gears and I’ll be able to put my entire focus on that,” said Donovan.
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On the 1st of February, the US national team played against South Korea on a friendly match that saw the Americans claiming a 2-0 triumph. It was more like a preparation match than anything else for the side which is being led by Jurgen Klinsmann as they have to get ready for their upcoming World Cup matches against Ghana, Portugal and Germany.
Chris Wondolowski scored both goals for the American team but there was something else that the head coach Klinsmann did which made an impact for the squad and that was appointing Donovan as the captain.
Donovan is the most experienced player in the squad that played against South Korea as he celebrated his 155th appearance and even though he failed on marking his name on the scoreboard, the veteran forward still managed to influence the match on different levels.
The former Everton player provided Wondolowski with the assist for the 2nd goal of the match as well as being in the middle of many attacking sequences for his team throughout the entirety of the match.
When the game concluded, Donovan stated that much of his performance can be credited to the armband as he confessed that when he is wearing it, he plays better.
“I don’t know the statistics, but throughout my career, when I’m wearing the armband, I would guess that I play significantly better. And I take that role very seriously. I take it professionally and, again, someone can do the stats, but I think our team record is probably pretty good when that happens.” Donovan said.
The side of Jurgen Klinsmann has another friendly match scheduled before they go on playing their World Cup matches. They will play against Ukraine on March 4 and Donovan is very likely to wear the armband once more.
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Landon Donovan has already spent loan spells with Everton back in 2010 and after making a number of impressive performances with the Premier League club, he was named as the club’s Player of the Month. His time with Everton was so successful that they wanted to extend the loan deal but Los Angeles Galaxy refused it and a permanent deal was initially intended by Everton but the lack of duns denied them from making any formal offers.
The American striker enjoyed another loan spell with Everton in January of 2012 as he played for 2 more months. Now that the MLS has concluded and does not start until March, Everton is believed to be at advanced stages concerning Donovan as they want him to re-join the club.
The Los Angeles striker said that he would love to go back and play once more with Everton.
Donovan said in the Daily Mirror: “I would absolutely love to go back – and there’s no doubt I will at some point. I miss the people. I miss the players a lot, and I miss just the positive energy of the fans walking into the stadium and how much they care about the club.”
Everton has seen Romelu Lukaku undergoing a drastic change in their club becoming one of the main figures in charge of scoring goals. The Belgium player was also on loan at West Bromwich Albion but could never stand out in any way.
The dramatic change of Lukaku has been so significant that many clubs have taken an interest in signing him; this was not the case some years ago. As well as making Mourinho consider Lukaku to be an important player for his future plans and they have no intentions on releasing him on a permanent basis. This is why Everton are trying to make a move for Donovan or another consistent forward.