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Donovan: 'Our Expectations are to Get Out of the Group'
Associated Press, January 24th, 2014 1:13PM

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TAGS:  brazil, men's national team, world cup 2014

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Speaking from the U.S. national team’s 26-man training camp in Sao Paulo, veteran Landon Donovan talked about the USA’s chances of advancing out of World Cup Group G, the so-called "Group of Death," where Jurgen Klinsmann’s men will face Ghana, Portugal, and Germany. “Our expectations, like most teams, are to get out of the group,” the 31-year-old said during a press conference on Thursday. “We are aware that we have a difficult group, but the expectation is that we can do it and we are going to try to get out of our group, just like most teams in this World Cup. That is the objective. That is the goal. But we feel good about where we are at.”

The LA Galaxy forward noted that this is the most experienced squad the USA has ever had. “I think the experience that we have now far exceeds the experience that we ever had with any team, and that lines up to give us a real chance,” he said. “We are confident in how we play. We are confident in what we do ... the reason it’s the group of death is because we are in it. In the past, it would have been a relatively easier group for Germany or Ghana or Portugal because they had us in it. But now, because we are in it, it makes it one of the most difficult groups in the tournament.”

Donovan added that fierce competition for places is keeping every player vying for a spot in the eventual 23-man roster sharp. “There’s never been competition for places like there is in our team now,” he said. “You can really make a case for probably 35 or 40 guys to be a part of a 23-man roster, and that’s never been the case. It’s really up for grabs in a lot of positions, and that in itself obviously creates competition, which makes the team better.”

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