[USA MEN] Landon Donovan says he's always been honest in his assessment of his game -- in good times and bad -- and he says he doesn't agree with Jurgen Klinsmann's assessment that other players were ahead of him. Indeed, he says he thought he was going to contribute in a bigger way than he expected before going to the Stanford camp. And in his first remarks since being cut from the U.S. World Cup team two days earlier, he added, "I think every one of my teammates would probably echo those same words."
Donovan's remarks came Saturday at StubHub Center, where the LA Galaxy will play the Philadelphia Union on Sunday night. He told reporters he was not angry at being left off the USA roster, but he was instead disappointed after having what he felt was a strong camp.
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"Based on my performances leading up to camp, based on my preparation for the camp, based on my fitness, based on my workload, based on the way I trained and played in camp, I not only thought I was part of the 23, I thought I was in contention to be starting. That’s why this has all been pretty disappointing."
Donovan had a different assessment of his camp than Klinsmann, who said Friday that other players were ahead of him.
“I think I was at least as good as everyone else at camp," he said, "so from that standpoint I don’t agree with it. I’m pretty honest when it comes to my assessment. When I say I don’t play well, I didn’t play well. When I say I played well, I think I played well. I think I trained and played very well in camp. I think I was one of the better players, so that’s why it stings a little. Like I said before camp, if I had gone in and didn’t feel like I deserved it, then I can live with that, but that’s not the case here.”
Donovan said he was ready to contribute at whatever position Klinsmann asked him to -- "I think I have a lot of versatility" -- and remains ready to rejoin the team in case of an injury.
"That’s what I’ve been working for my entire life," he said of playing in the World Cup. "I don’t wish any body ill will. I hope everyone stays healthy."
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Despite his disappointment, he said it was important that everyone rally around the national team.
"I think it’s also very important that after today we all move forward and support this team," he said, "because they have a big task ahead and I have a lot of friends on that team and teammates that I want to focus the energy and move it toward supporting them so we can have a successful World Cup.”