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Klinsmann: 'Landon needs to be there'

  • ESPN.com, Tuesday, March 20, 2012 3:31 PM

In an interview with Leander Schaerlaeckens, U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann addressed "speculation of a rift" between him and star Landon Donovan, who's been absent for most of the USA's games since Klinsmann took the helm last summer.

Said Klinsmann, "No. There's no problem at all with Landon. It's for us way unfortunate that he wasn't available for the last eight games, whatever reason it was. We take it as it happened and are straightforward in our relationship, and obviously we want to see him back in the team. This time it was bronchitis. The other times was other injuries that hit him. There's absolutely no problem with Landon.

"But we need Landon with the team to move forward because the train has left at 200 miles an hour and he was not on the train for eight games, which was not ideal for us but it is what it is. [Friendlies in] May and [World Cup qualifiers in] June comes quickly, and that's when Landon needs to be there and understand where is the team. We need him here as soon and as quickly as possible."

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