ESPN FC, Wednesday, April 16, 2014 2:53 PM
Speaking at a promotional event for Samsung, U.S. men's national team midfielder Landon Donovan
opened up about how he felt about starting the USA's 2-2 draw with Mexico earlier this
month from the substitute's bench. At the time, it was reported that Donovan was dealing with a bout of tendinitis in his knee, which kept him from starting, but since coming on as a second-half sub
in the game against Mexico, the Los Angeles Galaxy winger has played well, leading many to question just how injured he was during the April 3 encounter.
"[LA Galaxy coach]
] knows me a little better so I think he would've trusted me and put me in the game, but I think [U.S. coach] Jurgen
] was a little unsure," Donovan said. "That was fine. The knee has gotten better, so I'm feeling good."
Even so, Donovan recognizes the fact that at 32,
he’s no longer an automatic starter. "I think it's more this point in my career -- and it started briefly with Bob
] in the Gold Cup a few years ago --
where you may not be penned in as a starter or as part of the team every time," he said. "That as an athlete is a hard realization to swallow, because we all think we're invincible, we all think we're
great, we all have an ego at times. Dealing with that process has been ... not challenging but interesting, and it's just coming to grips with it. I've sort of had to realize that.”
He added: "I think Jurgen's motto -- and I think to his credit it has worked and been good -- is that you have to be good all the time, and you have to prove it every day. That's hard for older
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