FanPost

The Heart

When I received the news that Landon Donovan was left off the USMNT's roster for the World Cup, I reacted very similarly to several others out there. After going through the 5 Stages of Grief, I have come out the other side with some clarity. I began watching soccer when I was around the age of 10, which was about 13 years ago, around the same time Landon Donovan emerged in the MLS and as the hero for the USMNT. In the 2002 World Cup, which was the first I paid attention to, Donovan came on the scene and lead the US to the Quarterfinals where they lost a hard fought match to Germany. The kid opened up his account for the team with two goals and one assist. He had stepped into the spotlight as America's Soccer Hero and, as the ensuing years would show, the heart of this team. Within the 13 years I have come to know the USMNT, Landon Donovan has almost always been apart of it. Whether it was the Gold Cup, the '06 World Cup, the Confederation's Cup, or the '10 World Cup- he has been there. Some of the greatest moments for the USMNT have had Donovan there. To leave him off the roster for the likes of Julian Green feels like a great atrocity, but every single fan knew that this day would come. A majority of fans expected this to be LD's last hurrah in the World Cup, but that currently is not in the cards. It comes down to the fact that if we are going to succeed at all in this World Cup, then we need to trust Klinsmann. We have a solid core of players still in tact that have WC experience and someone will have to step up from that group. It could be Bradley, Dempsey, or even Howard to step up in LD's absence. How the team responds and how they play without him will be apparent soon enough as they begin their send off next week. I hope for the best and that they can find someone to step up to replace the man that has been the heart of this team for so long. #DoItForDonovan


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