Landon Donovan doesn't believe that he was left off of the United States World Cup team for personal reasons. He is willing to take Jurgen Klinsmann at his word that it was a soccer decision. At least that is what he told Jeremy Schaap.
On why he was cut: "The only person that knows the answer to that is Jurgen. I can't read his mind."— Jeremy Schaap (@JeremySchaap) October 5, 2014
Donovan: "I haven't spoken to him since that decision. All I can do is give him the benefit of the doubt that it was an honest decision."— Jeremy Schaap (@JeremySchaap) October 5, 2014
Donovan: "Certainly some of the things that happened afterwards, including a tweet by his son, didn't help his cause in that way."— Jeremy Schaap (@JeremySchaap) October 5, 2014
Donovan: "But I give him the benefit of the doubt that it was a soccer decision."— Jeremy Schaap (@JeremySchaap) October 5, 2014
Whether Donovan really believes that is up for debate. But he's playing the good soldier and saying it.
That said, he's not going to lie and pretend everything is all fine and dandy between he and Klinsmann. Donovan has never been one to lie for the sake of making everyone happy and when asked a question, he will generally give an honest answer.
Me: How would you describe your relationship with Jurgen? LD: At this point, we don't really have a relationship.— Jeremy Schaap (@JeremySchaap) October 5, 2014
Donovan will make his final appearance for the United States next Friday. It is a goodbye match for him, as he can thank the fans who have supported him for 15 years before he retires at the end of the year, and so the fans can thank him for everything he has done for the team.
With that last match comes the regular media rounds and, after Klinsmann left Donovan off of the World Cup roster this summer, that means answering questions about that whole situation. It's not something most fans really want to dredge up again, and both Donovan and Klinsmann probably don't want to deal with it all again, but there's no way around it. The media is going to ask him the questions and he'll have to answer them.