Landon Donovan Should Be Named Team USA Captain for Current World Cup Cycle

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistAugust 15, 2012

TORONTO, CANADA - JUNE 3:  Landon Donovan #10 of USA moves the ball against Canada during their international friendly match on June 3, 2012 at BMO Field in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images

Landon Donovan has been the face of soccer in the United States for the better part of a decade, but has never been the national team's permanent captain. Jurgen Klinsmann should change that by naming him captain for the current World Cup cycle.

The Los Angeles Galaxy superstar made his thoughts on the subject crystal clear during an interview before the national team's clash with rival Mexico:

"I've always wanted to be the captain of the national team," Donovan said. "I think that's a great honor, the few times that I have in my career, I've played well and the team has responded well. But I'm also very appreciative of what Carlos has done over the past few years."

Donovan's thoughts on the captaincy come in the same report that he makes ominous comments about potentially retiring when his current MLS contract runs out at season's end, meaning he wouldn't be a part of the United States squad in 2014.

Although it's tough to imagine Donovan actually calling it quits when the season ends, it's definitely something Klinsmann will be monitoring closely in the coming months.

If giving him the captain's armband would give him the motivation he needs to keep fighting on for at least a couple more years, it would be a wise move. He deserves it anyway after being one of the team's key leaders in recent years.

The switch wouldn't be due to anything Carlos Bocanegra did or didn't do during his years as captain. Rather, it would simply be a chance for Donovan to accomplish a lifelong goal.

It wouldn't change the dynamics of the squad, aside from letting the other players hear a different voice before they head into a key match. Donovan has been through his fair share of those and his experiences will help him lead the team's young players in the right direction.

Donovan's list of accomplishments as a member of the American squad is among the longest in team history. He leads in goals and assists, with both numbers about to cross the 50 mark, and has been a major piece of the last three World Cup squads.

Nobody, including Donovan apparently, knows how long he'll be around. But when somebody has done as much as him to help the sport grow throughout the country with his play on the pitch and actions off it, becoming captain is an honor he's most certainly earned.

And as Klinsmann attempts to work in a younger group of players, there isn't a better role model than Donovan. He proves you don't have to be the biggest or strongest to succeed at a high level as long as you outwork the opponent.

That sounds like perfect captain material to me.