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The X-factor in the discussion on what impact Donovan's return will have on the USMNT is Donovan's relationship with U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann.
Since Klinsmann took over the squad, there have been whispers that the two don't see eye-to-eye.
Donovan's absence from the team for much of Klinsmann's reign might seem to verify those rumors, but many of the games Donovan has missed have been due to injury.
However, Klinsmann didn't exactly close that rift when he stated last week (via Goal.com):
There are players clearly ahead of Landon Donovan right now. There is a chemistry being developed of a group and you have to feel where it is moving towards. He hasn't been part of the development of that team most of the time over the last two years, so chemistry is extremely important.
Donovan, for his part, has played the good soldier in this little melodrama, and the same article reports him saying:
"He (Klinsmann) certainly hasn’t agreed with a lot of my choices and that’s understandable."
However, if the U.S. struggles in the June qualifiers and Donovan is not part of the squad, or not getting any playing time, this rumored rift could turn into a cataclysmic disaster for the U.S. in the middle of a World Cup qualifying campaign.
If Donovan and Klinsmann can get on the same page, however, the U.S. should only be better with Donovan in the lineup.
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