6 Ways Landon Donovan Would Make USNMT Better at 2014 World Cup

Mikhail Turner@MikhailTurnerContributor IIIMay 31, 2013

6 Ways Landon Donovan Would Make USNMT Better at 2014 World Cup

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    Landon Donovan's involvement in the U.S. men's national team will certainly be one of the talking points when the 2014 World Cup comes around.

    ESPN FC reported back in October that Donovan wanted to take a break from the game.

    The LA Galaxy attacker has long been a fixture in the senior side, but he may face a battle to regain his once untouchable status in the squad.

    As reported on the U.S. Soccer website, Donovan missed out on being selected for the recent World Cup Qualifying squad.

    Donovan is more than likely going to return to the national team setup, and should still be there when the 2014 World Cup begins.

    Here are six ways he would make the U.S. men's national team better in Brazil.


    Unless otherwise stated, all statistics courtesy of ESPN FC and U.S. Soccer.


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    Landon Donovan has been a player for the United States national team since 2000.

    He brings with him experience in over 100 international games, three World Cups and other international tournaments.

    Few players in the squad can match his statistics.

    There is also his club experience to consider, both home and abroad. While his time at Everton is the only positive European experience he has, Donovan still had a chance to play for Bayer Leverkusen and Bayern Munich.

    Donovan will be 32 when the World Cup begins next year, and will have plenty to share with some of his younger teammates as a result. 


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    With or without a captain's armband, Landon Donovan would bring leadership to the U.S. side.

    His passion and energy could invigorate the squad, and his experience in certain situations would be calming.

    He has captained both the national team and his club side, LA Galaxy, at various points in his career, leading by example on most occasions.

    While the likes of Tim Howard, Clint Dempsey and Michael Bradley will be in the side, Donovan would be the first pick to lead the squad.

    Carlos Bocanegra is the current captain, but his place is no longer assured, either. Should Donovan make the squad and Bocanegra not be selected, the armband may go to the attacker.


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    You could rattle off any different formation in football and find at least two or more positions for Landon Donovan.

    Whether Jurgen Klinsmann goes with a 4-2-3-1, a 4-3-3 or a 4-4-2, Donovan can fit in and excel. He can play on either wing, as a deep-lying forward, a No. 9 or even a "false nine."

    Clint Dempsey is the only player capable of matching that versatility and quality, and that's the reason why these two are the USA's best attacking options.


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    With that versatility comes depth across multiple positions. Donovan is likely to be a starter at the 2014 World Cup, and that certainly would benefit the side.

    Rather than starting someone unproven at that level, skillful as they may be, Jurgen Klinsmann would be able to rely on one of his best players.

    Donovan adds more quality to the U.S. men's team attack, and would give Klinsmann more options on the bench—better options.

Work Rate

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    Another valuable attribute that Landon Donovan would bring to his side is his work rate.

    Donovan has been in the game for a while and knows what it takes to succeed at the highest level.

    Two of the traits we mentioned before, his leadership and experience, are partly down to his work rate throughout the years.

    Whereas some younger players in the squad may not relish the opportunities they are given, Donovan would.

    That is very much evident in the fact that, as revealed by Goal.com, Donovan is determined to get back into the national setup quickly.

    How will he do that? Hard work. 


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    Lastly, Donovan would undoubtedly add a level of creativity to the U.S. men's team.

    The skills of Michael Bradley, Clint Dempsey, Stuart Holden and others have to be appreciated, but Donovan is a little different.

    Donovan does most of his work with speed, and that adds an element to his creativity that not many others on the team have.

    He can take on players, pick a pass or do both in one move to create opportunities for his teammates.

    With just four goals in their last five games, the U.S. side could use the extra creativity Donovan would bring.