Why Landon Donovan's USMNT Exclusion Will Make the Galaxy Title Contenders Again

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistMay 16, 2013

JACKSONVILLE, FL - MAY 26:   Landon Donovan #10 of Team USA moves down the field against Team Scotland on May 26, 2012 at EverBank Field in Jacksonville, Florida. (Photo by Gary Bogdon/Getty Images)
Gary Bogdon/Getty Images

It has been quite the week for Los Angeles Galaxy and United States midfielder Landon Donovan

On Tuesday, it was reported that the 31-year-old would not be a part of Jurgen Klinsmann's plans for the upcoming friendlies against Belgium and Germany as well as the three CONCACAF World Cup qualifiers in June (via Los Angeles Times)

As is the usual with news about Donovan, the reaction surrounding Klinsmann's decision was polarizing to say the least. 

While it now seems like a foregone conclusion that the earliest American fans will see Donovan back with the national team is July's CONCACAF Gold Cup, he must now focus on the task at hand in Major League Soccer with the Galaxy.

Just a day after the announcement was made by Klinsmann, Donovan lit the Philadelphia Union on fire with a stunning performance that included a goal and two assists in the Galaxy's 4-1 win. 

Donovan's impeccable partnership with the forward elevated itself to another level on Wednesday as the two combined on two of the four Galaxy goals in the match. 

The duo also showed signs of their continued dominance without the now-retired David Beckham against Sporting Kansas City on April 20 at the Home Depot Center as they combined on both Galaxy goals in the victory.

If Donovan and Keane are to play at the same rate that they did against Philadelphia and Sporting, the rest of MLS is in for another season of dominance by the Galaxy. 

The two-time defending MLS Cup champions will have Donovan in the squad until at least early July, and even then no one is sure if he will accept the call-up to the tournament where the United States are expected to field their "B" team. 

If Donovan does end up snubbing the national team, and in the process continues the drama-filled run around of words with Klinsmann, the Galaxy could have quite the run of form in the summer. 

Keane, who has retired from international football with the Republic of Ireland, will be in the Galaxy camp all summer alongside Donovan and if the two can do something similar on the pitch to what they did against the Union and Sporting, the Galaxy could end up challenging the record number of points in a season set by the club themselves way back in 1998. 

It is worth pointing out that defender Omar Gonzalez will be playing for the United States in the five upcoming matches in May and June while Mike Magee may get called up for the Gold Cup squad if his current run of form continues. 

Both Magee and Gonzalez have been crucial members of the Galaxy squad for the last few seasons but the scary part about the Galaxy is that they have plenty of depth in case of the possible departures to the international scene. 

The trio of Sean Franklin, Tommy Meyer and A.J. DeLaGarza can easily come in to the vacated spot left open by Gonzalez and the stacked midfield that contains Hector Jimenez, Greg Cochrane and Marcelo Sarvas should be able to fill in for Donovan and Magee, if they were to leave for international duty. 

Regardless of whether Donovan and his teammates head off for the Gold Cup in July, one thing is for sure about their expected play before then—it will put MLS and even Klinsmann on notice that the old Donovan is back for good and a three-peat is in the cards for the Galaxy. 

Follow me on Twitter, @JTansey90. 


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