Landon Donovan puts World Cup 2014 chances at “50-50”


Having gathered up the evidence for years, here is what we know about Landon Donovan:

He occasionally struggles with motivation.

He may walk away from the game a little earlier than some might expect. (Anyone who can’t see that now has not been listening to the man for the last six months.)

He simply is not hard-wired into a hell-bent drive for the most exalted personal platform, the way many professional athletes might me. His personal approach on the game, and to life, is slightly less intense.

We know these things, that is, in addition to the obvious: that Landon Donovan, at 30 years old, remains a highly effective soccer player, one who can now layer in a decade and a half of professional experience to his personal bag of bringings, adding shrewd menace to the feet that can still carry him by most defenders.

At this point, none of this should be a surprise. You may disagree with Donovan’s approach – but it isn’t your life, is it? I’ve always said that Donovan has the right to live whatever life he wants, that he doesn’t need to answer to fans who express disgust at his ambivalence for going “all in” on overseas adventure.

So, even though there’s certainly some news value to his latest “revealing” interview, this one with Roger Bennett of ESPN FC, it’s not all that revealing. It’s just more validation of what we already know about one of the best soccer players this country has ever produced.

The news is in his assessment of the chances that he will play at World Cup 2014. He puts them at 50-50.

I don’t have the answer to that. There are a lot of moving pieces: Will I be playing, period? Will I be part of the team? Will I be good enough to be wanted? If I had to guess I would say it is 50-50. I will have more clarity after I take a break.”