Landon Donovan looks ahead to “really special” USMNT goodbye in SI piece

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The thirst for comments from Landon Donovan on his controversial World Cup omission is apparently far from over, and Sports Illustrated’s Grant Wahl again broached the topic during a wide-ranging interview with the L.A. Galaxy star.

With his MLS team moving into the playoff run as the hottest team in the league and his USMNT testimonial coming up in a week, Donovan and Wahl talked about plenty. And, of course, that plenty included questions on whether he’s spoken with US coach Jurgen Klinsmann about the testimonial (he hasn’t) and whether Klinsmann’s son has apologized to Donovan (he hasn’t).

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Those short replies pale in comparison to many of Donovan’s other comments, including on why he accepted US president Sunil Gulati’s call-up for a testimonial of sorts on Oct. 10 against Ecuador. As usual, LD was candid.

From Sports Illustrated’s Grant Wahl:

“I thought about it for a while,” Donovan says. “Obviously, this summer didn’t leave the best taste in my mouth with everything that happened. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized this was something that I think would be really special, not only for me to feel and receive, but also my opportunity to say thank you. I’ve met so many people here in L.A. that have said, ‘We’ve booked our flight, we got our tickets, we’re going to Hartford to say goodbye to you.’ For me that makes it special.”

Regardless of any remaining tension between the player and his national team coach — Klinsmann has been vocally supportive of the send-off — Donovan is fired up for the opportunity. He also wouldn’t close the door on a return to playing after he retires, albeit in a “never say never” fashion, and said he’s looking ahead to playing golf, studying psychology and coaching youth players.

Read the full interview here.