Landon Donovan says that the U.S. was not “set up to succeed” against Belgium on Tuesday, putting the blame for the team’s loss on coach Jurgen Klinsmann. Consider us not shocked.
Donovan spoke to MLS Soccer after an L.A. Galaxy training session yesterday about the Round of 16 match:
“I think we’re all disappointed in what happened… I think the most disappointing is we didn’t seem like we gave it a real effort, from a tactical standpoint. I thought the guys did everything they could, they did everything that was asked of them, but I don’t think we were set up to succeed yesterday, and that was tough to watch…
As a whole, I think tactically, the team was not set up to succeed.
“They were set up in a way that was opposite from what they’ve been the past couple years, which is opening up, passing, attacking – trying to do that. And the team’s been successful that way. Why they decided to switch that in the World Cup, none of us will know. From a playing standpoint, I think the guys will probably be disappointed in the way things went.”
He also said Michael Bradley was used in the “wrong position,” which may explain why Bradley was so underwhelming in the USMNT’s four games.
Sour grapes or real beef? To continue using food references, you have to take everything Landon Donovan says about the USMNT from now on with a grain of salt. The former Team USA star was cut before the World Cup, and has admitted to rooting against the team (although he’s since come around), so he’s probably looking for any opportunity to say “Told you so.”
But does he have a point when he says coach Jurgen Klinsmann failed the U.S., tactically? It’s one thing for media members to jump on Klinsmann, but if anyone knows how the U.S. can play its best soccer, it’s the guy who was the face of the team for years.
He also said that Chris Wondolowski is the guy you want that open-net chance to fall to every time. Except if Wondolowski converts that chance, we’re not even having this conversation. So maybe let’s stop playing the blame game and just focus on the 2016 Olympics… also in Brazil.
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