51617_donovan_landon_isi_mlsmj050513113 Michael Janosz/isiphotos.com
ASN Weekly Debate

Should Landon Donovan Be on the U.S. Roster?

Jurgen Klinsmann did not call the Los Angeles Galaxy star for the United States national team's next round of matches. Ryan O'Hanlon and Noah Davis wonder if that is the correct decision.
BY Noah Davis and Ryan O'Hanlon Posted
May 17, 2013
1:00 PM
Noah Davis: So Ryan, thoughts about the roster?

Ryan O'Hanlon:  Whoa, that's a lot of goalies!

Davis: Yeah it is. Although they seem to be in some sort of rotation. Also, the goalies have last names that are very close to each other alphabetically. And I wish there was a Johnson who played midfield so each position could have its own Johnson.

O'Hanlon: You can never have too many Johnsons.

  Davis: I'm just gonna leave that alone.

O'Hanlon: I appreciate that. Beyond the lack of Johnsons, though, there is nothing surprising about this roster—other than the lack of Best American Soccer Player Ever.

Davis: I was busy. But no, there is no Landon Donovan, although it sounds like there eventually will probably be a Landon Donovan in the stars and stripes. I think the whole thing is sort of absurd, to be honest. Then again, I think everything is rather absurd lately. I'm tired of all the hand-wringing.

O'Hanlon: I love angry sportswriters, though! I don't, actually. The opposite of love. But yeah. Landon Donovan is very good at soccer; most Americans are not. He'll be playing for the U.S. relatively soon, in a cosmic sense.

Davis: Look at that: you go to an "ideas" magazine and you get all philosophical. That's cute. I just hope the U.S. doesn't trip up in the three June qualifiers. I'm not sure I can take it if they do. I guess one question is 'Why not include Donovan?' Is it because he's not good enough now or as some form of penance?

O'Hanlon: If you want, we can try to unpack what all of the anger directed toward Donovan/Klinsmann says about the current state of the Modern American Man, masculinity in general, How We Exist Today, and globalization... if you want. We can do that. But it has to be a "penance" thing, right? (God, all of our Donovan conversations somehow relate back to Jesus, don't they.) He didn't suddenly "get bad" at soccer. Even: a bad Donovan is better than pretty much everyone else.

Davis: I suppose, although Donovan is clearly not all "there" yet, so perhaps he's better served staying with the Galaxy? That's hard for me to believe even as I type it. Penance seems so sophomoric but also somehow logical in the "missed three qualifiers voluntarily, miss three involuntarily" type of way.

O'Hanlon: The U.S. national team runs on the Sumerian—or whoever "an eye for an eye" was—law code.

Davis: I believe it was the Germans. See what I did there?

O'Hanlon: Pretty slick move, know-ah. See what I did?

Davis: Elegant. Just like a Landon Donovan pass. Were you surprised Carlos Bocanegra was left off?

O'Hanlon: Boca-negative-ra, would be my answer to that. (Sorry.) If he wasn't called up last time, and the team conceded no goals, why would he get a call-up now? I'm not saying he should or shouldn't get one. Just applying some logic, which is probably an illogical thing to do, but yeah.

Davis: Well, he did start playing with Racing, which is one of the made-up qualifications Klinsmann supposedly uses to determine which players to pick when it happens to be convenient for him.

O'Hanlon: I guess, then, I just don't care? Like, he's been great for the U.S. for a long time and it'd be "nice" to have him, but he's old and not-great anymore. Having/not having Bocanegra isn't really gonna make any non-imagined difference to the roster.

Davis: But he's Captain America!

O'Hanlon: According to Jose Canseco, Captain America did steroids, so: there.

Davis: Because that's related.

O'Hanlon: It's not not-related. OK, it is totally unrelated. But if we're going to complain about Bocanegra not getting a call up, we should also have a discussion of whether or not US Soccer is using the correct font in their press release and/or if they're formatting roster tweets correctly.

Davis: Fine. You're impossible. Do you have any non-answer answers to how the U.S. will do in the next five games?

O'Hanlon: Hey, that is an answer! I am not surprised. I honestly have no clue how they'll do—the last two qualifiers, like we've talked about, didn't really show anything re: this team improving at scoring goals—but if I must give another answer: seven points.

Davis: I think that's fair. I'll say nine because why not? I don't think they are going to lose and ties are lame. Ten if Donovan were on the roster.

O'Hanlon I was about to say "You sound like a True American," until that Donovan comment. I don't think they can score enough goals to win three games in a row. Or, at least, they haven't been able to yet.

Davis: Yeah, but these colors don't run, baby. You have to stop worrying about things like "scoring" and "reality."

O'Hanlon Very good point. What even is "reality?"

Davis: I hate you. That's reality.

Noah Davis and Ryan O'Hanlon do this every week. They live for it.

Post a comment