Since breaking through in 1999 as a bleached-blond phenomenon who scooped up the Golden Ball at the U-17 World Cup, Landon Donovan has catalyzed soccer in the United States, amassing 144 caps and becoming the all-time leader in both goals scored (49) and assists created (48.)
Yet as the United States muddled through qualifying for World Cup 2014, it has been Donovan’s absence — as opposed to his contribution — that has been making all the noise. Right now, that noise is static. The Californian has only played in eight of 20 competitive games under Jurgen Klinsmann at a time when the team has appeared short of the very creativity he can supply.
This predicament has been exacerbated by recent interviews in which the L.A. Galaxy star suggested he is in the midst of re-evaluating his future in the game. This announcement acquired a mysterious hue as it was accompanied by Landon’s decision to lower his media profile and avoid one-on-one interviews.