It started with US Men's Soccer Coach Jurgen Klinsman making a head-scratching decision last week to cut Landon Donovan, arguably the best player in American Professional Soccer today, from the US Men's team in the World Cup. Donovan had performed well during the training camp, making Klinsman's decision even more questionable. Donovan was upset and could not come up with an explanation, but handled it like a professional and a gentleman. But what was Klinsman's rationale? Did he feel that at 32, Donovan was too old? Or that in spite of Donovan's performance, his heart wasn't into another World Cup (Donovan played in two previous Cups), especially since Donovan took a sabbatical in 2013?
If that was the case (as some sports writers have suggested,) why did Klinsman call Donovan up from the LA Galaxy to training camp in the first place....since he knew all of that beforehand?
The weirdness continued with a eye-brow raising tweet by Klinsman's own son after the cut, which raised the question of the quality and kinds of conversations that took place around the Klinsman dinner table.
The Tweet by Klinsman's son:
In any event, Donovan returned to play with his home team, the L. A. Galaxy last night....whereupon he became the highest scoring player in American MLS history by making his 135th...and then his 136th....goal.
Congratulations to a great player. I still don't know what Klinsman was thinking... perhaps his ego in shaping a team, or a need to control younger players got in the way...or perhaps it was simply a personality conflict. His decision to cut Donovan, however, will be judged by the performance of the US Team at the World Cup.
Meanwhile, Donovan's performance is now cemented in history.