All- time US scoring leader Landon Donovan answered questions Saturday for the first time about his snub from the World Cup squad, saying he “absolutely deserved” to be going to Brazil.
US coach Jurgen Klinsmann announced his 23-man roster for next month’s global football showdown and said Donovan, 32, was a step behind the other strikers in training camp.
“I’m disappointed. I’m sad,” Donovan said. “I’m human and I wanted to go. I really wanted to go.
“I respect the decision, but I just feel in my heart that I deserve to be there and that’s the pill that’s hardest to swallow.”
Donovan, speaking after a Los Angeles Galaxy practice session, told USA Today, ESPN and the Los Angeles Times he hotly disagreed with Klinsmann’s assessment of his performance and overall level.
“I think if I’m being judged based solely on what happened in camp, then I absolutely deserved to be going to Brazil,” Donovan said.
That was his response when asked if he thought the snub was due to personal differences between himself and Klinsmann, fueling speculation the move had more to do with strained relations than camp performance.
“I think I was one of the better players in camp,” Donovan said. “If I had gone in and didn’t think I deserved it then I can live with that, but that is not the case here.”