Just four years ago, Landon Donovan would get a beer bought for him in almost every bar in America. He was the hero of our last World Cup round. This time around, however, it wasn’t meant to be and new USA head coach Jurgen Klinsmann unceremoniously cut Donovan from the national team.
Like anyone that has been burned before, Donovan — though just for a short period — began to root against the team he was axed from. He told L.A. Times’ Bill Plaschke that he rooted for Azerbaijan during a World Cup warm up.
“I’ll be completely honest, watching them play Azerbaijan, inside, part of me was thinking, I hope the game doesn’t go very well today,” Donovan said. “In my heart of hearts, I thought, if we get a 1-0 win and the team doesn’t perform well, that would feel good.”
Donovan continued on with Plaschke, telling him that he almost immediately changed his feelings on the situation. Even though he got cut, he couldn’t turn his back on the team. It wouldn’t be good for anyone.
“Then the next day I woke up and said to myself, that’s a really crappy way to feel,” Donovan said. “That’s a bad way to live your life, it doesn’t help me, it doesn’t help the team, it doesn’t help the energy that the team needs.”
The U.S. Men’s National Team’s next game will be on Tuesday when they take on Belgium and you can bet they will have the support of their former teammate.