Chicago, IL, United States (4E Sports) – U.S. midfielder Landon Donovan says he realizes the limitations on his game brought by aging but is confident his experience will allow him to handle the World Cup grind.
Subpar performances have increasingly decreased Donovan’s playing time.
The 32-year-old didn’t start for the U.S. in a friendly against Mexico two weeks ago that ended in a 2-2 draw, where he just played in the second half.
U.S. manager Jurgen Klinsmann said that Donovan was suffering from tendinitis in his knee and hadn’t trained well.
Last October, Donovan was pulled at halftime following a mediocre display against Jamaica in a World Cup qualifier.
Donovan has since looked sharp during matches for the L.A. Galaxy but acknowledged that time is beginning to erode his still formidable skills.
He noted that it is difficult for older players to cope with Klinnsman’s standard of performing well all the time.
It is not clear how much Donovan will be able to contribute at the World Cup, given the U.S. team’s schedule of playing three games in 11 days plus the travel from their training base in Sao Paolo to the games venues.
But Donovan remains confident that his experience will bail him out.
“I can’t do it every day in training,” said Donovan. “But I know myself, and I know when game day comes, I know how to perform.”