Sadly, this is now over before it begins

It’s bad enough that the bribes provided to FIFA weren’t sufficient to secure better group placement. Accordingly, the joy of facing off against two of the top three teams on the planet awaits. And we now add the disturbance of broadcasting to the planet that the team is dysfunctional. They’re not even in Brazil yet and it’s already a mess.

Herr Klinsmann decided to cut a living legend. Now granted, Donovan’s recent play leaves this an understandable move. But given his past performance, his name recognition, and status you’d think he’d be in for sure. Well, I guess never underestimate the probability that a German guy is a dick.

The problem for Klinsmann is that he has personal revenge written all over this. Donovan washed out of Bayern Munich and a few months later Klinsmann was taken to the wood shed by his masters. It’s no secret these guys don’t like each other. Maybe in a vacuum Klinsmann would have arrived at the same decision. But for Klinsmann to actually pull the trigger makes him look petty and dishonorable.

Both of them are playing it professional:

Donovan: “…I will be cheering on my friends and teammates this summer, and I remain committed to helping grow soccer in the U.S. in the years to come.”

Klinsmann: “I just see some other players slightly ahead of him.”

Slightly? Wow. Slightly is a real good reason to detonate your team. Well, Jurgen, sorry, but what you may not realize is that as far as this tournament was concerned nobody could be that far ahead of him. The only thing folks are going to talk about for the whole first week is that Donovan isn’t there. This is the very definition of a distraction. How does that help the team battle an already impossible situation?

Granted, I’m biased because I never understood the decision to hire Klinsmann to begin with. How to you build a competitive team by hiring a guy from a soccer culture so adverse from the very basis of American values and style?

Oh, the guy’s a FIFA legend? So what? At the hardest sports moments, culture can be everything, more powerful than skill. Every single person on the team is now looking over their shoulder, or maybe looking even more. “Hey man, if that angry kraut can end Landon and get away with it, he can end any one of us.”

Uh, at least it’ll end quickly. It won’t take long for the echo of embarrassment to fade, again. Maybe we should have just hired some dude from Milwaukee.

KlinsmannDonovan-ISIPhotos_com_

They’ll show this photo in psychology classes to depict two men who despise one another

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