The news broke of Landon Donovan‘s omission from the US National Team (USMNT) 23-man World Cup roster yesterday, and it is all the soccer world can talk about. There is debate of whether or not Jurgen Klinsmann has made the biggest mistake of his life, but one thing most people can agree on was that it was a shocking decision. Particularly, when veterans like Donovan and Eddie Johnson were left out in favor of rookies like Julian Green.
Los Angeles Galaxy fans must be upset to see one of their stars be denied a chance to play his last World Cup, but they need to look on the bright side and think about what this could mean for his club. With or without Donovan, the USMNT has a slim chance of escaping group stage; however, Galaxy will be given a huge advantage with Donovan in the lineup while other international players are absent for their own MLS clubs. This may not guarantee it a place in the finals, but it gives the club less of an excuse to fail.
A lot of the teams leading the league this season will now be missing their top players. Solely for the USMNT, there will be 10 players going to Brazil. Galaxy does lose its third Designated Player — and top defender — Omar Gonzalez, but losing one out of three isn’t too bad. Clubs like Seattle Sounders and Real Salt Lake will be affected a lot more. Both those clubs are in the Western Conference, which means this benefits Galaxy directly in its chance of making the playoffs.
However, it is still too early for Galaxy to claim the championship. Although many players will be absent for international duty, some will be back sooner than later. This means Galaxy and Donovan need to make no mistakes in the meantime.
Galaxy played well against FC Dallas on Wednesday without the help of Donovan or Gonzalez, and hopefully the return of Donovan will only strengthen the club. Between forwards like Robbie Keane and Gyasi Zardes and attacking midfielders like Donovan, the club has a lot to count on in its offense. This means all eyes will be on their back four and how they will play without Gonzalez. If the match against Dallas is any sign, then Galaxy will do just fine.