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Michael Lewis


November 8, 2011
Donovan does the smart thing

By Michael Lewis Editor

Landon Donovan did the right thing by pulling out of the France match.
Landon Donovan did the right thing by pulling out of the France match.
Linda Cuttone/Sports Vue Images
I don't blame Landon Donovan pulling out of Friday's international against France in Paris.

He has got an MLS Cup final to worry about over what is essentially for him a meaningless international friendly.

After a long season in Major league Soccer in which Donovan has endured injuries and the CONCACAF Champions League, it is important for him to rest for the cup final against the Houston Dynamo on Nov. 20, then taking a roundtrip to France.

It's only one game, one international friendly, with the emphasis on friendly.

No one should have a problem with Donovan taking a rest in this one. He has many more important international matches to tackle in the future, including World Cup qualifying and hopefully, the 2014 World Cup itself.

You know what I am really worried about?

Two things:

* Finding a successor to Donovan on the U.S. team -- or at least someone who can do some of the things he does.

* And, then getting the team accustomed playing and actually creating scoring opportunities without Donovan. Heaven forbid the U.S. has to play a key international match with its best player.

Donovan may never have Paris, but let the younger players get experience in France and let Donovan be at top level for the MLS Cup.
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