After his hugely controversial omission from Jurgen Klinsmann’s World Cup squad, many have been lamenting the untimely demise of Landon Donovan’s decorated international career.
However, America’s most celebrated football star has said that he is ready to answer the call if the USA squad is hit by a last-minute injury before the start of the tournament in Brazil.
Speaking on the Dan Patrick Show, Donovan said: 'Well let’s hope that doesn’t happen but of course, I’m not going to turn it down. I love playing for this country. I love this country. If I get a chance to do it then of course I would'.
The 32-year-old added that Klinsmann had not mentioned to him if the opportunity of an emergency recall was there but emphasised as a final point: 'I am ready. I am ready if called up'.
Despite those faint hopes, though, Donovan also seemed resigned to the fact that he would most likely not be travelling to Brazil this summer.
'It's time to move on and I am now', he said. 'After being disappointed, now I speak to the guys a lot and they're all excited. I haven't had a chance in 12 years to support the team as a fan. It's a little bittersweet but it'll still be fun to watch them and wish them to do well'.
Boasting a record 156 caps and 57 international goals since making his debut in 2000, Donovan’s name has become synonymous over the years with the US men’s national team.
With five career World Cup goals to his name, the veteran has been the side’s undisputed focal point in the past three tournaments, while starring in the MLS with the San Jose Earthquakes and the LA Galaxy for over a decade.
There are reports that Klinsmann did not appreciate the former Everton loanee taking a three-month sabbatical from the sport in early 2013, and that their relationship has been decidedly strained since.
Stuck in the German manager’s doghouse despite leading the USA to 2013 Gold Cup success and impressing in the latter stages of qualifying, Donovan’s poor start to the 2014 season, combined with his noticeably declining physical skills, thus seemed to seal his fate.
Nevertheless, since missing out on the final 23-man squad for Brazil, the forward has scored three times in two games for the Galaxy, breaking the MLS all-time goalscoring record in the process.
In the unlikely event of an emergency call-up, one wouldn’t want to bet against Donovan inspiring the USA to an upset in the World Cup’s designated 'Group of Death'.