On Wednesday, following a training session in Los Angeles, Landon Donovan injected his insight on the United States' 2-1 loss at the hands of Belgium.
Among other comments, Donovan was critical of the tactics used by head coach Jurgen Klinsmann in the World Cup, saying that the team was "not set up to succeed."
“I think we’re all disappointed in what happened yesterday" he said. "I think the most disappointing is we didn’t seem like we gave it a real effort, from a tactical standpoint. I thought the guys did everything they could, they did everything that was asked of them, but I don’t think we were set up to succeed yesterday, and that was tough to watch.”
Donovan explained how he was disappointed that Klinsmann moved away from the attacking style of soccer the team played leading up to the World Cup. Donovan suggested the team became more defensive instead and that made it hard for the team to excel.
“If you really look at the performances, there were some good performances by guys, some not-so-good performances by guys. As a whole, I think tactically, the team was not set up to succeed.
“They were set up in a way that was opposite from what they’ve been the past couple years, which is opening up, passing, attacking – trying to do that. And the team’s been successful that way. Why they decided to switch that in the World Cup, none of us will know. From a playing standpoint, I think the guys will probably be disappointed in the way things went.”
As critical as Donovan was, he did admit that we could be singing a different tune if the U.S. had played an attacking style, but had not enjoyed any success.
“Hindsight is 20/20, so in hindsight you would say we should’ve been more attacking,” he said. “Maybe if we had been more attacking, we would have gotten four counterattack goals scored against us. So you never know. … But my feeling as a player, if I’m in that locker room before that game – before the Germany game, before the Belgium game – and the coach walked in and said we’re playing a 4-5-1 and Clint [Dempsey] is up top by himself, I would have been disappointed. Because I would have said let’s go for it. I want a chance to go for it and try to win the game.”
Via Pro Soccer Talk