Landon Donovan has reached a point where at times he's just not that into soccer.
He first opened up about his motivational challenges while with the U.S. team back in May. This week, on the cusp of the MLS postseason, Donovan told ESPNFC.com that his chances of playing in the 2014 World Cup are "50-50."
"Obviously I would enjoy playing in another World Cup, but it won't kill me if I don't," Donovan said.
No big deal for the 30-year-old, who played in only two of six World Cup qualifying matches in 2012 due to injuries. Not all of U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann's tactical blunders would've been solved by having him around, but Donovan's career speaks for itself, peaking with the 2010 World Cup. After another MLS Cup title last season with the Los Angeles Galaxy, he's got nine goals and 14 assists this year.
"I have always tried to find the point where I know this is a job but where I still enjoy it," Donovan said to ESPNFC.com. "I know I have to enjoy it so I can really play my best or else I can become a detriment to my team."
The truth is Donovan has always been a reluctant superstar. But he's still in the U.S. pool as long as he is playing on any field. He's still under contract for another year with the Galaxy, and there are still 10 qualifiers to survive in the next 12 months to earn a spot in Brazil.
There's a chance he'll retire. But if he doesn't, and the U.S. reaches the World Cup, he'll be on the roster.
- Craig Stouffer