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Landon Donovan Admits He Hoped Team USA Would Initially Struggle

Landon Donovan. (Getty Images)

Landon Donovan. (Getty Images)

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(CBS) Team USA soccer legend and Landon Donovan was left off this year’s World Cup roster by coach Jurgen Klinsmann, a move that shocked both the general public and him.

And in the aftermath, Donovan now admits he had hard feelings — really, really hard feelings.

“I’ll be completely honest, watching them play Azerbaijan (in a friendly), inside, part of me was thinking, I hope the game doesn’t go very well today,” Donovan told the Los Angeles Times. “In my heart of hearts, I thought, if we get a 1-0 win and the team doesn’t perform well, that would feel good.”

The 32-year-old Donovan hasn’t run from the pain of being cut, as he’s served as an analyst for ESPN during the World Cup. Still, it doesn’t make the situation much easier, and it took him some time to realize his initial attitude wasn’t helping anyone involved.

“Then the next day I woke up and said to myself, that’s a really crappy way to feel,” Donovan told the Times. “That’s a bad way to live your life, it doesn’t help me, it doesn’t help the team, it doesn’t help the energy that the team needs.”