US star soccer attacker Landon Donovan took some time to speak to the upcoming Brazil World Cup at a promotion for Samsung. The three time World Cup participant said the US needs to focus on its own game in Group G play versus Ghana, Portugal and Germany. He said the United States has to play well at World Cup and also force its rivals 'to not play well.'
The US all-time leading scorer recently announced that this summer's World Cup would be his last, and has been taking precaution with his physical preparation while coming off a knee injury, including a kinder fitness regimen that includes Pilates and more gym work as he looks for the milestone of his 135th Major League Soccer goal.
"If we play very well, are we capable of beating Ghana? Yes. Are we capable of beating Portugal? Yes. Are capable of beating Germany? Yes. We have to play well, and we have to force them to not play well," Donovan said. "That all ties into it. If we do that, we can advance. It’s also possible that we play as well as we can, and Germany, Ghana and Portugal could either tie us or beat us. They have great players, too. But as a starting point, if we don’t play well it’s going to be really difficult. That’s what we focus on. The rest of it, we can’t control, but I think we have a pretty good chance."
The U.S. team has a demanding schedule ahead in Brazil, both physically and mentally. Not only will the Americans be playing three games in 11 days, but they'll have to navigate considerable travel distances between the team's training base in Sao Paolo and games in Natal, Manaus, and Recife. Donovan said he is aware of the challenges the team will face just to advance out of the first group.
"There are realities, right?" he said. "So Cristiano Ronaldo, I’m guessing, earns more than our whole team combined. He is, from a value standpoint, worth more than our whole team combined, if someone bought him versus our players on the open market. You can’t ignore that. It’s not an excuse, but it’s reality.