A lot has changed in 14 years. One thing remains the same: Brazil’s passion for its soccer team. And that could be the difference at Maracana on Sunday night.
Donovan called in
Happy to see Landon Donovan called up by U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann for the upcoming Gold Cup. It has been 11 months since he last played for the national team, and his leadership and creativity were missed.
Klinsmann explained his decision: “When Landon came back in the end of March after the long break, he needed time to get back in a rhythm, get back in shape and work on his game again. … He has gotten sharper every game. We believe now is a good time to get him back into the national team and give him the opportunity to prove his point. He knows that the group that played the World Cup qualifiers is ahead of the curve and have a very strong position right now, and he has to rebuild his case. We have all respect for what he has done in the past, but sports are about the present and about the future, and that’s what we are building on.”
The 12-nation Gold Cup tournament runs July 7-28. The winner plays the winner of the 2015 tournament for a spot in the 2017 Confederations Cup in Russia.
“We don’t want to watch the Confederations Cup on TV anymore; we want to be there,” Klinsmann said. “At the same time, the players that are representing us in this Gold Cup, they clearly know that this a huge opportunity to prove their value and their case to the coaching staff one year prior to the World Cup.”
Sun Life Stadium will host a Gold Cup doubleheader July 12. Honduras plays El Salvador and Haiti plays Trinidad and Tobago. Tickets are on sale at the stadium and through TicketMaster.