Donovan says he’s “excited” to be back.
“It’s been a long year or so since I’ve been in,” he said. “I’m in a little bit of a different place than I was before. Jurgen has created an environment where you are really competing consistently to be a part of this team. And now, I am very much on the outside looking in. I’ve got to make my way back in, and I’m looking forward to it.”
Donovan was reunited with fellow veterans Oguchi Onyewu, Kyle Beckerman and DaMarcus Beasley, who will wear the captain’s armband in Clint Dempsey’s absence. Klinsmann was effusive in his praise for the resurgent Beasley.
“DaMarcus is a pure giver,” he said. “When we called him in back in March, he told me he would play whatever role we asked, and he has proven his point over the last several months with some tremendous performances. He’s a great guy to have around the locker room. He always has a smile and brings a lot of positive energy. His leadership and experience will be very valuable in this tournament.”
Carlos Pavon, the former Honduran star who played alongside Donovan with the Los Angeles Galaxy, called Donovan “the motor” of the U.S. team and is curious to see if he’ll return to the team full-time.
“The U.S. team plays different with Landon is in there,” said Pavon, who was in Miami last week promoting the Gold Cup. “He was at the center of everything, and the motivator. Like many fans, I have wondered why he’s not out there anymore.”
Pavon said the United States and Mexico are favorites, but he has high hopes for Honduras. Los Catrachos qualified for the 2010 World Cup and are one point behind Mexico in the 2014 qualifiers. They are favored to win Gold Cup Group B ahead of El Salvador, Haiti and Trinidad and Tobago.
“We have a young team, but they’re getting better every game,” he said. “This new generation of Honduran players is picking up where we left off and little by little becoming powerful in the region.”
Honduras plays El Salvador at 9:30 p.m. Friday in the second half of the Sun Life Stadium doubleheader. Haiti plays Trinidad and Tobago at 7. Tickets are available through TicketMaster and the Sun Life Stadium box office.