“He came back, and he was playing in MLS, and people say, ‘Oh, he’s playing well,’ but what does that really mean? This is where MLS hurts him. He was playing at 70 percent, 80 percent, and he was still dominant. That doesn’t help anyone.”
In other words, Donovan might help, but he wouldn’t help enough against stiff international competition. More importantly, adding the 32-year-old who took a sabbatical from soccer in 2010 to the national team may have undermined Klinsmann’s long-term goal — to get U.S. soccer to be a respected institution around the world.
For that, Klinsmann is blatant about modeling the sport more on European traditions than American, which he says is a problem in for U.S. sports, in general. And poor (metaphorically) Kobe Bryant is getting the brunt of it, as Klinsmann’s example. He tells the New York Times:
“This always happens in America. Kobe Bryant, for example — why does he get a two-year contract extension for $50 million? Because of what he is going to do in the next two years for the Lakers? Of course not. Of course not. He gets it because of what he has done before. It makes no sense. Why do you pay for what has already happened?”