Landon Donovan insists USMNT require more game-changing stars

24 Aug 2017

United States legend Landon Donovan believes the current national team requires more players like Christian Pulisic and Clint Dempsey in order to make an impact at the global stage.

Last month, the USMNT struggled to find a breakthrough against a resolute Costa Rican backine, and it was left to 34-year-old Clint Dempsey to add the spark the team had been lacking.The USMNT eventually won the Gold Cup with a 2-1 scoreline over Jamaica in the final, but Donovan admits that the country lacks the presence of true game-changers in the form of Christian Pulisic and Dempsey himself.

Pulisic, currently at Borussia Dortmund, has showcased moments of magic during his initial career for both club and country, but Donovan insists that the USMNT should have more players of a similar kind - taking the vast riches of Argentina as an example. The likes of Sergio Aguero and Paulo Dybala often find themselves coming from the bench for Los Gauchos, and Donovan feels that the USMNT require at least four to five players who can perform on a consistent basis for the nation.

He told "It’s U.S. Soccer’s challenge. Argentina has six guys like that, and two of them don’t make their World Cup roster. We have one or two. That’s what needs to get better and it’s not necessarily a thing that one player just turns on. It’s, ‘Do we have that or not? Do we have those options or not?’ We have a few, but inconsistent. We need four or five consistently if we’re going to make it to the next level."

The Gold Cup was seen as a platform where younger players could get the chance to showcase their talents, and the likes of Kelyn Rowe and Dom Dwyer impressed in the group stages before Bruce Arena opted to shakeup the squad to bring in the experienced players for the knockouts.