World Cup 2014: Landon Donovan Rooted Against U.S. Team After Being Cut

6:51 AM PST 06/30/2014 by Hilary Lewis
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Landon Donovan

The star athlete reveals that his initial response to not making the 2014 roster was to hope his former teammates didn't play well.

Soccer star Landon Donovan was so upset after he was cut from the 2014 U.S. World Cup team that he initially rooted against the squad.

"I'll be completely honest. Watching them play Azerbaijan, inside, part of me was thinking, 'I hope the game doesn't go very well today,' " the L.A. Galaxy star told the Los Angeles Times. "In my heart of hearts, I thought, if we get a 1-0 win and the team doesn't perform well, that would feel good."

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That warm-up game was the first the team played without him since the United States' all-time leading scorer found out he was left off the World Cup roster. Donovan, who's now serving as an ESPN analyst during the tournament, added that he wasn't sure how he could watch any World Cup games without feeling bitter.

For one of the early round games that did not involve the U.S., Donovan put on a baseball cap and glasses to watch the game in disguise at a bar.

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"I was sad, angry, upset, disappointed. Some low days, not fun days," Donovan told the Times. "As athletes, we all have egos, we all think we can help, and when you're not given that chance, it's hard to watch."

The athlete notes that since then he's had a change of heart.

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"I woke up and said to myself, 'That's a really crappy way to feel,' " he told the Times. "That's a bad way to live your life. It doesn't help me, it doesn't help the team, it doesn't help the energy that the team needs."

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