Jurgen Klinsmann had nothing but praise for Landon Donovan despite the veteran’s previous criticism of the United States coach.
The USA are preparing to face the Czech Republic in an international friendly on Wednesday, but a tribute match against Ecuador has been organised for Donovan next month.
Though, Klinsmann was forced to dismiss suggestions of “awkwardness” between the pair after Donovan openly criticised the German, who overlooked the USA’s all-time leading goalscorer for the World Cup.
Donovan was also scathing of Klinsmann’s tactics during the World Cup in Brazil, however the 32-year-old has been presented with one last international swansong as he prepares to retire at the end of the MLS season – called up for the USA’s friendly with Ecuador in Connecticut on October 10.
Speaking to reporters in Prague on Tuesday, Klinsmann said he had no problem with the Los Angeles Galaxy forward.
“It’s not awkward at all for me,” said Klinsmann.
“As a player, obviously he deserves every piece of recognition for an amazing career. [He’s] done so much for the national team program. It’s a pleasure to give him that farewell match and give him that recognition.”
Klinsmann added: “I decided the players in his position, whether it is forward or midfielder or whatever, are just ahead of him.
“That he is upset about that decision and not going to the World Cup is, for me, a good reaction. It means he cares.
“That he’s made some statements that he’s not content, sees it differently, that’s legitimate and that’s totally fine with me.”