Is there a better excuse for playing badly in a must win encounter? Probably not!
Thanks to the excellent Backwards Pass for this one.
In case you haven’t already heard, Landon Donovan got a lot of stick for performing so poorly in the loss to Mexico a couple days ago. Well, the reason why he was so uncharacteristically lethargic was not the altitude or the insurmountable pressure. It was because he had swine flu. Donovan tested positive for the H1N1 strain.
Grant Wahl has him saying this,
“I felt something when I got into Miami on Sunday,” Donovan said. “I just felt real bad and finally went to see the doctor. They took a swab from my nose and confirmed it, so that was that.”
Now, you can go all paranoid speculative right here, and think maybe some Mexican sympathizers (read: dirty cheats) slipped him some tainted pico de gallo, before or after reaching Mexico, but I wouldn’t. (edit: the actual speculation is that he may have received it via some training staff back home) The real speculation is, would the U.S. have performed better if their leading star wasn’t unknowingly hampered by a biological terror weapon? I’ll let you decide. (Backwards Pass)