SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- Mexico national team manager Miguel Herrera says games against the U.S. won't be the same without Landon Donovan being on the field, and that he hopes the former U.S. international will reconsider his decision to retire.
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Earlier in the day, Herrera participated in a news conference to promote the Sept. 6 friendly match against Chile, which will take place at Levi's Stadium. He later granted an exclusive interview to ESPNFC.com, where he expressed his admiration for Donovan, who last week announced his retirement from professional soccer, effective at the end of the current MLS season.
"Yes, very," said Herrera with a smile when asked if he was happy to not have to worry about seeing Donovan line up against El Tri. "Donovan is a great player, and not seeing him compete against us, it will be different."
Herrera added that back in 2005, when he was managing Liga MX outfit Monterrey, he tried to acquire Donovan, who at the time was in the process of returning to MLS with his hometown club, the Los Angeles Galaxy.
"Donovan didn't want to come, but we tried, we looked for him," said Herrera with the help of a translator.
Most of all, Herrera expressed amazement that Donovan, still just 32, had announced his retirement. He added that he hoped the U.S. national team's all-time leading scorer would think again about his choice.
"It's his decision obviously, but I think Donovan is very young," he said. "I think he can continue giving results.
"I think the decision might be due to him being left off the World Cup roster. It was a dream of his to be there. It's a personal decision, but hopefully he can look back and change his mind."