Donovan puts MLS final before U.S. friendly

Los Angeles: United States midfielder Landon Donovan has pulled out of Friday`s friendly game with France in Paris in order to focus on the MLS Cup final nine days later.

U.S. national team coach Juergen Klinsmann had selected Donovan before knowing the outcome of Sundays` MLS Conference championship games which saw Donovan`s L.A Galaxy reach the final.

The U.S. also have a friendly against Slovenia on Nov. 15 which Donovan was not selected for.

"The plan was to have Landon come in for the match against France and then return to the LA Galaxy in preparation for MLS Cup, but after further discussion Landon expressed his desire to stay in Los Angeles," said Klinsmann in a statement.

"While my preference was to have Landon with us for this important match, I respect his decision.”

"I`m very happy with the progress this team is making and the commitment they have shown in each and every camp. We look forward to the challenge of the next two games."

The Galaxy face the Houston Dynamo on Nov. 20 at their home stadium in California.

No replacement will be brought in by Klinsmann who was also without Donovan for last month`s friendly games against Honduras and Ecuador.

The U.S. will face Laurent Blanc`s team at the Stade de France before travelling to Ljubljana to face Slovenia.

Bureau Report

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