Landon Donovan's USMNT future 

December, 1, 2012

CARSON, Calif. -- If Saturday's MLS Cup final really is to be the last game of Landon Donovan's brilliant career, many around American soccer are having a tough time believing it.

"I'm very positive that he'll continue to play," U.S. national team coach Jurgen Klinsmann said on the eve of the domestic league championship.

He's not alone in that view.

"If he does go, I think he'll be back," said Omar Gonzalez, Donovan's teammate with the Los Angeles Galaxy. "I think it will be short-lived."

Brian Ching, who played with Donovan on the San Jose Earthquakes and on the U.S. squad, hopes that's the case.

"Selfishly and for soccer, I hope he just takes a little break and comes back rejuvenated."

It seems the only person unwilling to offer fresh thoughts on Donovan's future is Donovan himself. After months of hinting that the end could be near, the national team's all-time leader in goals, assists and starts was asked about his plans on several occasions during Friday's pre-Cup news conference but refused to comment, saying he'd "talk about that later."

When that might be is anyone's guess.

Doug McIntyre is a staff writer for ESPN The Magazine. He has covered American and international soccer since 2002.