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Donovan ‘heartbroken’ for Morgan after…

U.S. men’s national team legend Landon Donovan knows what Alex Morgan is going through right now.

U.S. women’s national team coach Emma Hayes dropped Morgan from her Olympics roster on Wednesday, ending a run of seven straight major tournaments for the USWNT legend.

For many, seeing Morgan dropped for the Olympics was reminiscent of another monumental moment in American soccer history that took place 10 years ago.

In a decision that still reverberates to this day, Jürgen Klinsmann dropped Donovan from his 2014 World Cup roster despite Donovan’s status as a USMNT legend and his strong form leading up to the tournament.

Though there are some differences — Klinsmann had a larger roster to work with and Donovan was in better form in 2014 than Morgan is now — there are obvious parallels between the two situations.

For Donovan, who spoke to USA TODAY’s Mackenzie Salmon as part of his partnership with Zevo Bug Spray, one similarity stands out in a major way.

“I’ve been in her shoes and it’s a horrible, horrible feeling,” Donovan said.

“Ultimately, in our sport and in most team sports, one person ends up making a decision on your career sometimes. And that’s the reality — we all know it, we all signed up for it. So it’s not woe is me, but that is the reality and if one person decides that you’re not going, you don’t go and so that’s the difficult part.”

Though Donovan didn’t get into the specifics of Hayes’ decision, he couldn’t help but feel for a fellow legend of American soccer.

I’m really just sad and heartbroken for Alex,” Donovan said. “I’ve been in those shoes. She has done so much for our women’s national team, and for U.S. soccer in general. And I just hope this doesn’t define her. I hope she doesn’t define herself by this.

“It’s going to be a hard pill to swallow for sure. But she’s a really strong woman and I know she’ll be OK. It’s just, this is going to be a hard time for her.”

Thinking back to his own feelings from a decade prior, Donovan attempted to give Morgan some advice as she processes a difficult blow.

“I would say it will pass,” the 42-year-old said. “For me, it was about two weeks of being really depressed and sad. Because you’re realizing in that moment that your career with the national team is coming to an end. And you didn’t get to decide it — someone else told you that it was over. And so that’s really difficult. You don’t have any control over that, and that’s hard for her.”

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