U.S. Soccer Was In The Dark On Donovan

News of Landon Donovan catching the flu never made it to U.S. team doctors while Donovan was with the team.
Just one day after playing against Mexico in Mexico City Landon Donovan confirmed the he was sick to two different media outlets.

After joining the team last Sunday (Aug. 9) in Miami, Donovan spent the next four days feeling mild symptoms of sickness, but never showed signs of having the flu. With no fever and none of the dire signs of serious illness, Donovan never felt the need to express his sickness to U.S. team doctors.

On Thursday Donovan visited local doctors where he was diagnosed with having influenza A, sending a scare through U.S. Soccer. Based on information from the CDC and the fact that the flu does not usually show up in the U.S. in August, it is presumed that the strain Donovan has in H1N1.

With the U.S. National team having all been in close contact with the midfielder, the danger of the virus spreading to other members of the team and staff seemed likely. One player, Steve Cherundolo, was even quarantined by his club team upon returning to Germany, and some people are suggesting the U.S. National team midfielder Michael Bradley may face a similar fate.

As such U.S. Soccer has responded by taking measures to ensure that the virus does not spread. Players and team administrators will all be asked to take a course of Tamiflu, a preventative drug, to ensure that they will not contract H1N1.

As part of the press release that announced the preventative measures U.S. Soccer expressed that they had no knowledge of Donovan being sick while he was in camp or during their trip to Mexico and it is presumed that he most likely came in contact with the virus while with his club team in L.A.

The most troubling issue is that Donovan never mentioned his illness to the U.S. team, opting to fight through it rather than alert the doctors ahead of the match against Mexico.

Donovan is quoted in the L.A. Times as saying that he began coughing on Monday and felt tired ahead of the match on Wednesday.

With the conditions is Azteca already hard enough to deal with, playing with an illness could have been a very costly mistake, both for Donovan and for the team. Not knowing of the symptoms, U.S. coach Bob Bradley never considered replacing Donovan on the pitch.

With the news not breaking until the team had split and was once again spread out all over the globe, the preventative measures could be hard to implement.  

According to Galaxy manager Bruce Arena Donovan could be an option on Saturday for his club team but his availability will be determined by how he feels before the match.


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