Landon Donovan says he was reluctant to return to the U.S. national team after he was cut from the World Cup roster.

Donovan makes his 157th international appearance Friday night in an exhibition against Ecuador. He is the American career leader in goals and appearances, and the 32-year-old forward is to captain the U.S. for the 19th time.

He declined to discuss his relationship with coach Jurgen Klinsmann, who said Thursday he wished Donovan "could have done a bit more" and established a career with a European club rather than have spent most of his time in Major League Soccer.

Speaking Friday at a news conference, Donovan says: "I've always made decisions that have been best for me, and i know that's not always wildly popular." He adds that it's "easy for people to judge others in their career choices and life choices."