When the U.S. national team flies to Brazil for the World Cup next month, it will do so without its all-time leading scorer.
Landon Donovan was left off coach Jurgen Klinsmann's 23-man squad for the World Cup, U.S. Soccer announced Thursday, with Clarence Goodson, Michael Parkhurst, Brad Evans, Maurice Edu, Joe Corona and Terrence Boyd also trimmed from the 30-man roster released last week.
Among the more notable inclusions are defenders John Brooks, Timothy Chandler and DeAndre Yedlin, midfielder Julian Green, and forward Chris Wondolowski — all of whom combined to make one appearance in World Cup qualifying.
— U.S. Soccer (@ussoccer) May 22, 2014
Donovan's exclusion comes as a shock but not a complete surprise. The 32-year-old attacker, who has scored five goals over three World Cups, appeared in just 3 of 10 matches in the final round of World Cup qualifying last year after taking a nearly four-month sabbatical from the sport.
Although he appeared to win back Klinsmann's trust last summer with a standout Gold Cup, for which he was named the tournament's most outstanding player, Donovan was relegated to the bench for a friendly against Mexico last month. In comments to the media in recent weeks, Klinsmann emphasized that Donovan's place was not assured.
"It's an exciting moment when you have narrowed the roster down as a coaching staff, and these 23 players that you've chosen can focus now purely on Brazil," Klinsmann said in a news release. "We can go into more specific things about technical approaches, and about the opponents.
"For the players, it's very important to know that they are now part of it and they can relax and know they are on the list going to Brazil and taking it from there. After almost 10 days of work right now, we thought the point has come to make the decision."
Squad in full:
Squad in full:
GOALKEEPERS (3): Brad Guzan (Aston Villa), Tim Howard (Everton), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake)
DEFENDERS (8): DaMarcus Beasley (Puebla), Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City), John Brooks (Hertha Berlin), Geoff Cameron (Stoke City), Timmy Chandler (Nurnberg), Omar Gonzalez (LA Galaxy), Fabian Johnson (Borussia Monchengladbach), DeAndre Yedlin (Seattle Sounders)
MIDFIELDERS (8): Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), Alejandro Bedoya (Nantes), Michael Bradley (Toronto FC), Brad Davis (Houston Dynamo), Mix Diskerud (Rosenborg), Julian Green (Bayern Munich), Jermaine Jones (Besiktas), Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City)
FORWARDS (4): Jozy Altidore (Sunderland), Clint Dempsey (Seattle Sounders), Aron Johannsson (AZ Alkmaar), Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes)