Landon Donovan left off USMNT roster for World Cup
Jurgen Klinsmann names the 23 players headed to Brazil for the 2014 World Cup.
United States Men's National Team manager Jurgen Klinsmann has named his World Cup roster. Landon Donovan will not be making the trip to Brazil.
— U.S. Soccer (@ussoccer) May 22, 2014
Leaving Donovan home is a surprise, sure, but not wholly unexpected. Both Klinsmann and Donovan have spoken about the latter's status with the squad, and Klinsmann has hinted in the past that Donovan's place on the team wasn't guaranteed.
Klinsmann called leaving Donovan off the squad, "the most difficult decision of my coaching career."
For his part, Donovan expressed gratitude Facebook:
"It has been an honor and privilege to have represented the US National Team in three World Cups. I was looking forward to playing in Brazil and, as you can imagine, I am very disappointed with today’s decision. Regardless, I will be cheering on my friends and teammates this summer, and I remain committed to helping grow soccer in the US in the years to come."
The decision came to fruition Thursday. Klinsmann said that it was time to end the speculation and pick the 23 players headed to Brazil.
"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," he said. "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."
The United States' first match will be June 16 against Ghana.
Here is the full roster:
Goalkeepers (3): Brad Guzan, Tim Howard, Nick Rimando
Defenders (8): DaMarcus Beasley, Matt Besler, John Brooks, Geoff Cameron, Timmy Chandler, Omar Gonzalez, Fabian Johnson, DeAndre Yedlin
Midfielders (8): Kyle Beckerman, Alejandro Bedoya, Michael Bradley, Brad Davis, Mix Diskerud, Julian Green, Jermaine Jones, Graham Zusi
Forwards (4): Jozy Altidore, Clint Dempsey, Aron Johannsson, Chris Wondolowski
Team USA will face a challenge from FIFA's No. 7-ranked team Brazil
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