Donovan left out of World Cup squad and Fire notes

Jurgen Klinsmann shocked the US soccer community today by naming the 23-man roster for the upcoming World Cup in Brazil. The surprise exclusion of Landon Donovan, who is arguably the best American soccer player ever, has many fans wondering how the country’s all-time leading scorer in international competition could be left off. Klinsmann called it “the toughest decision in my coaching career”, but a look at the names on the final squad would suggest that Donovan is still one of the best 23 players available despite not being as effective recently.

Here’s the 23:

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 (Nürnberg), Omar Gonzalez (LA Galaxy), Fabian Johnson (Borussia Mönchengladbach), DeAndre Yedlin (Seattle Sounders FC)
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 FC), Aron Johannsson (AZ Alkmaar), Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes)

Fire notes

  • Frank Yallop told reporters today the Grant Ward could make his way into the 18 man game day roster this weekend in Columbus. Ward just started full training this week but has been with the team since last Monday. Ward’s broken foot has apparently completely healed. 
  • Yallop noted that several players are dealing with injuries and could be questionable against the Crew. Among those named were Patrick Nyarko (knee), Lovel Palmer (kidney stones), and Bakary Soumare (calf tightness). Mike Magee is also dealing with a calf issue.


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  • I will tell you I am very upset at the way Donovan is being handled. The guy is better than some of the chosen players And could be a real asset to the US in close games. It could be said that he has lost a step but did anyone watch the concaf cup game?Donovan was the only LA player that clearly belonged in the international environment. Klinsman had a bad experience with Donovan in Munich early on in his career. I personally think that experience is a part of his decision. The guy has and still performs at a very high level and should have been given the opportunity to bow out as the truly great player he has been. Can anyone imagine a close game where we need a goal and Klingsman is forced to substitute in Green a player that is in the 4 the division in Germany and has a grand total of 20 minutes of disastrous international play under his belt. We could be out of the world cup quickly .

  • In reply to Brokerman:

    I don't see how anyone could think this is the right move unless there is something else that we don't know about.

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    In reply to Guillermo Rivera:

    Regardless I don't see the US getting out of the group stage at all. I can't believe that there isn't one person on that 23-man roster that could have been left out for Donovan. My faith in Josie hasn't been there in years. The 2009 Confed cup will be the US high water mark for a long while...

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Jeff S:

    And another thing: if our now-Donovan-less team pulls off a miracle this year then Klinsmann will be touted as some sort of strategic genius, yet if we instead fail miserably and without showing any real heart on the field then fans nationwide will be calling for his head.

  • In reply to Jeff S:

    Such is the life of a coach.

  • There's a game tonight!

    SKC 2 TFC 1 is the pick.

    I actually got both games correct on Wednesday night to vault to an unimpressive 41-63 record.

  • In reply to Guillermo Rivera:

    Wed was 2 for 2 and last night's tie makes 3.

    NY-Por NY
    Van-Sea Van
    Clb-Chi Tie
    NE-DC NE
    Col-Mon Tie
    RSL-Dal Tie
    LA-Phi LA Watch. First EJ, now Donovan scores just to spite JK
    SJ-Hou SJ

    Of course I left my paper with my record at work.

  • Guillermo
    Speaking of the World Cup, are you planning to organize a fantasy tournament again as you did in 2010?

  • In reply to Gladbach:

    Yeah.....planning on doing something for it.

  • I said this on the Twitters as well, but while I firmly believe this was a mistake by JK and that Donovan is a huge omission, he had to be completely clueless to think that his trip to Cambodia wouldn't have a negative impact, especially when it was during WCQ.

  • In reply to Jeff Krause:

    I fully understand that and he had to earn that spot on the roster back. He did that and then some. He played in qualifying matches and played well. He was the Gold Cup MVP. There is no logical reason for him being left off the team. If JK was looking at him as a striker, he is better than Wondo. If he is looking at him as a winger, he is better than Davis and Green. There is no reason other than personal reasons. As insane as JK's sons tweet was, there has to be some reason that he hates him. His dad has had to say something about it around the dinner table. Its going to be interesting to see if someone gets hurt, if Landon really is the first person that he will call.

  • Klinsmann made a lot of mistakes with this roster IMO. Yedlin, Brooks, Davis, Green do not deserve to be going to Brazil. Let alone Chandler. Brooks has been awful when he has played for the States. Davis is a mediocre MLS player that would not be in the camp at all if he was right footed. Yedlin is a young, inexpierenced right back that should not even be a thought for this world cup, let alone on that plane. Green has played 2 professional matches in his life. Plays in the 4th division in Germany and looked like a chicken with his head cut off in a home match with the US.
    Parkhurst should have been on this team for Yedlin. Can, and has, played anywhere in the back for us. Is a solid player that is versatile. Strange choice to leave him home.
    Goodson for Brooks. Goodson has played much better than Brooks has for the States. Isnt mistake prone like Brooks has been in his 5 caps.
    Donovan for Davis. Davis is only there because he kicks the ball better with his left leg than his right.
    Eddie Johnson for Green. Eddie Johnson was crucial for us all throughout qualifying. He offers something to the team when he is on the field. Has experience and is good in the air. No reason he is not going to Brazil.

    Klinsmann should not be given a free pass. I understand that we are in a tough group but that is no excuse to not bring the best team possible. This is by no means our best 23 going to Brazil.

    Just imagine if Chandler goes down against Ghana and its Yedlin having to mark Ronaldo and then any one of Reus, Ozil, Mueller, Podolski, Draxler...

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