Stunning move by US national team coach Jurgen Klinsmann on Thursday when he announced that Landon Donovan was not going to Brazil. Somehow Klinsmann does not think that the LA Galaxy star is one of the 23 best American soccer player. Are you kidding me?
Donovan has been the best and most productive player in US national team history. He is a player with 57 goals and 58 assists for the national team and even at 32 years old still has some quality miles left on his legs. More important, Dovovan performs on the big stage, scoring five goals in 12 World Cup appearances. That is more goals than Messi, Ronaldo, Ibra and Rooney combined.
Donovan was not the only surprise decision. Heading to Brazil is Julian Green, who is a reserve for Bayern Munich and Seattle Sounders 20-year-old right back DeAndre Yedlin. Yedlin is not even the best American right back on the Sounders roster!
The US is in a really tough group with Germany, Portugal and Ghana. Qualifying for the knockout stages was always going to be difficult, but this squad makes that task even more daunting. Four years ago the US progressed to the knockout stages when Donovan put himself on the Mt. Rushmore of US soccer players. Four years later we are looking at the possibility of the Americans leaving Brazil with three straight defeats. That is not progress.
2014 USA 23-MAN WORLD CUP ROSTER:
GOALKEEPERS (3): Brad Guzan (Aston Villa/England), Tim Howard (Everton/England), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake)
DEFENDERS (8): DaMarcus Beasley (Puebla/Mexico), Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City), John Brooks (Hertha Berlin/Germany), Geoff Cameron (Stoke City/England), Timmy Chandler (Nürnberg/Germany), Omar Gonzalez (LA Galaxy), Fabian Johnson (Hoffenheim/Germany), DeAndre Yedlin (Seattle Sounders)
MIDFIELDERS (8): Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), Alejandro Bedoya (Nantes/France), Michael Bradley (Toronto FC), Brad Davis (Houston Dynamo), Mix Diskerud (Rosenborg/Norway), Julian Green (Bayern Munich/Germany), Jermaine Jones (Besiktas/Turkey), Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City)
FORWARDS (4): Jozy Altidore (Sunderland/England), Clint Dempsey (Seattle Sounders), Aron Johannsson (AZ Alkmaar/Netherlands), Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes)