On Thursday afternoon the United States men’s national soccer team announced its roster for its upcoming slate of five games, and Landon Donovan was left off of it.
Jurgen Klinsmann’s team will play two friendlies against Belgium and Germany, then jump into three important World Cup qualifiers against Jamaica, Panama and Honduras. Donovan, the nation’s all-time leading scorer will not be with the squad.
Donovan has fallen a bit out of favor with Klinsmann following his brief hiatus from the sport this past winter. He returned to his club team, the Los Angeles Galaxy, on March 30 of this year and has been in excellent form since. But he has yet to earn his way back onto the national team despite a desire to continue playing internationally.
While this seems like a big deal, it probably isn’t. Klinsmann obviously wants to see more of the 31-year-old Donovan before he brings him back into the national team fold. He will eventually be back. After all, the man has been capped 144 times and has scored 49 international goals.
Klinsmann had the following to say about Donovan:
“I think Landon is catching up. He’s just working himself back into shape and back into a playing rhythm. He will get sharper and more confident with every game he’s going to play now. So we’ll watch that, we’ll monitor that and we’ll decide then when to bring him back into our picture. It’s not going to be for these upcoming games, but maybe later on we’ll definitely expect him back in the team.”
Klinsmann called up 29 players for the upcoming stretch of games, and the roster is relatively healthy, especially considering how banged up it was for the last round of qualifiers.
Here is the full list of players called up:
Goalkeepers: Brad Guzan, Tally Hall, Bill Hamid, Tim Howard, Sean Johnson, Nick Rimando.
Defenders: DaMarcus Beasley, Matt Besler, Geoff Cameron, Edgar Castillo, Omar Gonzalez, Clarence Goodson, Fabian Johnson, Michael Parkhurst.
Midfielders: Michael Bradley, Joe Corona, Brad Davis, Maurice Edu, Stuart Holden, Jermaine Jones, Sacha Kljestan, Brek Shea, Danny Williams, Graham Zusi.
Forwards: Jozy Altidore, Terrence Boyd, Clint Dempsey, Herculez Gomez, Eddie Johnson.