Landon Donovan, the United States' all-time top scorer, has been surprisingly left off the 23-man squad for next month's World Cup, U.S. Soccer said on Thursday. (REUTERS/Matt Sullivan/Files)
Veteran Donovan left off U.S. World Cup roster
Donovan was part of the provisional 30-man squad, which has gathered at a pre-tournament camp in Palo Alto, Calif., but did not make the final cut selected by coach Juergen Klinsmann ahead of the June 12-July 13 tournament in Brazil.
“It is certainly the toughest decision of my coaching career to tell a player like him, with everything he’s done and what he represents, to tell him that you are not part of that 23 right now,” said Klinsmann.
He’s been part of that final 30 roster in terms of the last 10 days and he did everything right, he was always positive, he took it in the best way possible,” added the coach.
Former Germany striker and coach Klinsmann has long made it clear however that Donovan should not be considered an automatic selection and last April said that the player had fallen down his pecking order.
Green, who only recently chose to play for the U.S. ahead of Germany for whom is also eligible, plays in a wide attacking role, similar to the position that Donovan has filled for the U.S. in most of his 156 games for the national team.
The U.S. faces Ghana, Portugal and Germany in a tough Group G at the finals.