United States coach Jurgen Klinsmann has left all-time leading scorer Landon Donovan off his final roster for the World Cup.
Klinsmann surprisingly revealed his final 23-man roster on Thursday afternoon and sprung a massive surprise when he omitted Donovan from the squad.
“It has been an honor and privilege to have represented the US National Team in three World Cups,” Donovan said on his official Facebook page late Thursday evening.
“I was looking forward to playing in Brazil, as you can imagine, I am very disappointed with today’s decision.”
Donovan had appeared poised to feature in his fourth consecutive World Cup after working his way back into Klinsmann’s plans during the CONCACAF Gold Cup last summer, but Klinsmann hinted at the difficult road ahead last week when he suggested he saw Donovan as a forward, not a midfielder, as he unveiled his 30-man preliminary roster.
Klinsmann eventually opted to leave Donovan off his squad, with Jozy Altidore,Aron Johannsson and Chris Wondolowski all included in his place.
Donovan joined defenders Brad Evans, Clarence Goodson and Michael Parkhurst, midfielder Joe Corona and Maurice Edu and forward Terrence Boydas the players to miss out.
The cuts ensured Klinsmann will take a youthful squad to the World Cup withJohn Anthony Brooks, Julian Green and DeAndre Yedlin all named in the final 23-man roster.
“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,” Klinsmann 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 men’s national team will play three friendlies before their departure to Brazil.
The United States will host Azerbaijan at Candlestick Park in San Francisco on May 27.
Klinsmann’s squad will then face Turkey on June 1 and Nigeria on June 7 at EverBank Field in Jacksonville, Florida.
United States’ 23-man World Cup roster:
Goalkeepers: Brad Guzan (Aston Villa), Tim Howard (Everton), Nick Rimando(Real Salt Lake).
Defenders: DaMarcus Beasley (Puebla), Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City), John Brooks (Hertha Berlin), Geoff Cameron (Stoke City), Timmy Chandler (Nurnberg),Omar Gonzalez (LA Galaxy), Fabian Johnson (Borussia Mönchengladbach), DeAndre Yedlin (Seattle Sounders FC).
Midfielders: 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: Jozy Altidore (Sunderland), Clint Dempsey (Seattle Sounders FC), Aron Johannsson (AZ Alkmaar), Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes).