Landon Donovan will not be playing in a record fourth World Cup for the U.S. this summer after the Galaxy star was left off the final 23-man roster announced Thursday.
Released from the team along with Donovan were forward Terrence Boyd, midfielders Joe Corona and Maurice Edu, and defenders Brad Evans, Clarence Goodson and Michael Parkhurst.
The timing of Thursday's announcement was a surprise since U.S. Coach Juergen Klinsmann said he intended to wait until the June 2 deadline to submit the roster. The U.S. has two friendlies -- Tuesday against Azerbaijan and June 1 against Turkey -- to play before that deadline.
Galaxy defender Omar Gonzalez did make the cut despite a knee injury that forced him to miss the club's last game before the start of the World Cup training camp.
As for Donovan, U.S. Soccer's all-time leader in goals (57) and assists (57) as well as in World Cup games (12) and goals (five), the decision wasn't a total surprise. He and Klinsmann have had a chilly relationship since Donovan took a three-month sabbatical at the start of World Cup qualifying in 2013. Donovan also said earlier this week that his spot on the team was far from a lock.
“In 2006 and 2010, I knew for the most part, unless I was awful, that I was going to make the team," he said. "This time it’s more similar to '02, when I wasn’t sure. In that way, it’s as competitive for me as it’s been in a long time.
"But I have to prove that," he continued. "And I have to earn that.”
The U.S. roster for the 2014 World Cup:
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 (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)Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun