By Kevin Baxter
4:36 PM EDT, May 16, 2013
U.S. national team Coach Juergen Klinsmann on Thursday summoned 29 players to training camp for next month's trio of World Cup qualifiers and, as expected, the Galaxy's Landon Donovan was left off the list.
But Galaxy teammate Omar Gonzalez, a defender who played brilliantly in the last two World Cup qualifiers, was among those called up.
Donovan hasn't played for the U.S. since tweaking a hamstring in last August's victory over Mexico in Mexico City. Following the Major League Soccer title game last December, Donovan took a self-imposed four-month break from soccer and has had trouble regaining form since coming back in late March.
Donovan, the U.S. national team's all-time leader in both goals and assists, had a goal and two assists in a Galaxy win Wednesday in Philadelphia
"All I can do, as I've said all along, is do what I do," Donovan said before in an Internet interview with Galaxy radio broadcaster Joe Tutino. "If I'm looking at it objectively, do I think I can help the team? Yes, absolutely. Do I think I've really earned my way back in yet? Probably not.
"That's sort of six of one, half dozen of the other. I really do believe, if I do get called in, that I can help the team. Even if I'm not playing, I think I can help. I think my experience, having been through this three times, can be very beneficial."
Klinsmann apparently feels differently, because the team he has called into camp includes five other forwards, including Tottenham's Clint Dempsey and Eddie Johnson of the Seattle Sounders.
Joining Gonzalez on the back line is Matt Besler of Sporting Kansas City and Edgar Castillo of Club Tijuana while the midfielders include Castillo's Los Angeles-born teammate Joe Corona, Jermaine Jones from Germany's Schalke and Roma's Michael Bradley.
Everton's Tim Howard, who missed the last two qualifying matches with a back injury, tops the list of six goalkeepers. Four of those keepers are MLS players -- D.C. United's Bill Hamid, Chicago's Sean Johnson, Real Salt Lake's Nick Rimando and Houston's Tally Hall -- who will rotate through camp.
Among those who will be missing from camp are defenders Steve Cherundolo and Timmy Chanlder, who are both dealing with knee injuries.
The U.S. will play friendlies against Belgium and Germany before returning to the final round of regional qualifying for the World Cup on June 7 in Jamaica. The U.S., which has four points and stands in third place after the first three matches of the 10-match qualifier, will then play host to first-place Panama on June 11 in Seattle and Honduras on June 18 in suburban Salt Lake City.
Honduras beat the U.S., 2-1, in the first match of the final round of qualifying.
GOALKEEPERS (6): Brad Guzan (Aston Villa), Tally Hall (Houston Dynamo), Bill Hamid (D.C. United), Tim Howard (Everton), Sean Johnson (Chicago Fire), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake)
DEFENDERS (8) : DaMarcus Beasley (Puebla), Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City), Geoff Cameron (Stoke City), Edgar Castillo (Club Tijuana), Omar Gonzalez (Galaxy), Clarence Goodson (Brondby), Fabian Johnson (Hoffenheim), Michael Parkhurst (Augsburg)
MIDFIELDERS (10) : Michael Bradley (Roma), Joe Corona (Club Tijuana), Brad Davis (Houston Dynamo), Maurice Edu (Bursaspor), Stuart Holden (Bolton), Jermaine Jones (Schalke), Sacha Kljestan (Anderlecht), Brek Shea (Stoke City), Danny Williams (Hoffenheim), Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City)
FORWARDS (5) : Jozy Altidore (AZ Alkmaar), Terrence Boyd (Rapid Vienna), Clint Dempsey (Tottenham Hotspur), Herculez Gomez (Santos), Eddie Johnson (Seattle Sounders FC).
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