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Landon Donovan Fails to Make USMNT World Cup Roster

On Thursday U.S. men’s soccer coach Jurgen Klinsmann named the final 23-man roster for the upcoming World Cup in Brazil and Landon Donovan, one of the most recognizable faces in American soccer for over a decade, failed to make the cut.

Despite his popularity among fans, Donovan’s place on the squad has been in question for quite awhile. Although he performed well last summer in the Gold Cup tournament, he played in just 3 of the last 10 matches in the final round of World Cup qualifying last year.

Prior to those appearances, Donovan took a four-month sabbatical for the sport. The arguement can be made that his veteran presence and leadership will be missed, but there’s nothing worse than playing with someone who doesn’t want it as  much.

Based on his own statements, his passion and for the sport has been waning. Not long ago Donovan told the AP:

“I don’t have that youthful energy and excitement that I did in 2002, but I see the game and I see the situation a lot more clearly now, so I’m able to I think enjoy it more in that way. When you’re younger, you’re just sort of going crazy to do whatever it takes to make the team and you forget to enjoy it, And now I’m actually getting to enjoy it.”

This will be the first World Cup in which USMNT will be without Donovan, who is now 32 years old, since 1998. As for who actually made the squad, they’re listed below:

Forwards: Jozy Altidore (Sunderland), Clint Dempsey (Seattle Sounders), Aron Johannsson (AZ Alkmaar), Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes)

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)

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 Monchengladbach), DeAndre Yedlin (Seattle Sounders)

Goalkeepers: Brad Guzan (Aston Villa), Tim Howard (Everton), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake)

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