Landon Donovan has returned to competitive soccer but apparently is not ready to return to the U.S. national team.
Coach Juergen Klinsmann left the program’s career scoring leader off the roster for two friendlies, including a June 2 match against Germany at RFK Stadium, and three World Cup qualifiers next month.
“Landon is catching up,” Klinsmann said. “We’re all excited that he has decided to continue to play. That was the first major answer that we needed to get, and now he’s just working himself back into shape and back into a playing rhythm. He will get sharper and more confident with every game he’s going to play now. So we’ll watch that, we’ll monitor that and we’ll decide then when to bring him back into our picture. It’s not going to be for these upcoming games, but maybe later on we’ll definitely expect him back in the team.”
D.C. United’s Bill Hamid is among four goalkeepers who will rotate through the U.S. camps and serve behind veterans Tim Howard and Brad Guzan. Hamid, 22, will join the squad in Washington on May 30 for three days of workouts before the Germany game, then rejoin United on June 3.
Former University of Maryland players Clarence Goodson, Omar Gonzalez, Maurice Edu and Graham Zusi were also named to the roster.
Citing emotional and physical burnout, Donovan took a sabbatical from the sport after guiding the Los Angeles Galaxy to a second consecutive MLS Cup title in December. He was not involved in training camp and did not suit up for the club until the fifth game of the season about six weeks ago.
After a sluggish return, Donovan enjoyed his finest performance of the campaign Wednesday night, scoring once, assisting twice and playing a part in another goal during a 4-1 victory at Philadelphia.
Donovan, 31, has not played for the U.S. team since last August at Mexico, missing seven qualifiers as well as two friendlies.
“I’m disappointed but I’ll keep going and I’ll keep working hard and I hope that I get the chance,” he told Reuters. “I would love to be in Brazil next year [for the World Cup] but I can’t completely control that. My job is to make it as difficult as possible for the coach to leave me out.”