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Landon Donovan has been the face of American men’s soccer for more than a decade, but in a surprising announcement Thursday, U.S. national team Coach Juergen Klinsmann cut the program’s all-time leading scorer from the World Cup training camp roster.
Donovan, whose last-minute goal against Algeria highlighted the Americans’ World Cup appearance in South Africa four years ago, was on the roster bubble since the 30-man training camp began at Stanford University last week. He had not featured regularly with the national team during regional qualifying stages the past two years and at times both he and Klinsmann questioned the Los Angeles Galaxy attacker’s future with the squad.
On Monday, he said: “I’m deserving to be a part of the squad. But I have to prove that and I have to earn it.”
Klinsmann was not expected to finalize the 23-man roster until next week, but without notice, he announced Thursday afternoon that he had cut Donovan, defenders Clarence Goodson, Michael Parkhurst and Brad Evans, midfielders Maurice Edu and Joe Corona and forward Terrence Boyd.
Klinsmann will not address the roster decisions until Friday at Stanford.
The U.S. team will play the first of three World Cup tuneups Tuesday against Azerbaijan in San Francisco.
The squad heading to Brazil next month:
Tim Howard (Everton)
Brad Guzan (Aston Villa)
Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake)
DaMarcus Beasley (Puebla)
Matt Besler (Sporting KC)
John Brooks (Hertha Berlin)
Geoff Cameron (Stoke City)
Timothy Chandler (Nurnberg)
Omar Gonzalez (Los Angeles Galaxy)
Fabian Johnson (Hoffenheim)
DeAndre Yedlin (Seattle Sounders)
Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake)
Alejandro Bedoya (Nantes)
Michael Bradley (Toronto FC)
Brad Davis (Houston Dynamo)
Mix Diskerud (Rosenborg)
Julian Green (Bayern Munich II)
Jermaine Jones (Beskitas)
Graham Zusi (Sporting KC)
Jozy Altidore (Sunderland)
Clint Dempsey (Seattle Sounders)
Aron Johannsson (AZ Alkmaar)
Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes)