Landon Donovan Left Off Klinsmann’s World Cup Roster


The final cuts have been made in northern California, and to the surprise of everybody in America, Landon Donovan has not made the final 23 man roster for Brazil.

Donovan, 32, has played in 3 World Cups for the USMNT (2002, 2006, 2010) and was thought to be a shoe-in for an unprecedented 4th World Cup this summer. He is arguably the best player ever to play for the US, and has scored 57 goals in 156 international appearances. He has appeared in more World Cup games (12) than anybody else, and has 5 World Cup goals, which is the best all-time of an American.

Donovan, as one would expect, was “very disappointed with today’s decision…” Jurgen Klinsmann also called this decision “the toughest in my coaching career.” The other 6 who missed the cut were Brad Evans, Maurice Edu, Terrence Boyd, Clarence Goodson, Michael Parkhurst, and Joe Corona. The only real surprise of that 6 is Brad Evans, who anchored the right back spot during most of World Cup Qualifying.

Here’s a look at the final roster for Brazil:


Tim Howard (Everton); Brad Guzan (Aston Villa); Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake)


Geoff Cameron (Stoke); Matt Besler (KC); Omar Gonzalez (LA); DaMarcus Beasley (Puebla); John Brooks (Hertha Berlin); Timothy Chandler (FC Nurnberg); Fabian Johnson (Borussia Monchengladbach); DeAndre Yedlin (Seattle)


Julian Green (Bayern Munich); Mix Diskerud (Rosenborg); Michael Bradley (Toronto FC); Clint Dempsey (Seattle); Jermaine Jones (Schalke); Kyle Beckerman (RSL); Alejandro Bedoya (FC Nantes); Graham Zusi (KC); Brad Davis (Houston)


Jozy Altidore (Sunderland); Chris Wondolowski (San Jose); Aron Johannsson (AZ)

So , what does this mean for Brazil? Well, as I have said many times, Brad Evans was never the answer at RB. It’s very possible that Timothy Chandler will be starting there against Ghana. I don’t have a problem with this; Chandler is a very viable option at RB. However, it could also mean Fabian Johnson is the RB option, but that remains to be seen. 18 year-old Julian Green, who is another German-American, made the final cut. That is not surprising considering the immense talent that we have already given him. He can be a “super-sub” when the US need speed off the bench, and could really put himself on the map this summer if the opportunity arises. Another young player, John Brooks, made the cut. The 21 year-old defender had sub-par showings at center back during a few friendlies, but is another example of a player who could become a star later on.

DeAndre Yedlin is another young player that was thought to be used for the next World Cup cycle. The 20 year-old right back is speedy, but has only been in MLS for 2 seasons; it will be an excellent opportunity or a “baptism by fire” for him in June. I cannot possibly state how wonderful the inclusion of Chris Wondolowski is to fans across the nation. Wondo has been on fire for the USMNT since last summer’s Gold Cup and was truly deserving of a place on this squad. One would think the inclusion of Brad Davis is strictly for set piece opportunities, the lefty provides excellent service that could be very useful when the US need a late goal this summer.

DaMarcus Beasley will be going to his 4th World Cup this summer. The 31 year-old converted left wing-back will surely be the starter at left fullback this summer, a spot he has earned over the course of World Cup Qualifying. This leaves the question of who will start on June 16 against Ghana. A question that I have no answer for at the moment. Geoff Cameron will probably be in central defense, depending on Omar Gonzalez’s performances during the send-off games. The inclusion of Timmy Chandler leads me to think he will be starting at RB, and Fabian Johnson will probably play left mid. Graham Zusi will be manning the right midfield spot, with Dempsey and Jozy Altidore forward. Again, this is only hypothetical and Klinsmann will probably experiment with different lineups and formations (4-4-2 anyone?) during the 3 send-off games.

The USMNT play Azerbaijan on May 27 in San Francisco at 10 pm ET to begin the “send-off series.” The game will be broadcast on ESPN2, and will surely be interesting.