Sandy • The shockwaves may have died down a bit compared to Thursday afternoon’s seismic activity. But a day after Jurgen Klinsmann abruptly named his 23-man U.S. men’s national team roster just nine days after calling in a 30-man World Cup preparatory camp in Palo Alto, Calif., still bears the same residual result.
No Landon Donovan?
The 32-year-old L.A. Galaxy attacker was left off Klinsmann’s roster. Arguably the most decorated U.S. men’s soccer player in the history of the U.S. Soccer Federation, Donovan — he of 57 career national-team goals and five of the last 14 goals scored in the previous three World Cups — will not be heading to Brazil in a few weeks.
Real Salt Lake’s Kyle Beckerman and Nick Rimando will be, along with 21 other American soccer stars. After Friday’s training session at Rio Tinto Stadium ended, I asked RSL players of their congratulatory exchanges with their teammates and of the shock factor Donovan’s absence left.
"Obviously nobody was guaranteed," said defender Nat Borchers. "In talking to Kyle and Nick, both of those guys came into that camp thinking they hadn’t made anything yet. Nothing was given, and I think they are so deserving of their spots."
Head-scratching decision to leave Donovan stateside?
"It definitely is a surprise," Borchers said.
RSL coach Jeff Cassar, who has worked with Klinsmann at times with the U.S. men’s national team helping coach goalkeepers, said he’s ecstatic for Beckerman and Rimando.
"Just shows how hard they’ve worked, their perseverance and just so glad they’re obviously representing the country, but representing RSL and our state," Cassar said.
Again: No Donovan a head-scratcher?
"I think you have to be surprised," Cassar said, "but Klinsmann saw something that the rest of us didn’t, and it’s his team, it’s his decisions, but [Donovan’s] been an amazing player for the U.S. for a long time, and will continue to be."
With Beckerman and Rimando part of the U.S. picture with three international friendlies ahead of the Americans before their June 16 Group G opener against Ghana in Natal, Costa Rican forward Alvaro Saborio is working toward making the 23-man roster for Los Ticos.
Asked Robbie Findley how he felt to see two of his close friends earn a spot like he did in the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa where he started in the 1-1 draw against England.
"It’s always an honor to be able to put on that jersey," Findley said. "Both of them have dominated this league for years. I think it’s definitely earned and I think they’ll do very well."
Above I’ve attached Klinsmann’s press conference this morning via U.S. Soccer, where the U.S. coach addressed his decision to not bring Donovan, the inclusion of youngsters Julian Green and DeAndre Yedlin among several other topics.
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