The idea of Landon Donovan being left off the U.S. World Cup roster seemed unfathomable. Now it's reality.
U.S. Soccer announced Thursday afternoon that Donovan was one of seven players released from pre-World Cup training camp by U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann.
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Also released were defenders Brad Evans, Clarence Goodson and Michael Parkhurst; midfielders Maurice Edu and Joe Corona; and forward Terrence Boyd.
"It's an exciting moment when you have narrowed the roster down as a coaching staff, and these 23 players that you've chosen can focus now purely on Brazil," Klinsmann said in a statement released by U.S. Soccer. "We can go into more specific things about technical approaches, and about the opponents. For the players, it's very important to know that they are now part of it and they can relax and know they are on the list going to Brazil and taking it from there. After almost 10 days of work right now, we thought the point has come to make the decision."
It's a decision that surely will be second-guessed if the United States struggles in what is considered one of the toughest groups at this year's World Cup.
Donovan, 32, has been a fixture on the U.S. team since he was a teenager and has played a role in some of the team's most important moments dating to the 2002 World Cup, including scoring the game-winning goal in the final minutes against Algeria at the 2010 World Cup.
He has 156 caps with the U.S. team and is its all-time leader in goals scored and assists.
Although Donovan took some time away from the team last year, he had seemed to work his way into Klinsmann's good graces.
The World Cup begins June 12 in Brazil. Rosters had to be trimmed to 23 players by June 2.
Donovan presumably will be with the Los Angeles Galaxy when it plays the Chicago Fire on June 1 at Toyota Park.
The Fire could see Parkhurst this weekend at Columbus.
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