The US National Team (USMNT) head coach Jurgen Klinsmann made headlines on May 22 when he announced the 23-man roster for the World Cup. The biggest surprise came from a player omission. Klinsmann decided to leave Landon Donovan off of the squad, which had everyone in social media up in arms. Donovan is a powerful forward for both the Los Angeles Galaxy and the USMNT. This had to be a carefully calculated decision on Klinsmann's part, because this is either a smart decision or the worst mistake of his coaching career.
Donovan may not be the player he once was, but he deserved a spot on the USMNT World Cup roster. This would have been his last World Cup. As it got closer to teams naming their preliminary and final squads, Donovan seemed to be the only one who didn't believe he was a lock for the team. Unfortunately, he was correct. Klinsmann admits it was the "toughest decision in [his] coaching career,"but he does stand by it. He stated that he felt the other players were "a little bit ahead" of him and were a better choice for a team.
Donovan has an impeccable history with the USMNT, including his performance during the 2010 World Cup. He is the current leading goal-scorer for the team, but he will no longer be able to add to that tally. It is truly an end of an era, but it is not the end of his soccer career as a whole. He still has time to play with the LA Galaxy, and hopefully he can help it obtain one more MLS Cup. Eyes will be on him during MLS play more than ever.
Klinsmann and his final 23 have a lot to prove this summer. If the USMNT is able to escape group stage group and defeat opponents like Portugal, Germany and Ghana without Donovan, then no one will ever question Klinsmann again; however, if it bows out before the second round, then Klinnsmann will have a lot more explaining to do.