The United States Mens National Team has named their 23-man roster for next month’s FIFA World Cup in Brazil, and the golden boy has become a goat.
The levels of emotions this afternoon following the oddly-timed announcement ranged from stunned and shocked, to anger and hatred. Hordes of metaphorical villagers stormed the fictitious castle of Der Klinsmann with pitchforks made up of poorly-worded tweets.
Landon Donovan will not be donning the Red, White and Blue this summer, as Klinsmann has decided to leave the country’s all-time leading scorer out of his fourth World Cup campaign.
Donovan is not alone though. The hopes and dreams of Clarence Goodson, Michael Parkhurst, Joe Corona, Maurice Edu, Terrence Boyd and Seattle Sounder Brad Evans were also dashed in one fell swoop — but no omission was as surprising to the masses as that of Donovan.
The focus must switch to those 23 men who will now represent our country in Brazil. These are the men who will face the most difficult travel arrangement of any side and play in one of the most difficult groups in tournament history. These men are bolstered by a core stronger than any in recent memory, and backed-up buy a group of youngsters willing to run.
Our own Clint Dempsey will lead the attack, while DeAndre Yedlin looks on and learns. For Deuce, it’s his third attempt at World Cup success and at Ghana. For Yedlin, it’s a chance to make his mark in a tournament where he becomes the first-ever MLS Home Grown Player to make a US roster.
The surprises are there. Along with the obvious — there’s the inclusion of Houston’s Brad Davis and young center back John Brooks. Goodson, who I figured to be in position to possibly start, returns to San Jose — while club teammate Chris Wondolowski tries to shake off the bad-rap he’s gotten since becoming a semi-regular for Klinsmann’s side.
This is not a team that will immediately throw in the towel, nor are they a team of world-beaters — they were neither before Donovan was left off, and they aren’t now. That said, it’s perfectly acceptable to be a complete pessimist about this summer’s competition for the Yanks — but I for one, will never become anything less than a glowing optimist.
Goalkeepers: Brad Guzan (Aston Villa), Tim Howard (Everton), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake)
Defenders: DaMarcus Beasley (Puebla), Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City), John Brooks (Hertha Berlin), Geoff Cameron (Stoke City), Timmy Chandler (Nürnberg), Omar Gonzalez (LA Galaxy), Fabian Johnson (Borussia Mönchengladbach), DeAndre Yedlin (Seattle Sounders FC)
Midfielders: Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), Alejandro Bedoya (Nantes), Michael Bradley (Toronto FC), Brad Davis (Houston Dynamo), Mix Diskerud (Rosenborg), Julian Green (Bayern Munich), Jermaine Jones (Besiktas), Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City)
Forwards: Jozy Altidore (Sunderland), Clint Dempsey (Seattle Sounders FC), Aron Johannsson (AZ Alkmaar), Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes)