Seven Gold Cup winning ‘B-teamers’ retain their place – Donovan is not amongst them.
USA national team head coach Jurgen Klinsmann has released his 23-man roster for his side’s World Cup qualifying matches.
The players named will all be up for inclusion for their competitive matches against Costa Rica and Mexico, as well as the friendly vs Bosnia on Wednesday.
The biggest news with regards to the players selected is undoubtedly the continued exile of Landon Donovan. Fresh off of a man of the match, hat-trick-grabbing performance with LA Galaxy, the USA’s most talented player of all time has been snubbed once again.
Many USA fans regarded the squad selected for the 2013 Gold Cup as something of a B-team, with many regulars left to play with their clubs. Klinsmann’s bold gamble worked just as well as it could have, with the players stepping up to the challenge and winning the entire tournament.
Most fans will surely be in agreement that Landon Donovan was a huge part of the team’s success, finishing as joint-golden boot winner (along with a resurgent Chris Wondolowski) and almost single-handedly dragging his team across the finishing line in their semi-final against Honduras.
Donovan’s exclusion is not entirely bad for the USA though. In fact, his selected replacement might have fans even more excited.
Young Icelandic-American Aron Johannsson will be the focus of intense attention when he inevitably makes his full US international debut, after his public snubbing of Iceland.
Johannsson scored at the weekend yet again for Dutch side AZ Alkmaar. With many heralding Johannsson’s decision to declare for America as a sign of the USA finally becoming a power on the global stage, it will be interesting to see how he can handle the pressure.
Only two MLS-based players make the squad – Seattle Sounders duo Eddie Johnson and Brad Evans.
The inclusion may seem odd at a glance, but there’s every chance that Klinsmann has selected the pair to help ease the integration of his two new prospects.
In addition to Johannsson, John Anthony Brooks will also in line to make his first ever appearance for the USMNT after rejecting Germany, and the experienced presence of Evans could compliment his raw talent nicely.
The full squad:
GOALKEEPERS (3): Cody Cropper (Southampton), Brad Guzan (Aston Villa), Tim Howard (Everton)
DEFENDERS (7): John Anthony Brooks (Hertha Berlin), Geoff Cameron (Stoke City), Edgar Castillo (Club Tijuana), Brad Evans (Seattle Sounders), Michael Orozco Fiscal (Puebla), Michael Parkhurst (Augsburg), Tim Ream (Bolton Wanderers)
MIDFIELDERS (8): Alejandro Bedoya (Nantes), Michael Bradley (AS Roma), Joe Corona (Club Tijuana), Mix Diskerud (Rosenborg), Fabian Johnson (Hoffenheim), Jermaine Jones (Schalke 04), Sacha Kljestan (Anderlecht), Danny Williams (Reading)
FORWARDS (5): Jozy Altidore (Sunderland), Terrence Boyd (Rapid Vienna), Eddie Johnson (Seattle Sounders), Aron Johannsson (AZ Alkmaar), Bobby Wood (1860 Munich)