The expected inclusion of Stuart Holden and exclusion of Landon Donovan mark Jurgen Klinsmann's squad leading into two friendlies and three World Cup qualifiers.The U.S. men's national team will prepare for the next round of World Cup qualifiers without its all-time leading scorer.
As a report from Sports Illustrated this week suggested, Landon Donovan was omitted from Jurgen Klinsmann's 29-man squad that will congregate for a week-long training camp prior to a pair of friendlies and three World Cup qualifiers. Donovan, who missed the first three matches of the CONCACAF World Cup qualifying hexagonal while on his personal hiatus, returned for the LA Galaxy at the end of March and scored a goal and assisted on two others Wednesday in a win over the Philadelphia Union, but it appears he will need to do more to regain his place among Klinsmann's top selections.
Also of note on the roster is the inclusion of Stuart Holden, the oft-injured Bolton midfielder who has not donned a U.S. uniform since October 2010. Klinsmann had said a few weeks ago that Holden would be called in for this camp and for this summer's CONCACAF Gold Cup as he continues his comeback from long-term injury setbacks that have limited his international contributions.
The USA will congregate on May 26 in Cleveland ahead of a friendly against Belgium at FirstEnergy Stadium on May 29 and another one against Germany at Washington, D.C.'s RFK Stadium on June 2. The latter will commemorate U.S. Soccer's centennial anniversary.
Another celebration of the 100-mark could happen in Cleveland, though, as DaMarcus Beasley is sitting on 99 caps and would reach the 100-plateau with an appearance in the match against Belgium.
While 29 players in total were called in, six of them are goalkeepers, and the four MLS goalkeepers -- D.C. United's Bill Hamid, Houston Dynamo's Tally Hall, Chicago Fire's Sean Johnson and Real Salt Lake's Nick Rimando -- will rotate time in camp.
“We are very excited about the group we have put together,” Klinsmann said in a U.S. Soccer release. “The players understand more how we’re working, what we’re looking for, the way we want to play and the way we want to challenge big nations eye-to-eye. As we go into this stretch of two friendly games against Belgium and Germany and three big World Cup qualifiers, we want to see more consistent performances. There is a huge opportunity to pick up a lot of points and put ourselves in a good position to qualify for Brazil.”
The roster is expected to be trimmed down to 23 players ahead of World Cup qualifiers against Jamaica, Honduras and Panama on June 7, 11 and 18, respectively.
Club conflicts may prevent some players from arriving for the start of camp. Michael Bradley's AS Roma is playing in the Coppa Italia final on May 26, and Herculez Gomez could be delayed from joining the team if Santos Laguna reaches the Liga MX final, which has its two legs slated for May 23 and 26.
Here is the USA roster in full:
Goalkeepers: Tim Howard (Everton), Brad Guzan (Aston Villa), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake), Bill Hamid (D.C. United), Sean Johnson (Chicago Fire), Tally Hall (Houston Dynamo)
Defenders: Omar Gonzalez (LA Galaxy), Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City), Fabian Johnson (Hoffenheim), Geoff Cameron (Stoke City), Clarence Goodson (Brondby), DaMarcus Beasley (Puebla), Michael Parkhurst (Augsburg), Edgar Castillo (Tijuana)
Midfielders: Stuart Holden (Bolton), Michael Bradley (Roma), Jermaine Jones (Schalke), Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City), Sacha Kljestan (Anderlecht), Brek Shea (Stoke City), Danny Williams (Hoffenheim), Brad Davis (Houston Dynamo), Maurice Edu (Bursaspor), Joe Corona (Tijuana)
Forwards: Clint Dempsey (Tottenham), Jozy Altidore (AZ Alkmaar), Herculez Gomez (Santos Laguna), Eddie Johnson (Seattle Sounders), Terrence Boyd (Rapid Vienna)