The USA's all-time leading scorer will return to the field for his country after being named to Jurgen Klinsmann's 23-man squad for next month's tournament.Landon Donovan is back for the U.S. men's national team.
Donovan, the USA's all-time leading scorer, was included on Jurgen Klinsmann's 23-man roster for next month's CONCACAF Gold Cup, which U.S. Soccer released Thursday. Donovan has not played for the USA since a friendly against Mexico last August, going the first 45 minutes in the 1-0 victory, the Americans' first-ever triumph at Estadio Azteca.
His self-imposed hiatus caused him to miss February's World Cup qualifier against Honduras and the March qualifiers against Mexico and Costa Rica, and he was subsequently left off the last roster for friendlies against Belgium and Germany and June qualifiers against Jamaica, Panama and Honduras.
Donovan is not the only USA veteran making his way back to the national team, as center back Oguchi Onyewu will accompany him in guiding the side after an extended absence from the international level.
Other senior team veterans include goalkeeper Nick Rimando, defenders DaMarcus Beasley, Michael Parkhurst, Edgar Castillo and Clarence Goodson, midfielders Kyle Beckerman and Stuart Holden and forward Herculez Gomez.
Philadelphia Union striker Jack McInerney, who is tied for the MLS lead in goals with 10, will have the chance to earn his first cap at the senior level after being one of five forwards named to the roster.
The USA will play Costa Rica, Cuba and Belize in the group stage of the competition. Under new CONCACAF rules, the winner of the 2013 Gold Cup will play the winner of the 2015 edition in a playoff for the region's place at the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup. Should the same nation win both Gold Cups, it would automatically earn the region's berth at the World Cup tune-up event.
“We are excited about a roster for the Gold Cup that really has a shot of winning it,” Klinsmann said in a U.S. Soccer release. “First, you want to win a Confederation competition, which is a 50 percent ticket to the Confederations Cup in Russia.
“We don’t want to watch the Confederations Cup on TV anymore; we want to be there. At the same time, the players that are representing us in this Gold Cup, they clearly know that this a huge opportunity to prove their value and their case to the coaching staff one year prior to the World Cup. So, two big things, one is to win the competition and two, allow the players to build their case for the World Cup.”
Here is the USA roster in full:
Goalkeepers: Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake), Bill Hamid (D.C. United), Sean Johnson (Chicago Fire)
Defenders: Corey Ashe (Houston Dynamo), DaMarcus Beasley (Puebla), Tony Beltran (Real Salt Lake), Edgar Castillo (Club Tijuana), Clarence Goodson (Brondby), Oguchi Onyewu (Malaga), Michael Orozco Fiscal (Puebla), Michael Parkhurst (FC Augsburg)
Midfielders: Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), Alejandro Bedoya (Helsingborg), Joe Corona (Club Tijuana), Mix Diskerud (Rosenborg), Joshua Gatt (Molde FK), Stuart Holden (Bolton), Jose Torres (Tigres)
Forwards: Will Bruin (Houston Dynamo), Landon Donovan (LA Galaxy), Herculez Gomez (Club Tijuana), Jack McInerney (Philadelphia Union), Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes)