Clarence Goodson adds to Klinsmann selection criticism

The veteran defender joined with Landon Donovan in his disappointment over the way Jurgen Klinsmann handled their national team dismissals.
Another veteran U.S. national team player has come forward to criticize coach Jurgen Klinsmann after being left off the 23-man World Cup roster.

San Jose Earthquakes defender Clarence Goodson, 32, was one of the seven players trimmed from the 30-man training camp roster. His comments echoed some of those made by the similarly snubbed Landon Donovan.

"I thought that certainly I would be going to the World Cup," the defender told Major League Soccer's official website after his team's 3-0 win against Houston on Sunday. "It’s certainly something that I worked very hard for and something that I believe I’ve achieved and deserve.

"It’s something that I absolutely earned. And I felt that I was always in a position to be potentially starting, not ever trying to make the team. That’s based on being called in on a consistent basis for the last six years."

Like Donovan, he is a widely experienced player — 46 caps, part of three CONCACAF Gold Cup squads and the 2010 World Cup contingent — whose place was nominally taken by a young German-born player. In Donovan's case that was the 18-year old Bayern Munich winger Julian Green. For Goodson, he'll have to watch 21-year-old Hertha Berlin defender John Brooks.

"When Jurgen needed a result, he called on me," Goodson said. "You look at the games that were played last year: Gold Cup final, snow game (a World Cup qualifying win over Costa Rica), 2-0 against Mexico — were there any games bigger than that? I played in all three of those. So it’s certainly surprising and something I think Jurgen got wrong.

"I asked Jurgen for an explanation. It was something that he was unwilling to give me. He said that he would speak with me after the World Cup about it, and I said that I thought I certainly deserved an explanation. And it was something that he was unwilling to give."

Goodson joins a growing number of prominent voices in American soccer unhappy with Klinsmann's selection policies. Bruce Arena, coach of the LA Galaxy and in charge of the USA for its 2002 quarterfinal run, told the San Jose Mercury News after Donovan's omission Thursday, "If there are 23 better players than Landon, then we have a chance to win the World Cup."