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Why Landon Donovan was left off the 2014 US World Cup team roster

United States v Costa Rica - FIFA 2014 World Cup Qualifier

Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

The starting lineup for the United States Men's National Team poses prior to facing Costa Rica during the FIFA 2014 World Cup Qualifier at Estadio Nacional on September 6, 2013 in San Jose, Costa Rica.

Squads around the world are making their final preparations for the World Cup, coming up in Brazil in three weeks.

The United States announced their roster of 23 yesterday which normally — in this country — doesn't make headlines. This time, it's caused a lot of buzz, not for who made the team, but for who did not.

All-time U.S. scoring leader Landon Donovan is out. The 32-year-old veteran was passed over by head U.S. coach, Jurgen Klinsmann.

Klinsmann held a press conference on Friday to respond to the decision according to the Associated Press:

"As a coach, you have to make a decision based on what you want to execute in Brazil, what you want to see, how do you want to build those components into the entire group. And then I felt — we coaches felt — the guys that we chose, they're a little step ahead of Landon in certain areas," Klinsmann said at a news conference Friday, a day after announcing his 23-man group.

Klinsmann said Donovan "maybe is not the one now anymore to go one against one all the time or going into the box or finishing off," but still has "his outstanding passing game, his experience, which is a big factor always."

"He changed his game over the last few years, which is normal at that stage of his career," the coach said.

A veteran going back to 2002, Donovan has been the face of the U.S. national team for the past decade. You might remember him for his famous game winning goal at the 2010 world cup in a match against Algeria.

Dave Denholm, soccer play-by-play announcer for Fox Sports and host of soccer podcast ThreeForAWin.com joins the show with more. 
 


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