With the recent announcement of the 23 players who will make up the U.S. National Soccer team that will appear in the 2014 World Cup in Brazil next month there were a couple of names surprisingly left off.
In early May the 30-man roster was announced and ex-Seattle Sounder Eddie Johnson was left off. Over the past two seasons in Seattle, Johnson scored 23 goals and last year scored 5 goals in 15 appearances for the US team. I am bummed by this because Johnson has been a part of the National team since U-17 in 2000.
I think the biggest surprise though was the snub of Landon Donovan off of the final 23-player team heading to Brazil. This has caused an outrage in the soccer community, yes Donovan is getting a little long in the tooth (32-years old) but he also has 57 goals in 164 appearances making him #1 All-Time US scorer which includes 8 goals last year in 11 appearances.
The only reason that could have led to his being left off of the team, besides age, could be the perception that he has a lack of heart. In 2012 he announced that he wasn’t planning on going to Brazil for the World Cup and last year during the qualifying stages he took time off from the team.
Either way most people are surprised by the decision by coach Jurgen Klinsmann but we will see if his selection of youth over experience works out.