US forward Landon Donovan has expressed further disappointment at being left out the national squad for the upcoming World Cup in Brazil, set to kick off in 13 days.
Donovan was left out by Jurgen Klinsmann, who announced the squad last Thursday; Klinsmann indicated that the exclusion of the 156-times capped American was due to greater internal competition for places, and suggested that the subsequent public furore that followed was a sign that more of the country was getting involved in football.
Klinsmann's decision to not opt for the experience of Donovan may be, in part, self-inflicted by the player himself; Donovan decided to take a small break from his footballing duties after 2012, not playing in large parts of the US' successful World Cup qualifying campaign. It may have been for this reason that the 32-year-old, who has had stints at Bayer Leverkusen, Bayern Munich and most recently, two loan spells at Everton, was left out the US squad.
The decision was accepted with much bitterness by the player - who expressed his disappointment at not being chosen on social media, by writing a letter to his fans:
"To my fans,
It has been an honor and privilege to have represented the US National Team in three World Cups. I was looking forward to playing in Brazil and, as you can imagine, I am very disappointed with today’s decision. Regardless, I will be cheering on my friends and teammates this summer, and I remain committed to helping grow soccer in the US in the years to come.
Thanks for all your support,
The fans are also disappointed: many have taken to social media to blast Klinsmann's squad choice, whilst the a mocking tweet by Klinsmann's own son also rubbed salt in the wounds of fans and player alike.
The fans' surprise and anger is understandable; in Donovan's stead, Klinsmann elected to give a spot in the squad to youngster Julian Green - currently playing with Bayern Munich, who has only had a second-half cameo for the US; Donovan on the other hand, has vast swathes of experience, having represented his country at three World Cups, scoring five goals in 12 matches. Furthermore, just a few days after the announcement of the squad, Donovan became Major League Soccer's all-time leading goalscorer, with 136 goals.
However, some fans have shown more fidelity in Klinsmann's choices - citing his experience in having led Germany to the semi-finals in 2006 with a relatively young team - and all fans will be hoping that the US will not come to miss Donovan too much.
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