05/22/2014 08:42 EDT | Updated 07/22/2014 05:59 EDT

Landon Donovan left off U.S. World Cup team

Landon Donovan, the most accomplished American player in the history of men's soccer, won't be going to his fourth World Cup. 

The 32-year-old attacker, who set the national team record for goals and assists while winning five titles in Major League Soccer, was among seven players cut Thursday when coach Jurgen Klinsmann got down to the 23-man limit well before the June 2 deadline. 

"I was looking forward to playing in Brazil and, as you can imagine, I am very disappointed with today's decision," Donovan said in a statement posted on Facebook. "Regardless, I will be cheering on my friends and teammates this summer, and I remain committed to helping grow soccer in the U.S. in the years to come." 

Toronto FC midfielder Michael Bradley was named to the squad. Bradley, 26, has appeared in eight matches, registering two goals for Toronto FC in all competitions this season.

(Associated Press)

What this means

“Shocking” doesn’t even begin to describe it. Donovan is an icon in American soccer, and his penchant for coming up with massive performances for his side in big matches (see: Algeria, 2010) was thought to be crucial for the U.S. heading into an absolutely brutal group phase. 

But, always possessing a flair for the dramatic, Klinsmann is going with his gut. And his gut is telling him to leave off the heart and soul of the United States’ national team, essentially ending the 32-year-old Donovan’s international career. 

Nobody would’ve faulted the Americans for bowing out at the group stage in Brazil, with matches against Germany, Portugal, and Ghana looming. But Klinsmann will be facing major scrutiny going forward if the U.S. don’t move on. He’ll either be hailed a genius, or shown the door. 

United States World Cup roster


- Brad Guzan (Aston Villa)

- Tim Howard (Everton) 

- Nick Rimando (Salt Lake) 


- DaMarcus Beasley (Puebla)

- Matt Besler (Kansas City)

- John Brooks (Hertha Berlin)

- Geoff Cameron (Stoke)

- Timmy Chandler (Nuremberg)

- Omar Gonzalez (Los Angeles)

- Fabian Johnson (Borussia Moenchengladbach)

- DeAndre Yedlin (Seattle)


- Kyle Beckerman (Salt Lake) 

- Alejandro Bedoya (Nantes)

- Michael Bradley (Toronto)

- Brad Davis (Houston)

- Mix Diskerud (Rosenborg)

- Julian Green (Bayern Munich)

- Jermaine Jones (Besiktas)

- Graham Zusi (Kansas City) 


- Jozy Altidore (Sunderland)

- Clint Dempsey (Seattle)

- Aron Johannsson (AZ Alkmaar)

- Chris Wondolowski (San Jose)