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Analyzing Klinsmann’s cuts (and we’re not just talking Landon, folks)

May 22, 2014, 6:33 PM EDT

Brazil v United States Getty Images

Well, there you have it: the United States is heading into a World Cup without the biggest name in US Soccer history.

But Landon Donovan isn’t the only player to have missed the final cut for Jurgen Klinsmann’s trek into Brazil to face Group G opponents Germany, Ghana and Portugal. As JK goes youth movement — some would say a 2018 movement  — let’s take a look at the unlucky seven, whose ages are: 32, 28, 30, 32, 29, 23 and 23.

Landon Donovan: So much to be said here (and you’ll want to stay tuned for Richard Farley’s scheduled piece on LD’s omission). Donovan carries the hearts of so many U.S. faithful, but should this move really be as surprising as it is for some? He’s 32 and has lost a step. Icon? Yes. Feature player? Debatable.

There’s already plenty of fan outrage on this cut, and surely Klinsmann is displaying plenty of guts. Why not make the omission when the 30-man roster was named? It leads you to believe something happened at camp to show Klinsmann that Donovan wasn’t the player he wanted. That seems out of place.

Then again, this is a player who took a soccer sabbatical during CONCACAF World Cup qualifying when his place was not secure. You could easily see that as something that rubbed Klinsmann in an extremely awkward way. Either way, the Donovan era is over. Wow.

Maurice EduA part of you has to feel for Edu as much as any of these cuts. He’s struggled to establish himself anywhere since Rangers fell apart, and his time in Philadelphia has clearly showed that he’s still got something left in the tank. Yet between 2012 and his return to MLS, Edu played in just 12 matches for club (One for Stoke, and 11 on loan to Bursaspor).

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Throw in the fact that his “no goal” in the last World Cup should’ve stood as one of the most important goals in American history, and it feels like he’s dealt with 4 years of “What ifs?” and will deal with some more.

Michael Parkhurst: It almost felt like Parkhurst’s revitalization and strong play for Columbus had him as even money to make the roster. You have to think the 30-year-old’s age was the biggest factor in his removal. And, again, you’re also forgiven if you think Klinsmann’s staring at 2018 almost as much as 2014.

Clarence Goodson: I projected that either Goodson or Evans would make it, and clearly I’m a genius. We’ll never know if Goodson’s return to Major League Soccer was a factor in Klinsmann’s decision, but the defender was strong in Gold Cup play. It’s a big of surprise that his size and experience weren’t enough to move him onto the 23.

source: Getty ImagesBrad Evans: Maybe there was only room for two Brads? The versatile 29-year-old Sounders player seemed a bit of a long shot but had performed well sliding in at right back for the States. A breakout year was not enough to push his climb to a World Cup to the summit.

Joe Corona: The 23-year-old San Diego State man was one of just a few Liga MX players to make his way onto the 30-man roster, and could not last through the final cuts. With 124 appearances for Tijuana, and 10 goals, at his young age, it’s unlikely we’ve heard the last of him.

Terrence Boyd: Klinsmann wants his best players in the best leagues, and while Boyd’s 20 goals in Austria featured some in the UEFA Europa League, they were still scored in an Austrian league that would struggle to compare with Major League Soccer, Liga MX or Eredivisie. Boyd may have a future here, but it won’t come at the expense of Julian Green. The inclusion of Green makes you wonder if there was a roster promise involved…

  1. dws110 - May 22, 2014 at 6:41 PM

    Honestly, I feel worse for Evans than I do for LD. I thought Evans deserved a spot due to his Hex work.

  2. midtec2005 - May 22, 2014 at 7:48 PM

    I think Timmy Chandler making the team is a disgrace. He doesn’t give a crap about this team. I don’t care if Evans is worse, I’d take him over Chandler. At least he cares.

    • dws110 - May 22, 2014 at 8:01 PM

      Agreed, two years ago I was all on board the Chandler bandwagon, but now, not so much.

      • tsc32 - May 22, 2014 at 8:35 PM

        Chandler has been working his ass off this season to prove to Klinsmann he wants it. Not sure what you’re talking about

  3. r8rbhawk - May 22, 2014 at 7:50 PM

    What happened to Gooch?

    • midtec2005 - May 22, 2014 at 7:51 PM

      He hasn’t’ quite ever returned to his pre-injury form. He had a couple opportunities recently and wasn’t able to show well.

      • r8rbhawk - May 22, 2014 at 8:04 PM

        Thanks for the insight, I’m still pissed about that BS foul they called on him against Ghana

    • dws110 - May 22, 2014 at 8:02 PM

      Ukraine happened…he was so horrid in that match, there was no coming back from it.

  4. guerojose - May 23, 2014 at 12:03 AM

    “It leads you to believe something happened at camp…”

    No, it doesn’t. It leads me to believe Landon was good enough to be in the final 30 players, but not the final 23. If we were allowed a 24 man roster, perhaps he’s included, but 23 is the number.

    I know everyone on the internet it an expert, but my money is on Klinsmann as the guy who knows what he’s doing.

  5. mikeevergreen - May 23, 2014 at 9:27 AM

    Note to Terrence Boyd: AZ. Pair up with Johansson and you WILL be starting for the Centenario.

  6. konmtu - May 23, 2014 at 12:49 PM

    I’d read where LD said he had to meter himself in practices to save himself for games. I’m sure that had to be a factor. Klinsmann’s biggest stressing point for the camp was to compete and show you want it. If LD couldn’t or wouldn’t put out the effort, JK had to drop him.

  7. ojom4130 - May 24, 2014 at 2:21 PM

    Landon is in poor form and shouldn’t be in the 11, but perhaps the 23. But the other cuts are not so clear. And Klinsmann shutting down the competition early suggests he didn’t want to test his early choices further.

  8. bellerophon30 - May 31, 2014 at 9:16 PM

    Was there a roster promise involved for Green? Of course there was! Bayern Academy (or whatever they call it) or not, his resume doesn’t support being on the team unless there was a deal made.

    Which I’m totally fine with. I’ve been posting for months that the 3rd Keeper position should go to Cody Cropper,as a development tool, and I’m fine with Julian getting the 20th outfield spot. Gets him ready for 2018 when there will be no Clint, no Wondo, and obviously no Donovan. And that’s just up front, and assuming that Jozy rights the ship, somehow. The above poster was correct about Boyd, he needs to hightail it to the Eredivise. Given the Jozy experiment, I don’t think English teams will be too eager to snag American strikers anytime soon.

    Brooks over Goodson is the deal I wasn’t happy about, the latter is clearly the superior player as of right now. But again, if you’re assuming that Brooks’ spot only gets on the field in case of emergency……well it’s understandable.

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