So Landon Donovan was left off the US Men's National Team World Cup roster. How does he respond? By setting a new Major League Soccer record for goals. You know, no big deal.
On Sunday, Donovan hit the pitch for the first time since the final USMNT squad was announced. And 48 minutes into the LA Galaxy's game against the Philadelphia Union, the 32-year-old forward scored his 135th MLS goal to become MLS' new all-time goals leader. At the 82nd minute, Donovan netted another score to give his record a little padding. (The Galaxy defeated the Union, 4-2.)
Here's video of the record-breaker in case you missed it:
US Men's National Team head coach Jürgen Klinsmann sent shockwaves through the soccer world yesterday when he announced his 23-man World Cup roster and Landon Donovan wasn't on it. The USMNT's all-time leading goal scorer seemed like a lock to lead the team into Brazil. So to find his name missing from the lineup was, at best, surprising. At worst, it looked like a fatal mistake made before the team even begins playing through its Group of Death. The Americans have to get through Ghana, Germany, and Portugal to have a shot at a world championship. And without Donovan, a difficult task now feels almost impossible.
After the roster was announced, Donovan took to Facebook to make a statement. "It has been an honor and privilege to have represented the US National Team in three World Cups," he wrote. "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."
A couple weeks ago, we told you that the field for the US Men's National Team that would compete in the 2014 World Cup was down to 30. Well, today, that list was cut down to the final 23. This is the team that will head to Brazil with dreams of winning a world championship.
The 2014 World Cup begins in about a month, which means the national squads are taking shape. And today, Team USA released its 30-man roster, the next to last step before the World Cup team is finalized.
There aren't a ton of surprises here. The core veterans Clint Dempsey, Jozy Altidore, Michael Bradley, and Tim Howard are all here. But so is 18-year-old midefielder Julian Green and 20-year-old defender DeAndre Yedlin. Green is a bit of a surprise name on the roster, in part because of his age but also because he suffered a shoulder injury in a friendly against Mexico in April and has been out of action since then.
Green and Yedlin — a player with little international experience but who is a standout for the Seattle Sounders — could add some excitement to the US' World Cup team. Or they could be left off in the final round of cuts. They, and we, will know when the final 23-man roster is released June 2. For now, we have the 30-man squad:
With about two months to go until the 2014 World Cup, Nike has been releasing a flurry of information about its national team kits. Today, it debuted Team USA's road uniform, and it's way more colorful — and patriotic — than the home jerseys.
The kit is red, white, and blue (naturally), and has a modern design, from the crew-neck collar to slim-fit shorts to the name and numbering on the back of the jersey. "I like the patriotic design and color scheme and I think it will look great on the pitch," captain Clint Dempsey said in a Nike press release. "Hopefully they will serve us well as we head into a competitive group."
The jersey sure gets at the red, white, and blue of the American flag. But it looks like a lot of other things, too. Like the French flag. And the Russian flag. Still, it's a vast improvement over the solid white home kit the US men and women's national teams will wear.
We'll get a better feel for the kit when the men's team wears it for a friendly against Mexico (to be played in Phoenix) on Wednesday. Until then, here are a few more looks:
Did you miss the opening weekend of Major League Soccer's 19th season? If you did, don't worry. MLS and KickTV have you covered with this solid video featuring every goal from the first games of the year. It's a six-minute video, but it opens and closes with some pretty sweet scores — and there are some great goals in between — so make sure you watch it all the way through!
Major League Soccer returns to the pitch on Saturday. And from the number of players joining the US World Cup team to the top-tier Americans returning from Europe to play in the United States, this should be one of the most exciting MLS seasons ever.
Sports Illustrated Kids has everything you need to know before the Seattle Sounders and defending MLS Cup champions Sporting Kansas City kick off the season tomorrow night!