Twitter erupts as Klinsmann omits Donovan from World Cup squad

Jurgen Klinsmann left Landon Donovan off of his final 23-man World Cup squad on Thursday night, sparking a Twitter explosion with the views of stunned fans. Here are some of the reactions:

https://twitter.com/Jmillionzzz/status/469627704439234560

https://twitter.com/Rexha97/status/469602408897605632

See also: Klinsmann names World Cup squad without Donovan but MLS is the overall winner

Fans were clearly left disappointed by the bold decision to leave the talismanic LA Galaxy midfielder off the final squad, but the team must now regroup and focus on trying to get out of a very difficult group in Brazil next month.

It will be very intriguing to see how Klinsmann’s side gel together, and he must be respected for picking a side he believes can succeed.

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(Photo: Jurgen Klinsmann feels Landon Donovan is not needed for the USMNT to succeed)

The USMNT face Azerbaijan in a friendly on Tuesday night, with the 23-man squad now fully focused on preparing for the World Cup.

 

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Klinsmann names World Cup squad without Donovan but MLS is the overall winner

Jurgen Klinsmann named his final 23-man squad for the World Cup last night, and there is a strong MLS presence in the side, despite the shock decision of cutting Landon Donovan.

Landon Donovan will not be going to Brazil with the USMNT this summer, barring an injury to a player in the final 23, as the LA Galaxy midfielder is now on the standby list.

Klinsmann said the decision to omit the all-time leading goalscorer was “one of the hardest he has made in his coaching career” and it will be interesting to see how the side cope without their talisman.

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(Photo: Landon Donovan will not be travelling to Brazil with the USMNT)

Despite the absence of Donovan, ten Major League Soccer players are set to travel to Brazil with the squad, a good implication of how well the league is developing.

Only four MLS players made the squad in 2010, and there is a vast improvement on this in the team, just four years later.

Seattle Sounders right-back, DeAndre Yedlin, made the final 23 and is the first homegrown MLS player to travel to the World Cup, another crucial implication of just how well Major League Soccer is progressing.

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(Seattle’s Yedlin has made the final 23, the first homegrown MLS player to make the World Cup squad)

Klinsmann shocked many with his final roster, but he has to be respected for making the decisions that he thinks gives the side the best chance of success in Brazil.

Many are suggesting that by cutting 32-year-old Donovan for the likes of young Julian Green means that the German is planning for the 2018 World Cup, but the average age of the side is older than that of the team in 2010.

In South Africa four years ago, the USMNT’s average age was 26, whereas this side has an average age of 27.2, and the mix of experience and youth could prove beneficial in the intensity of the tournament.

Five of the seven players cut from the original 30-man squad play in MLS, and it would have been encouraging to see as many make it as possible, though it is reassuring to see so many involved in the first place.

The absence of Donovan will have many left stunned and disappointed, but they must now get behind their team and support the players that Klinsmann has selected if they are to have any chance of getting out of the ‘Group of Death’.

The USMNT open up their World Cup campaign against Ghana on June 16, before playing Portugal and Germany in the group stages.

The final 23-man USMNT squad in full:

GOALKEEPERS (3): Brad Guzan (Aston Villa), Tim Howard (Everton), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake)

DEFENDERS (8): DaMarcus Beasley (Puebla), Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City), John Brooks (Hertha Berlin), Geoff Cameron (Stoke City), Timmy Chandler (Nürnberg), Omar Gonzalez (LA Galaxy), Fabian Johnson (Borussia Mönchengladbach), DeAndre Yedlin (Seattle Sounders FC)

MIDFIELDERS (8): Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), Alejandro Bedoya (Nantes), Michael Bradley (Toronto FC), Brad Davis (Houston Dynamo), Mix Diskerud (Rosenborg), Julian Green (Bayern Munich), Jermaine Jones (Besiktas), Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City)

FORWARDS (4): Jozy Altidore (Sunderland), Clint Dempsey (Seattle Sounders FC), Aron Johannsson (AZ Alkmaar), Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes)

STANDBY LIST (7): Landon Donovan (LA Galaxy), Terrence Boyd (Rapid Wien), Joe Corona (Club Tijuana), Maurice Edu (Philadelphia Union), Brad Evans (Seattle Sounders), Clarence Goodson (San Jose Earthquakes), Michael Parkhurst (Columbus Crew)

LA Galaxy finally get a win, but what did we learn in their victory against FC Dallas?

FC Dallas travelled to LA on Wednesday night and were confined to a 2-1 defeat as the Galaxy ended their run of four games without a win. Here are a few things we learnt from this result:

1. Feed Robbie Keane and he will score.

As we said in our recent podcast, the Galaxy has to get the ball to Keane, especially in the absence of Landon Donovan, who is likely off to the World Cup, and it is down to ‘Keano’ to get the goals.

The Irishman scored his sixth of the season last night, and it is already a contender for goal of the week as he beat two defenders before planting the ball the in the top corner.

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(Photo: Keane celebrating after his brilliant goal last night)

2. Fabian Castillo is dangerous.

The 21 year-old Dallas winger has pace to burn and will cause fullbacks problems all season. He will however, need someone to get on the end of his inviting crosses, which means his teammates will have to keep up with him!

He is a similar player to Tottenham’s Aaron Lennon or Arsenal’s Theo Walcott, as Castillo has impressive acceleration which can leave defenders for dead, and his opponents will struggle even more if he were to adapt by cutting in and shooting more often.

Castillo is one to watch for Dallas!

 

3. Dallas need to change it up.

Without a win in six after last night, it must be time to revert back to basics. Too many times the ball would be launched up field, but would not stick.

Dallas needs to go with a strike partnership up top and spend more time in the opponents half, which is difficult with the number of injuries but they just need bodies going forward.

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(Photo: Fabian Castillo needs support up top for FC Dallas)

 

4. Juninho can hold the fort till Donovan returns.

As mentioned before, Landon Donovan is away with the USMNT and as such, the Galaxy midfield is missing a lot of experience.

However, in Juninho they have a defensive midfielder who can direct attacks and shield a defence that has been below par this season.

 

5. Omar Gonzalez could not come back sooner.

Like Donovan, Gonzalez is being missed in LA. The defending hasn’t been good enough and they need their star centre-half back as soon as possible.

With the Galaxy expected to push on for a playoff berth, LA will need Gonzalez back to stabilise the defence.

 

Highlights via MLS on YouTube:

MLS: 5 key takeaways from week 11

It was another dramatic weekend of Major League Soccer action, and despite key players from several teams absent at World Cup training camps, the quality of the league still shone through. There were 28 goals in the nine matches this weekend, here are our key takeaways from the action:

 

1. World Cup snubs inspire strikers.

Jermain Defoe, Eddie Johnson and Obafemi Martins all scored this weekend, the perfect response to their World Cup snubs with their National teams. They would have all be extremely disappointed not to have made their 23-man squads for Brazil, but reacted in the best way possible by netting goals immediately. All three of them will need to continue to score the goals and boost their clubs chances, while showing their National managers exactly what they’re missing out on.

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2. New England are unstoppable in attack.

The Revs scored five goals for the second consecutive week, as they beat the Philadelphia Union 5-3 to record their first ever win at PPL Park. Their attacking force is playing some excellent stuff, and they counter-attack teams perfectly now. Patrick Mullins got his third in as many weeks, and he is spearheading the devastating offence, with Teal Bunbury and Diego Fagundez constant threats behind. Check out our full review here.

 

3. Argentinian’s and Portland is a good match.

Four Argentinian players starred in the dramatic 3-3 draw between the Portland Timbers and Columbus Crew in Portland on Saturday night, with three of them getting on the scoresheet. Federico Higuain was the standout performer as he scored twice and got one assist for Columbus, including a sensational lobbed effort that looped into the back of the net.

Portland saw Maximiliano Urruti open the scoring, with Gaston Fernandez netting a late goal to secure the draw. Diego Valeri was also instrumental throughout for the Timbers, and his cross ended up finding Fernandez late on as Argentine’s stole the show.

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4. LA Galaxy are not looking good.

The Galaxy are not in the best shape at the moment, as they sit second bottom of the Western Conference and have not won in four games now. Their 1-0 loss in Houston was their third loss in eight games, and they have only won twice this season. They are typically better in the second half of the season and will be relying on that if they are to make the playoffs as expected. Landon Donovan is now absent with the USMNT and the Galaxy have only scored one in their past three. Things can only improve, stating with their home game against FC Dallas this Wednesday.

 

5. Real Salt Lake can’t lose.

Salt Lake are still the only remaining unbeaten side in Major League Soccer this season following their 2-1 victory against the Colorado Rapids in the Rocky Mountain Cup game on Saturday night. They are the best team in MLS right now, and are winning games despite not looking at their best, the key ingredient for potential champions. They have won three on the spin now, and will hope to add to that when they welcome FC Dallas on Sunday.

 

 

America waits as Klinsmann prepares to name his World Cup squad

By Jamie Ives

Jurgen Klinsmann is set to announce his preliminary 30-man squad for this summer’s World Cup on Monday and we will take a look at who we think will make this and the eventual 23-man squad that will fly out to Brazil next month.

There are obvious inclusions who we should assume are already on the plane, with Landon Donovan and Clint Dempsey likely to have already packed a suitcase.

Though the less obvious, “wildcard” selections will prove to be a major talking point and there are several players that fall into this category.

Goalkeepers:

Predicted: Tim Howard (Everton), Brad Guzan (Aston Villa), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake).

Outsiders: Tally Hall (Houston Dynamo), Sean Johnson (Chicago Fire).

Expect Klinsmann to pick his experienced goalkeepers, especially with such dangerous opposition in the group. Howard is first choice and it would be surprising if Guzan or Rimando were to see a minute of action in Brazil. Howard has kept 14 clean sheets this year for Everton and has been consistent in the Premier League for over seven years now. These ‘keepers pick themselves.

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(Tim Howard will be kept busy in a very tough group for the US)

Defenders:

Predicted: DaMarcus Beasley (Puebla), Tony Beltran (Real Salt Lake), Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City), Geoff Cameron (Stoke City), Clarence Goodson (San Jose Earthquakes), Omar Gonzalez (LA Galaxy), Michael Parkhurst (Columbus Crew), DeAndre Yedlin (Seattle Sounders).

Outsiders: John Brooks (Hertha BSC), Brad Evans (Seattle Sounders), Tim Ream (Bolton).

Besides the usual names of Gonzalez and Besler the defenders will be tricky to whittle down. DaMarcus Beasley is experienced but question marks lie over his fitness. Geoff Cameron has to go for me as he can also play in midfield. Don’t be surprised if Brad Evans sneaks onto the plane as he’s been in fine form for Seattle this season.

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(Geoff Cameron’s versatility will be vital in the hot Brazilian climate)

Midfielders:

Predicted: Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), Michael Bradley (Toronto FC), Landon Donovan (LA Galaxy), Maurice Edu (Philadelphia Union), Fabian Johnson (1899 Hoffenheim), Jermaine Jones (Besiktas), Sacha Kljestan (Anderlecht), Brek Shea (Stoke City), Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City).

Outsiders: Benny Feilhaber (Sporting Kansas City), Alejandro Bedoya (Nantes), Mikkel Diskerud (Rosenborg), Daniel Williams (Reading).

Expect Donovan and Bradley to play almost every minute as they will be needed if the USMNT are to have any chance of getting out of the group. Klinsmann will want his stars on the field at all times. The likes of Zusi and Johnson will become important if they manage to make it out of the group.

(Landon Donovan will need to be at his best to inspire the side going forward)

Forwards:

Predicted: Jozy Altidore (Sunderland), Clint Dempsey (Seattle Sounders), Eddie Johnson (D.C. United).

Outsiders: Aron Johannsson, (AZ), Juan Agudelo (Utrecht), Julian Green (Bayern Munich), Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes).

The nation’s hopes hang on the form of Clint Dempsey, he has been on fire for the Sounders this season, but the World Cup is the biggest stage on the planet. He will need to find a way of troubling the likes of Mertesacker and Pepe to enjoy any success. Eddie Johnson has struggled so far this campaign, but his physical presence should see him make the squad. Chris Wondolowski, or ‘Wondo’ will be hoping to make the squad but San Jose’s poor form could affect his chances.

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(Will Dempsey be able to take his remarkable MLS form into the World Cup?)

 

Who do you think will make the squad?