Jurgen Klinsmann has started unveiling the names of those with whom he's ready to head into his first World Cup qualifying campaign, and Landon Donovan's name is nowhere to be found.
Has the Galaxy captain, who has played in just two of 10 U.S. national team games under Klinsmann after pulling out of three call-ups because of injury, fallen out of favor with the German legend? Ha!
No, Klinsmann has a reputation for doing things differently, and he's living up to it in announcing the most important roster of his 9½-month tenure as U.S. coach. It's coming in waves, with the names of the first 16 of “as many as” 29 players for a camp that begins Tuesday in Orlando, Fla., released by U.S. Soccer.
More names -- Donovan's included, to be sure -- are scheduled to be announced Sunday, and the 23-man roster for three friendlies (against Scotland, Brazil and Canada), the June 8 qualifying opener against Antigua & Barbuda and the June 12 qualifier at Guatemala will be selected May 25.
Only two Major League Soccer players were among the first 16: Real Salt Lake goalkeeper Nick Rimando (Montclair/Montclair HS and UCLA) and midfielder Kyle Beckerman. RSL is the only MLS club with a bye this weekend.
Donovan's last game before departing for camp figures to be Saturday's SuperClasico against Chivas USA at Home Depot Center. While with the national team, he will miss only three games: May 23 against San Jose, May 26 at Houston and the May 29 U.S. Open Cup third-rounder. MLS is virtually taking off the first two weekends in June, with just one game each week.
Rangers FC defender Carlos Bocanegra (Alta Loma/Alta Loma HS and UCLA) and midfielder Maurice Edu (Fontana/Etiwanda HS) and Chievo Verona midfielder Michael Bradley (Manhattan Beach) are on the initial 16-man list. Here's the full list:
Brad Guzan (Aston Villa/England)
Tim Howard (Everton/England)
Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake)
Carlos Bocanegra (Rangers/Scotland)
Edgar Castillo (Club Tijuana/Mexico)
Steve Cherundolo (Hannover 96/Germany)
Alfedro Morales (Hertha Berlin/Germany)
Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake)
Michael Bradley (Chievo Verona/Italy)
Joe Corona (Club Tijuana/Mexico)
Maurice Edu (Rangers/Scotland)
Fabian Johnson (1899 Hoffenheim/Germany)
Jermaine Jones (Schalke 04/Germany)
Jose Francisco Torres (Pachuca/Mexico)
Danny Williams (1899 Hoffenheim/Germany)
Clint Dempsey (Fulham/England)