US Mens National Team Coach, Jurgen Klinsmann, has announced his 30-Man preliminary roster for his May 14th World Cup training camp taking place at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California. Included on that list are LA Galaxy Designated Players Omar Gonzalez, and Landon Donovan. And while their selection to the squad is not a surprise, it may be a chance for both players to prove their way onto the final 23-Man roster that will travel to Brazil.
Omar Gonzalez missed last week’s draw to the Portland Timbers because of a “tweaked” left knee. He was expected to be out 1-2 weeks and will likely be forced to rehab that injury during this training camp. Through the first 7 games for the LA Galaxy this year Gonzalez has been criticized multiple times for recent form and has never looked overly comfortable with the center back pairings Bruce Arena has joined him with.
Landon Donovan is also struggling in league form, although in the weekend draw he was active and dangerous for the entire 90 minutes. But he’s been unable to put the ball in the back of the net and has yet to score the MLS record breaking goal that would see him stand alone in league all time scoring.
Both players are far from locks for the 23-Man roster. Especially being Jurgen Klinsmann is not afraid of doing whatever he thinks necessary to have the best chance at progressing out of group play. Omar and Landon have each had moments to shine in qualifying and in all likelihood will make the trip to South America.
Omar Gonzalez has a total of 18 International appearances while Landon Donovan has 156 total caps, leaving him just 8 shy of Cobi Jones’ all time record. Donovan is also the US Mens National Team all time leader in goals (57) and assists (57).
Jurgen Klinsmann has until June 2nd to name his best 23-man roster, and until that point, he’ll be preaching competition for all positions and from all players. But leaving off either of these players seems like a gamble. Landon Donovan has proven time and time again to be the man you look to when you need something to happen and it’s unlikely Klinsmann could leave a weapon like that on the bench.
The LA Galaxy are likely to be without both Omar Gonzalez and Landon Donovan for quite some time. Assuming the US isn’t able to clear the group stage, their last World Cup game would be on Thursday, June 26th against Germany. The pair will likely miss a minimum of six MLS games (Houston, Dallas, Philadelphia, Chicago, Chivas USA, and San Jose).