L.A. Galaxy midfielder Landon Donovan was left off the 29-man U.S. soccer… (Bret Hartman / Associated…)
U.S. national team Coach Juergen Klinsmann called 29 players into training camp for next month's trio of World Cup qualifiers and, as expected, the Galaxy's Landon Donovan was left off the list.
However Galaxy teammate Omar Gonzalez was among those called up Thursday. He will join the team after L.A.'s May 26 match with Seattle.
The U.S. will play friendlies with Belgium and Germany before returning to the final round of regional World Cup qualifying June 7 in Jamaica. The U.S., currently third in its six-team qualifying group, will then play host to Panama on June 11 in Seattle and Honduras a week later in suburban Salt Lake City.
All that will happen without the 31-year-old Donovan, U.S. soccer's all-time leader in goals and assists. He hasn't played for Klinsmann since tweaking his hamstring in a win over Mexico last August, missing seven qualifiers and two friendlies. He removed himself from contention for a call-up during the winter when he took a four-month soccer sabbatical.
"All I can do, as I've said all along, is do what I do," Donovan told Galaxy radio broadcaster Joe Tutino. "If I'm looking at it objectively, do I think I can help the team? Yes, absolutely. Do I think I've really earned my way back in yet? Probably not."
In Donovan's absence, Klinsmann will look for Tottenham forward Clint Dempsey to lead the offense. Also called up was Jozy Altidore, who scored 31 goals for Alkmaar in the Dutch Eredivisie this season, a record for an American in a major European league.