So Jurgen Klinsmann has named his squad for the World Cup and it's fair to say there's the odd surprise in there. Toronto FC's Michael Bradley is of course included, congratulations to him, but that's by no means surprising and barely worth writing an article about really.
Sticking with how this affects TFC, their opponent next week is Columbus, and their defender Michael Parkhurst will be available for selection as he was one of the 7 players dropped from the initial 30 man roster. Their opponent on June 7th, San Jose Earthquakes and their defender Clarence Goodson will also be available as he toowas dropped. So thanks Jurgen, that really helps us out. On the other hand, as far as San Jose go, Chris Wondolowski is in the squad so will miss the TFC game, so you win some, you lose some I guess. We also miss Graham Zusi and Matt Besler this week, so can't complain too much.
There are 10 MLS players all together, perhaps most surprisingly DeAndre Yedlin of Seattle Sounders, a right back who's quick, flashy, good at the attacking right back thing, but not so much at the defending part of the job so that's definitely a weird one. All in all I'm not going to get too in depth here as there's a lot of players I'm not that familiar with, it might be the best squad he could have put out, it might not be, but there's one omission that is getting a lot of attention.
Landon Donovan. Leading goalscorer and assist provider by a long long way and close to leading in appearances as well, 5 goals in World Cups so far and all round USMNT icon Landon Donovan. The man who's probably done more for MLS than any other player by being a US superstar staying in the league, somewhat paving the way for returnees like Michael Bradley and Clint Dempsey. Getting on a bit and still hasn't scored this MLS season, leaving everyone impatiently waiting for him to finally break the all time MLS goalscoring record, Landon Donovan.
Who knows which of those profiles is the more relevant, but this is a huge call from Klinsmann, especially when his most direct replacement is 18 year old Julian Green. If he wanted to provide reporters with an obvious angle to relentlessly harp on, he's done it. If he wanted to guarantee himself all kinds of loud second guessing if and when it all goes wrong, he's done it. Unless things go right, and given the group it was always a tough ask, he'll be facing a lot of criticism for this choice. As merely an interested Canadian observer, with not exactly fond thoughts of his effect on TFC, I say pass the popcorn.
Here's the full squad:
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)