Landon Donovan Included on Final USMNT's CONCACAF Gold Cup Roster

Timothy RappFeatured ColumnistJune 25, 2013

For anyone hoping to see Landon Donovan on the United States roster for the 2014 World Cup, Thursday was a good day indeed, as Jurgen Klinsmann added him to the final 23-player roster for the Gold Cup.

This comes on the heels of a report on Tuesday from Grant Wahl of Sports Illustrated saying Klinsmann had made the call to bring Donovan back to the international scene.

U.S. men's national team coach Jurgen Klinsmann has decided to include Landon Donovan on the final 23-player roster for the upcoming CONCACAF Gold Cup, has learned.

Donovan, the U.S.'s all-time leading scorer, was not included in the U.S.'s A-team roster for the three World Cup qualifiers earlier this month. Donovan, 31, took a self-imposed three-month sabbatical from soccer earlier this year and has not played for the U.S. since a friendly win at Mexico last August.

There has been some question as to whether Donovan would ever be a vital member of the USMNT again under Klinsmann after taking his sabbatical. Now, it appears as though Klinsmann will give him the chance to earn his spot back. 

Beyond being the United States' all-time leading scorer, Donovan has also been one of the team's leaders for the past decade. He is still among the United States' most dangerous attackers and adds a dangerous threat down the wing to complement Jozy Altidore at striker and Clint Dempsey atop the midfield. 

While he may not have the pace of his younger years, Donovan's a savvy player off the wing who creates opportunities for his teammates, is dangerous on set pieces and is a threat to score. His three goals in four games for the United States at the 2010 World Cup was a performance to remember, even if the United States couldn't escape the Round of 16.

He continues to be a major contributor for the L.A. Galaxy, even at 31 years of age, with three goals and four assists in 12 appearances this season. He was one of the driving forces behind the team's back-to-back championships the past two years. 

The Gold Cup won't feature the United States' A-list group of players—they'll be saved for September's World Cup qualifiers—but it will be an opportunity for plenty of players, including Donovan, to make their case to be a member of next year's World Cup roster. 

Don't be surprised if Donovan steals the show.

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