CHICAGO (AP) - Landon Donovan was left off the 29-man U.S. roster for a training camp ahead of a trio of World Cup qualifiers next month. But American coach Jurgen Klinsmann anticipates he will rejoin the team at some unspecified point.
Donovan, a 31-year-old midfielder who played for the last three U.S. World Cup teams, took a sabbatical of nearly four months after last season, returning to the field with the Los Angeles Galaxy on March 30.
“I think Landon is catching up,” Klinsmann said. “We’re all excited that he has decided to continue to play. That was the first major answer that we needed to get, and now he’s just working himself back into shape and back into a playing rhythm. He will get sharper and more confident with every game he’s going to play now. So we’ll watch that, we’ll monitor that and we’ll decide then when to bring him back into our picture.
“It’s not going to be for these upcoming games,” Klinsmann added, “but maybe later on we’ll definitely expect him back in the team.”
Klinsmann said the defender, who turns 34 on May 25, “right now is in a little bit of a backup position.” Bocanegra regained his starting job last month with Racing Santander in Spain’s second division after a two-month benching.
“He knows that if anything happens to one of those center backs that he’ll get called in right away,” Klinsmann said, “but I think we are blessed with our center back position.”
Right back Steve Cherundolo, who returned to the field for Hannover in April after nearly four months out due to a knee injury, also was bypassed. So was outside back Timmy Chandler, who tore a knee ligament May 5 during training with Nuremberg.
DaMarcus Beasley, like Donovan a veteran of three World Cups, was called in after playing well when he was shifted to left back in the last qualifiers. Beasley, who turns 31 on May 24, is one appearance shy of 100.
Seeking its seventh straight World Cup berth, the U.S. travels to Jamaica on June 7, plays Panama four days later in Seattle, and then faces Honduras in Salt Lake City on June 18. The Americans also have exhibitions against Belgium on May 29 in Cleveland, and Germany on June 2 in Washington, D.C.
Klinsmann called in six goalkeepers, four from MLS, who will rotate through camp as backups behind starter Tim Howard and No. 2 Brad Guzan.
Several of the players have seen little playing time at their clubs. Midfielder Brek Shea has been limited to two substitute appearances with Stoke, and none at all since March 10. Defender Michael Parkhurst has barely gotten on the field since joining Germany’s Augsburg, and midfielder Danny Williams hasn’t played for Hoffenheim since March 30 because of illness and injury.
Midfielder Stuart Holden, out for most of the past two years because of a knee injury, is on the roster but likely will be used in the CONCACAF Gold Cup in July rather than in the qualifiers. Players will start gathering in Cleveland on May 26, but some may report later because of club commitments.
In the six-nation final round of North and Central America and the Caribbean, the United States (1-1-1) is third, one point behind Panama (1-0-2) and trailing Costa Rica (1-1-1) on goal difference.
Honduras (1-1-1) is fourth, one point ahead of Mexico (0-0-3). Jamaica (0-1-2) is last.