FILE – In this July 13, 2013, file photo, United States’ Landon Donovan gestures after scoring on a penalty kick during the first half of a CONCACAF Gold Cup soccer game against Cuba in Sandy, Utah. Donovan will be surrounded by a relatively youthful roster for the United States’ exhibition against Ecuador in Connecticut on Friday, when he is set to make his 157th and final international appearance. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File)
BOSTON (AP) — Landon Donovan will be surrounded by a relatively youthful roster for the United States’ exhibition against Ecuador in Connecticut on Friday, when he is set to make his 157th and final international appearance.
The 32-year-old Los Angeles Galaxy forward, who is retiring at the end of Major League Soccer’s season, is the American leader with 57 goals and 58 assists. A veteran of three World Cups, Donovan was controversially cut by U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann for this year’s tournament in Brazil.
“He comes in on Thursday and has a chance to really enjoy the atmosphere and the support of the fans,” Klinsmann said.
Miguel Ibarra, 24-year-old Minnesota United forward, was picked and could become the first national team player from the reformed North American Soccer League, a second-division competition that started play in 2011.
“I think that message is very important to everyone out there who becomes an adult player,” Klinsmann said, “that based on the workload they are putting in and their talent, that anything is possible.”
Also among the 21 selections Monday were Real Salt Lake midfielder Jesus Gil, whose lone international appearance was against South Korea in February; 1860 Munich forward Bobby Wood, whose only game was at Bosnia-Herzegovina in August 2013; and a pair of players who made their debuts last month at the Czech Republic: Borussia Dortmund forward Joe Gyau and Tijanuna defender Greg Garza.
DeAndre Yedlin, a 21-year-old Sounders defender who impressed at the World Cup, was selected for the game in East Hartford along with Alfredo Morales, who made his second international appearance against the Czechs.
Several veterans with MLS games on Wednesday and Friday were omitted, including Toronto midfielder Michael Bradley, Seattle forward Clint Dempsey, and Kansas City defender Matt Besler and midfielder Graham Zusi. Defender Fabian Johnson also was left off; he started for Borussia Moenchengladbach on Sunday after missing a game with an Achilles tendon injury.
“We left quite a few of the experienced players out because we want to give the younger players a chance to break in,” Klinsmann said. “Guys like Kyle Beckerman, DaMarcus Beasley, Brad Davis, Chris Wondolowski and others are not in this roster, not because they aren’t part of the national team moving forward, simply because we want to see the youngsters make their point.”
Fulham midfielder Emerson Hyndman and Utrecht forward Rubio Rubin, who made their debuts against the Czechs, are with the U.S. under-23 team in Brazil along with Stanford forward Jordan Morris, who was in camp for the Czech match but didn’t play.
Klinsmann’s only selections 30 or older in addition to Donovan were goalkeepers Brad Guzan (30) and Nick Rimando (35). Klinsmann intends to revise his roster for the Oct. 14 exhibition against Honduras at Boca Raton, Florida.
“Maybe we let a few ones go after the Friday game back to Europe,” Klinsmann said, “so they have a whole week of preparation for the next game (and) bring in some MLS players to fill in the blanks.”
The U.S. team was to start training Monday at Harvard.
Goalkeepers: Brad Guzan (Aston Villa, England), Bill Hamid (D.C. United), Nick Rimando (Salt Lake)
Defenders: John Brooks (Hertha Berlin, Germany), Timmy Chandler (Eintracht Frankfurt, Germany), Greg Garza (Tijuana, Mexico), Omar Gonzalez (Los Angeles), Michael Orozco (Puebla, Mexico), Tim Ream (Bolton, England), DeAndre Yedlin (Seattle)
Midfielders: Alejandro Bedoya (Nantes), Joe Corona (Tijuana, Mexico), Mix Diskerud (Rosenborg, Norway), Luis Gil (Salt Lake), Julian Green (Hamburg, Germany), Alfredo Morales (Ingolstadt, Germany)
Forwards: Jozy Altidore (Sunderland, England), Landon Donovan (Los Angeles), Joe Gyau (Borussia Dortmund, Germany), Miguel Ibarra (Minnesota United), Bobby Wood (1860 Munich, Germany)
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