Donovan dropped Bandarq from US squad
Landon Donovan, all-time top scorer for the USA, will not be going to the 2014 World Cup after Jurgen Klinsmann left him out of his final 23-man squad.
Jurgen Klinsmann.Donovan has 57 goals in 156 appearances for his country and, age 32, was looking forward to his fourth World Cup finals.
The Californian has scored two memorable goals for the US at World Cups, a header to knock out CONCACAF rivals Mexico in the round of 16 in Korea in 2002 and a last-gasp winner against Algeria in 2010 which sent the USA into the second round as group winners above England.
If Klinsmann was wanting to be bold in his choices, he could hardly have dropped a bigger name, and with a ‘group of death’ awaiting in Ghana, Portugal and Germany in Group G, we will see if fortune really favours the brave.
USA final squad:
USA SquadGoalkeepers: Tim Howard (Everton), Brad Guzan (Aston Villa), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake)
Defenders: DaMarcus Beasley (Puebla), Matt Besler (Sporting KC), John Brooks (Hertha Berlin), Geoff Cameron (Stoke City), Timmy Chandler (Nurnberg), Omar Gonzalez (LA Galaxy), Fabian Johnson (Borussia Moenchengladbach), DeAndre Yedlin (Seattle Sounders).
Midfielders: Michael Bradley (Toronto), Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), Alejandro Bedoya (Nantes), Brad Davis (Houston Dynamo), Mix Diskerud (Rosenborg), Julian Green (Bayern Munich), Jermaine Jones (Besiktas), Graham Zusi (Sporting KC)
Forwards: Jozy Altidore (Sunderland), Clint Dempsey (Seattle Sounders), Aron Johannsson (AZ Alkmaar), Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes)
Ten of the 23 selected are from Major League Soccer, up from four in 2010 and there are six survivors from the squad taken to South Africa – Howard, Guzan, Bradley, Dempsey, Altidore and Beasley.
The so-called Maracanazo (Maracana disaster) has obsessed Brazilians ever since. Nelson Rodrigues, the great Brazilian writer, called it “our Hiroshima.”
Other writers concur on its significance beyond football: Joao Maximo believed it split Brazilian history into two, Paulo Perdigao likened the footage of Uruguay’s second goal to the Kennedy assassination, while novelist Carlos Heitor Cony thought a monument to defeat should have been built, because nothing had ever united the nation more.
Brazil went on to win five World Cups bandarq and their 1970 team is feted as the greatest of all time, yet the nation is still haunted by having lost at home 64 years ago.
2014 affords the world’s most famous football nation a chance to atone at last, yet the historical baggage of another final at the Maracana will be an emotional burden.
When the tears of joy dry up and the catharsis of exorcising 1950 is over, Brazilians can get back to tackling their nation’s myriad problems, but first they must win ‘their’ World Cup.