Landon Donovan, the United States' all-time top scorer, has been surprisingly left out of their 23-man squad for next month's World Cup, US Soccer said on Thursday.
Donovan was part of the provisional 30-man squad, which has gathered at a pre-tournament camp in Palo Alto, California, but did not make the final cut selected by coach Juergen Klinsmann ahead of the tournament in Brazil.
The 32-year-old forward has played for the United States in the past three World Cups and was long considered the face of American soccer.
"It is certainly the toughest decision of my coaching career to tell a player like him, with everything he's done and what he represents, to tell him that you are not part of that 23 right now," said Klinsmann.
"I just see some other players slightly ahead of him. He's been part of that final 30 roster in terms of the last ten days and he did everything right, he was always positive, he took it in the best way possible," added the coach.