TFC's Bradley named to U.S. World Cup team
By Ronald Blum, The Associated Press
STANFORD, Calif. - Toronto FC midfielder Michael Bradley was named to the United States 23-man roster for the 2014 FIFA World Cup, while American career scoring leader Landon Donovan was among seven players cut on Thursday.
Bradley, 26, has appeared in eight matches, registering two goals for Toronto FC in all competitions this season.
Bradley has earned 83 caps to date for the U.S. team and has scored 12 goals. His most recent cap came on Apr. 2 in a friendly match against Mexico, where he started the match, registered a goal, an assist, and played the full 90 minutes in a 2-2 draw.
Bradley was a member of the U.S. 2010 World Cup squad. He has also represented the U.S. at two CONCACAF Gold Cup tournaments, winning gold in 2007 and finishing as runners-up in 2011. Bradley also played in the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup, where the U.S. finished as runners-up to Brazil.
The 32-year-old Donovan, bidding to make his fourth World Cup, was bypassed by U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann in favour of Aron Johannsson and Chris Wondolowski, who joined Jozy Altidore and Clint Dempsey as the forwards.
Aside from Donovan, defenders Brad Evans, Clarence Goodson and Michael Parkhurst, midfielders Joe Corona and Maurice Edu, and forward Terrence Boyd were also cut.
Donovan has 57 goals in 156 international appearances and has been the face of American soccer for the past decade, both with the national team and with Major League Soccer, where he has won five titles.
Donovan was a mainstay of the national team before he took a sabbatical of about four months after the 2012 season, spending part of the time in Cambodia. Klinsmann said Donovan would have to earn his spot back.
He restored Donovan to the roster for last summer's CONCACAF Gold Cup, where Donovan excelled, and played Donovan for World Cup qualifiers later in the year. But Klinsmann kept him out of the starting lineup for last month's exhibition against Mexico, saying Donovan practiced poorly because of a knee problem.
Donovan said this week his knee was OK.
"I'm very confident in my abilities and I think I'm deserving to be a part of the squad, but I have to prove that and I have to earn it," he said Monday.
When Klinsmann announced his 30-man preliminary roster on May 12, he said he viewed Donovan more a forward than a midfielder.
"I don't have that youthful energy and excitement that I did in 2002, but I see the game and I see the situation a lot more clearly now, so I'm able to I think enjoy it more in that way," Donovan said. "When you're younger, you're just sort of going crazy to do whatever it takes to make the team and you forget to enjoy it, And now I'm actually getting to enjoy it."