Jurgen Klinsmann hinted it might happen, but there was still surprise when Landon Donovan was left off of the United States' World Cup roster. According to reports, Klinsmann had been upfront with Donovan about the possibility that he wouldn't make the team, but it still had to feel like a punch to the gut for the 32-year-old.
And yet, Donovan was as classy as anyone could be in a Facebook post.
To my fans,
It has been an honor and privilege to have represented the US National Team in three World Cups. I was looking forward to playing in Brazil and, as you can imagine, I am very disappointed with today's decision. Regardless, I will be cheering on my friends and teammates this summer, and I remain committed to helping grow soccer in the US in the years to come.
Thanks for all your support,
When the U.S. plays Ghana on June 16, it will be the first time in 16 years that they will play a World Cup match without Donovan. He has been a constant in the team, but it appears as if his time is up.
Donovan didn't say that he was retiring from international soccer, which was a bit of a surprise. He's been limiting his play for the U.S. in recent years to prolong his club career and now, with the World Cup out of the way, he may just call it quits altogether. He also could keep playing or even just never announce a retirement and give Klinsmann the option to pick him, even if it is unlikely that he does.
Regardless, Donovan's meaningful international career is over. And as sad as it may be, he's going as as classy as possible.