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Landon Donovan reacts via Facebook to his surprise exclusion

Kim Kee-Hee, Landon Donovan

South Korea defender Kim Kee-Hee, left, battles United States forward Landon Donovan (10) for the ball during the second half of an international friendly soccer match in Carson, Calif., Saturday, Feb. 1, 2014. United States won 2-0. (AP Photo/Gus Ruelas)

AP

Those expecting Landon Donovan to go out in a blaze of glory haven’t paid attention to the star’s evolution. By his own admission, the U.S.'s all-time leading goal-scorer was disappointed with new he won’t be going to Brazil, but in a message just posted to his Facebook page, Donovan remains supportive of the U.S’s cause at the 2014 World Cup.

This afternoon, U.S. Soccer and head coach Jurgen Klinsmann announced their 23-man team for this summer’s tournament, and for the first time since before the 2002 World Cup, Donovan’s name was not in the squad. The man who supplied one of the most memorable goals in U.S. soccer history -- his stoppage time tally against Algeria four years ago -- will watch this summer’s finals like the rest of us.

And like so many who support the United States, he’ll be pulling for Klinsmann’s crew. His message, from Facebook:

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,

Landon


Donovan’s impending return to the LA Galaxy will be the most difficult of his career. His dreams of a final World Cup are over, ended in one of the more humbling manners imaginable. There are, however, more great moments ahead, with Donovan within one goal of setting MLS’s all-time goal scoring record. His World Cup day may be over, but his time on the field is not.

[MORE from SOCCERLY: Klinsmann’s son deletes cruel Donovan tweet, deletes account]

Today, however, was a blunt reminder: Donovan’s in the final phase of his long, legendary career. That he’s known this for some time won’t make today’s news any easier to swallow.