MIAMI (AP) — Landon Donovan will not play for the U.S. team in a pair of upcoming World Cup qualifying matches because of an injured left knee, adding to what will be a pressure-filled few days for the Americans.
U.S. Soccer said Tuesday that Donovan — who has more goals and starting caps than any other player — will likely not be replaced on what was a 24-man roster for the upcoming qualifiers, first on Friday on the road against Antigua and Barbuda, then in Kansas City on Oct. 16 against Guatemala.
Donovan was injured while playing Saturday for the Los Angeles Galaxy. He was selected by U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann for these qualifiers anyway, and the team's athletic trainers wanted him to be evaluated one more time before he started training.
Donovan had scrapped plans for an MRI in Los Angeles on Monday because he thought his knee had improved.
"Landon was very optimistic over the weekend when his knee was feeling much better, but now he needs time to recover," Klinsmann said.
Brek Shea was also was ruled out of the qualifiers on Tuesday because of an abdominal injury. Barring a change of plans, that means Klinsmann will take only 22 players to Antigua for what would seems to be a must-win match on Friday night.