NEW YORK (AP) — Landon Donovan is returning to the U.S. national team after an absence of nearly 11 months, but Carlos Bocanegra was bypassed for the American roster for next month's CONCACAF Gold Cup.
Donovan and veteran defender Oguchi Onyewu were among 23 players picked Thursday for the regional championship of North and Central America and the Caribbean.
Bocanegra, the U.S. captain at the 2010 World Cup, was among 12 players cut from the preliminary roster, which was announced May 31.
U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann bypassed most of his Europe-based regulars, who are on vacation before their 2013-14 club seasons.
Donovan has played in three World Cups and hopes to regain a place on the first-tier roster when World Cup qualifying resumes in September. The 31-year-old forward has an American-record 49 international goals in 144 appearances but hasn't played for the U.S. since the 1-0 exhibition win at Mexico on Aug. 15. Donovan strained a hamstring during that match, causing him to miss a pair of September qualifiers, then hurt a knee and wasn't available for two more qualifiers in October.
He took a sabbatical of nearly four months after the Los Angeles Galaxy won their second straight MLS Cup, then returned on March 30.
"He needed time to get back in a rhythm, get back in shape and work on his game again. I think now the process is on a good roll," Klinsmann told the USSF website. "He's getting sharper every game and every week. We've watched his games and believe now is a good time to get him back into the national team and give him the opportunity to prove his point. He knows that the group that played the World Cup qualifiers is ahead of the curve and have a very strong position right now, and that he's been observed by us and has to rebuild his case. We have all respect for what he has done in the past, but sports are about the present and about the future."