Landon Donovan will not play for the U.S. national team in a two upcoming World Cup soccer qualifying matches because of an injured left knee.
Injury will force Donovan
to miss 2 matches for U.S.
Landon Donovan will not play for the United States in two upcoming World Cup qualifying matches because of an injured left knee, adding to what might be a pressure-filled few days for the national team.
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Donovan — the career leader in goals, assists and starts for the U.S. team — will likely not be replaced on what was a 24-man roster for the upcoming qualifiers, Friday on the road against Antigua & Barbuda and Tuesday against Guatemala in Kansas City, Kan.
Donovan was injured Saturday while playing for the Los Angeles Galaxy in a 2-1 Major League Soccer loss to Real Salt Lake. 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,” U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann said.
Hours before the Donovan decision was announced, Klinsmann said the Americans were “very, very positive” about his status.
“You want your leaders on the team there,” Klinsmann said.
The U.S. team might need at least a victory and a draw from its next two Group A matches to advance to next year’s regional finals. The United States, Guatemala and Jamaica have seven points each after the first four matches in this round of qualifying.
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The anticipated matchup between Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland and American Tiger Woods on Wednesday might not count for much after both lost their opening matches at the eight-player World Golf Finals, a $5.2 million event in Antalya, Turkey.
McIlroy lost to American Matt Kuchar by six shots and Woods fell to South African Charl Schwartzel by one shot.
In the other group of the medal match-play format, Lee Westwood of England beat American Webb Simpson by one shot and Justin Rose of England defeated American Hunter Mahan by four strokes.
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• Swimming as part of his rehabilitation from a left-knee injury, tennis ace Rafael Nadal of Spain said he hopes to resume practice soon. The 26-year-old hasn’t played since losing in the second round of Wimbledon in June.
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Seattle Times news services