By now, Landon Donovan's World Cup cut has been well-documented. The 32-year-old, who is the U.S. men's all-time leader in goals (57) and assists (57), was sent home from the U.S. training camp in Palo Alto, Calif., on May 22 when the roster was trimmed from 30 to 23.
Donovan's cut was not entirely unexpected as the forward's play has declined since he netted three goals in the 2010 World Cup. Donovan took a sabbatical from soccer from late 2012 to early 2013, which did not help him gain the trust of already skeptical head coach Jurgen Klinsmann, hired in 2011.
Donovan, the all-time American leader in World Cup appearances (12) and goals (five), took the news of his cut with class, posting an emotional note on his Facebook page. During the past three weeks, Donovan has slowly been more and more candid about his frustration with being left off the roster for Brazil. This past week, in his debut as an ESPN analyst for the World Cup, Donovan expressed disagreement with Klinsmann's assertion the U.S. team cannot win the tournament.
Then Monday morning, hours before the U.S.'s 2014 World Cup debut versus Ghana -- Donovan was the U.S. player to score against it in 2010 -- EA Sports released an advertisement for its 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil video game.
Titled Landon Donovan Always In The Game, the clip shows him sleeping in, then putting on a USA bathrobe and USA slippers. He grabs a newspaper with the headline "Brazil 2014: Does Team USA have enough firepower?" and drinks a cup of coffee. He knocks over a replica World Cup trophy, makes toast and plays the game as himself. Donovan scores a goal with the virtual version of himself, who is wearing the official USMNT World Cup away jersey, and the virtual Donovan celebrates with the World Cup. Donovan rolls his eyes at the camera and dips the toast in coffee. The words "Always in the Game" appear across the screen.
Perhaps the most interesting part comes after the EA Sports logo comes across the screen with Donovan mumbling, "I'm not going to Brazil." He then bursts out laughing, along with what sounds like the camera crew.
It appears Donovan is taking things in stride. In fact, so much so, fans in Los Angeles should be on the lookout for Donovan b>at a local bar.
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