Landon Donovan

U.S. absence from World Cup draw shines a light on missed opportunities

U.S. absence from World Cup draw shines a light on missed opportunities

Herculez Gomez wasn’t invited to play in any World Cup qualifiers for the U.S. in the run-up to the 2010 tournament. But six months later, in the shape of his life, he scored in the final game before the World Cup roster was chosen and found himself on the team that played in South Africa.

Who cares that he made just one start in that tournament and never appeared in a World Cup again? How many players ever get to go at all?

A teenaged Landon Donovan wasn’t in the picture for the World Cup team when he made his international debut as a substitute in a 2000 friendly with Mexico. He finished that match with a goal and assist — which earned him seven starts the next year — and...

EDITION: California | U.S. & World
55°