Landon Donovan will be surrounded by some old friends when he makes the final appearance of his record-setting career with the U.S. national team Friday against Ecuador in East Hartford, Conn. Among the 21 players called in for the game by U.S. Coach Juergen Klinsmann is Galaxy teammate Omar Gonzalez as well as longtime national team veterans Brad Guzan, a goalie, and Jozy Altidore, a forward.
"Obviously it's going to be a very special night as everyone in the U.S. Soccer family will have the chance to honor the amazing career of Landon Donovan," Klinsmann said.
Friday's game will be the 157th in a national team uniform for Donovan, the all-time leader in goals (57), assists (58), World Cup games played (12) and World Cup goals (5). Donovan, 32, who was left off Klinsmann's team for this year's World Cup in Brazil, announced earlier this summer that he was retiring from soccer after this season.
Nine others on the roster for the Ecuador game were on the World Cup team, however, including Gonzalez, a defender; young midfielders Julian Green and Mix Diskerud; and winger DeAndre Yedlin of the Seattle Sounders.
Others, such as German Bundesliga players Bobby Wood, Alfredo Morales and Joe Gyau, are getting a chance to establish themselves at the start of a new World Cup cycle. Morales has two previous national team appearances while Wood and Gyau have one each. Six of the players on Klinsmann's roster play for clubs in Germany.
"We look at these games as an opportunity to take a picture of the player pool as it now stands," Klinsmann said. "Already the hierarchy starts to shift in some way, which is normal at the beginning of a cycle. We are excited to look at this group against a very competitive team like Ecuador."
Ecuador, which did not qualify for the World Cup, is ranked 21st in the latest FIFA world rankings, four spots below the U.S.
The status of Gonzalez and Donovan for the Galaxy's next game Oct. 12 at FC Dallas is uncertain. The U.S. will play Honduras in Boca Raton, Fla., on Oct. 14 and while Donovan has already announced he won't play in that game, Klinsmann is expected to make several roster changes that could free up Gonzalez as well.
The Galaxy will definitely be missing MVP candidate Robbie Keane, who has been called up by the Irish national team for Euro qualifiers with Gibraltar and Germany. Keane leads the Galaxy with 19 goals and is second to Donovan in assists with 14.
The U.S. roster (club teams in parentheses)
Goalkeepers: Brad Guzan (Aston Villa), Bill Hamid (D.C. United), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake)
Defenders: John Brooks (Hertha Berlin), Timmy Chandler (Eintracht Frankfurt), Greg Garza (Club Tijuana), Omar Gonzalez (Galaxy), Michael Orozco (Puebla), Tim Ream (Bolton Wanderers), DeAndre Yedlin (Seattle Sounders FC)
Midfielders: Alejandro Bedoya (Nantes), Joe Corona (Tijuana), Mix Diskerud (Rosenborg), Luis Gil (Real Salt Lake), Julian Green (Hamburg), Alfredo Morales (Ingolstadt)
Forwards: Jozy Altidore (Sunderland), Landon Donovan (Galaxy), Joe Gyau (Borussia Dortmund), Miguel Ibarra (Minnesota United FC), Bobby Wood (1860 Munich)