All-time USA scoring leader Landon Donovan, who has not played for the national team since last August, was among the names announced Saturday on the American preliminary roster for July's CONCACAF Gold Cup.
CONCACAF announced preliminary rosters for all 12 teams in the biennial event, to be staged in United States venues starting on 8 July.
Donovan missed this year's first three USA final-round CONCACAF qualifying matches for the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™ while on a break from football since helping Los Angeles Galaxy win the Major League Soccer title last December.
He returned to Galaxy in late March and has netted two goals while setting up three others in two months with the club after four months away from the sport. That was enough to prompt USA coach Jurgen Klinsmann, who left Donovan off the roster for three qualifiers in June, to put the 31-year-old forward back in contention to return for the national team seeking the CONCACAF regional crown.
The 2013 Gold Cup winner and the 2015 Gold Cup winner will meet to decide a spot in the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup.
Donovan last played for the Americans in a 1-0 friendly victory over Mexico at Estadio Azteca last August, the first USA triumph in the famed Mexican venue. Also listed among the Gold Cup roster players were veteran defenders Oguchi Onyewu and Carlos Bocanegra, both of whom are fighting to reclaim spots on the national team after struggling with Spanish sides this past season.
Final rosters for the group stage of the Gold Cup will be set on 27 June, with four substitutions allowed before the knockout round begins. Successful Gold Cup showings could entice Klinsmann to put Donovan or the defenders into the USA lineup for the final four qualifying matches of the year, two in September and two in October.
FIFA World Cup qualifying resumes for the USA side on Friday at Jamaica with the Americans returning home to Seattle on 11 June to entertain Panama and to Salt Lake City to face Honduras on 18 June. The Americans are third on the qualifying table after three of ten matches, with only the top three clinching berths in Brazil next year. The fourth-place team will play a two-game series against New Zealand for a trip to Brazil.