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Landon Donovan joins U.S. team that has games during MLS playoffs

November 3, 2011 | 12:17 pm

The Galaxy's push for the Major League Soccer Cup might have hit a small bump in the road Thursday when U.S. national team Coach Jurgen Klinsmann named Landon Donovan to his 22-man team for a pair of friendlies in Europe beginning next week.

For Donovan, who is coming off a leg injury, that will make for a challenging schedule beginning with Thursday night's playoff match with the New York Red Bulls at the Home Depot Center. If the Galaxy win the two-leg playoff series with New York -- and since they lead 1-0 after Sunday's win, to advance the Galaxy must simply avoid losing by two or more goals -- Donovan will play Sunday in the conference final.

[Updated 1:45 p.m.:]

The U.S. team is scheduled to gather in Paris on Monday, ahead of matches with France on Nov. 11 and Slovenia Nov. 15. The MLS Cup final will be played at the Home Depot Center on Nov. 20.
Galaxy Coach Bruce Arena was hoping that Klinsmann would avoid calling up players involved in the MLS playoffs -- and he largely did, selecting only Donovan and Real Salt Lake defender Kyle Beckerman on MLS teams that are still playing. And Klinsman said that whichever player's team makes the MLS Cup final will be allowed to leave the national team after the France friendly to return to his MLS team a week before the final.
"We have a very positive line of communication with MLS," Klinsman said. "We agreed that whoever will be involved in the final will be released after the game against France, which gives them more than a week to prepare.”


GOALKEEPERS (2): Bill Hamid (D.C. United), Tim Howard (Everton)

DEFENDERS (7): Carlos Bocanegra (Rangers), Timmy Chandler (Nürnberg), Steve Cherundolo (Hannover 96), Clarence Goodson (Brondby), Alfredo Morales (Hertha Berlin), Michael Orozco Fiscal (San Luis), Oguchi Onyewu (Sporting Lisbon)

MIDFIELDERS (9): Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), Michael Bradley (Chievo Verona), Clint Dempsey (Fulham), Maurice Edu (Rangers), Fabian Johnson (Hoffenheim), Jermaine Jones (Schalke 04), Robbie Rogers (Columbus Crew), Brek Shea (FC Dallas), Danny Williams (Hoffenheim)

FORWARDS (4): Jozy Altidore (AZ Alkmaar), DaMarcus Beasley (Puebla), Edson Buddle (Ingolstadt), Landon Donovan (LA Galaxy)


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-- Kevin Baxter

Photo: Landon Donovan. Credit: Joe Nicholson / US Presswire