SANTA CLARA, Calif. – Perhaps above all, Clarence Goodson wants to understand exactly why he isn’t going to Brazil this month.
The San Jose Earthquakes center back, a member of the 2010 US World Cup team who didn’t see any time on the field, won’t get a chance to rectify that situation in this year’s tournament. Goodson was one of seven cuts made by coach Jurgen Klinsmann on Thursday, and outside of national-team icon Landon Donovan, the 32-year-old with 46 career US caps, might have been the most surprising name on that list.
“For me, I thought that certainly I would be going to the World Cup,” Goodson told MLSsoccer.com after the Quakes’ 3-0 win against Houston on Sunday night. “It’s certainly something that I worked very hard for and something that I believe I’ve achieved and deserve.
“It’s something that I absolutely earned. And I felt that I was always in a position to be potentially starting, not ever trying to make the team. That’s based on being called in on a consistent basis for the last six years.”
Goodson dressed for eight of the Americans’ 10 matches in the final round of CONCACAF qualifying for the World Cup, playing three times – all victories, over Costa Rica and Mexico at home and in Panama to dash the hopes of Los Canaleros.
“When Jurgen needed a result, he called on me,” Goodson said. “You look at the games that were played last year. Gold Cup final, snow game, 2-0 against Mexico. Were there any games bigger than that? I played in all three of those. So it’s certainly surprising and something I think Jurgen got wrong.”
Klinsmann appears to be set on using Matt Besler, John Anthony Brooks, Geoff Cameron and Omar Gonzalez as his four center backs. The inclusion of Brooks, 21, might have sealed Goodson’s fate – although Goodson still can’t say for sure.
“I asked Jurgen for an explanation,” Goodson said. “It was something that he was unwilling to give me. He said that he would speak with me after the World Cup about it, and I said that I thought I certainly deserved an explanation. And it was something that he was unwilling to give.”
Goodson allowed that Klinsmann could have already had his 23-man roster in mind before the USMNT training camp convened at Stanford on May 14.
“It’s certainly possible,” Goodson said. “We trained in two groups. There were some guys I never really saw. I was one of the best in the things that I did, I felt. I was winning games and did a good job. If you’re basing it just upon the camp, I certainly think that I was deserving to go. And even outside of the camp, the things I’ve done in the past would have earned me a spot.”
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Goodson, who did not play for San Jose on Sunday after having only one light training session with the team, said he would be available for the Quakes on the road against FC Dallas next weekend. He also said he remains in a good enough frame of mind to return to the American squad, if needed.
“I think it’s someplace I certainly already should be, but the situation is as it is,” Goodson said. “Until I retire from the US team, I will continue to make myself available if the team needs me.”