Former USMNT star Landon Donovan 'heartbroken' for Alex Morgan being left off Olympic roster

Former U.S. men’s national soccer team forward Landon Donovan said Thursday he is “heartbroken” for Alex Morgan after the stalwart striker for the U.S. women was left off the Olympic roster for the 2024 Games.

The 18-player, four-alternate roster was picked by USWNT coach Emma Hayes and released Wednesday where Morgan, the two-time World Cup champion, was nowhere to be named.

Morgan’s omission is a result of the depth of USWNT’s forward pool and will be the first time she is not on a major tournament roster since 2008. Morgan was “disappointed,” she said on X on Wednesday, as was Donovan.

“I’m just really sad for Alex,” Donovan told USA Today. “Our careers have sort of paralleled each other. As she was playing in World Cups and Olympics I was doing the same and it’s been so fun to watch her career.”

Morgan played for the United States in three Olympic Games (2012, 2016, 2021) and four World Cups (2011, 2015, 2019, 2023). Donovan made his only Olympic roster in 2000 and World Cup debut in 2002, where he was named the Best Young Player of the Tournament.

Donovan went on to play on the 2006 and 2010 World Cup squads, becoming the USMNT’s joint leading scorer alongside Clint Dempsey with 57 goals and the team’s all-time leader in assists with 58. After such prowess, Donovan was a shock exclusion from the 2014 World Cup roster. He did not dawn the USMNT uniform in any major tournament after that.

“I’ve been in (Morgan’s) shoes, and it’s a horrible, horrible feeling,” Donovan said.

Donovan said “one person” ends up making a decision that changes the longevity of a player’s career and if he was talking directly to Morgan, he’d tell her the disappointment “will pass.”

“Because you’re realizing in that moment that your career with the national team is coming to an end, and you didn’t get to decide it, someone else told you it was over,” he said. “That’s really difficult.”

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(Photo: Robin Alam / ISI Photos / Getty Images)

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