OK, first of all, America: Take a deep breath.
Yes, the most accomplished international player in the history of U.S. men's soccer just got left off the World Cup team.
Yes, that would seem a travesty, ingratitude of the highest order.
Yes, consequently, U.S. Men's Team coach Jurgen Klinsmann better know what he's doing, because he'll be right in the path of the storm if the Americans fall flat on their face in Brazil this summer.
On the other hand ... he might not be.
On the other hand, this may only be a necessary, if painful, changing of the guard for the USMT, cutting Landon Donovan from the final roster. You can argue it two ways.
One, the USMT isn't expected to mount much of a challenge this summer anyway, so why not look to the future and give younger players a taste of Cup play instead of a 32-year-old forward whose best days are behind him?
Two, the USMT isn't expected to mount much of a challenge this summer anyway, so why not send the 32-year-old forward out with his proper bows?
Partisan sentiment being what it is, we'll all raise a glass, and should, to South Side grad DaMarcus Beasley, who turns 32 soon himself and who made the team at left half. He'll be playing in his fourth World Cup if he sees the field, and that will put him in exceedingly rare company. Not bad for a kid who came out of a Midwestern city that's not generally regarded as a soccer hotbed, even though the locals know differently.
But by any objective measure, how is it right that Beasley could play in his fourth World Cup, and Donovan won't?
It's not. But it's also, perhaps, simply the uneven and sometimes cruel way time marches on.