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Landon Donovan missing as US opens final round of World Cup qualifying

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Coach Jurgen Klinsmann slams the ball to the ground during a U.S. Men's National Team practice at the FIU Soccer Stadium, Monday, Feb. 4, 2013, in Miami. The team is gathering in Miami prior to traveling to face Honduras in the opening match of Final Round qualifying for the 2014 FIFA World Cup on Feb. 6 in San Pedro Sula. (AP Photo/J Pat Carter)The Associated Press

When the United States takes the field Wednesday in Honduras for the start of the final round of World Cup qualifying, Landon Donovan will be missing.

The 30-year-old midfielder, a veteran of three World Cups and the American career leader in goals and assists, is taking a break from soccer following the Los Angeles Galaxy's second straight Major League Soccer title.

The Americans practiced in Florida on Monday before traveling to San Pedro Sula for the match. Coach Jurgen Klinsmann maintained Donovan's absence creates opportunity for others.