[USA-JAMAICA: Countdown] Those fans who had Jermaine Jones in the first-to-be-suspended pool will be disappointed. Clarence Goodson is the first American to be suspended for yellow card accumulation in World Cup 2014 qualifying, picking up his second caution in only three games in
Friday's 2-1 loss to Jamaica. Goodson's suspension complicates Coach Jurgen Klinsmann's options on his already thin backline, although he has at least five
possible choices ...
Here's what handcuffed Klinsmann in the first game against Jamaica:
-- A foot injury sidelined Edgar Castillo whose strong play for Tijuana has been one of the reasons the Xolos are contending for the lead in Mexico. He could have started at left back and Fabian Johnson would have moved to right back in Kingston (see below).
-- Michael Bradley was also unavailable, having suffered a hamstring injury. It meant that Klinsmann had to move Maurice Edu, who played in the middle of the backline in the 1-0 win over Mexico, into midfield in Kingston when he went with three holding midfielders.
-- Right back Steve Cherundolo sat out the Kingston match because of a calf injury and was replaced by Michael Parkhurst.
-- Klinsmann chose not to play captain Carlos Bocanegra because he "had some problems getting in a rhythm now with the whole transfer thing." (Bocanegra was starting for Scottish club Rangers in the fourth level of Scottish soccer until his move on loan to Spanish club Racing Santander.)
The assumption is Geoff Cameron will hold down one of the two spots in the middle of the U.S. backline. Here are Klinsmann's options to replace Goodson:
-- Edu, who had a solid game alongside Cameron against Mexico in their debut outing -- assuming Klinsmann won't again go with three holding midfielders in Columbus.
-- Michael Orozco Fiscal, who scored the winning goal against Mexico coming up from his right back position and who started early in Klinsmann's tenure in the middle of the backline.
-- Jonathan Spector, whose versatility probably earned him a call-up ahead of Eric Lichaj, who is starting for Aston Villa in the EPL.
-- Parkhurst, who has also played in the middle for Klinsmann, if Cherundolo is healthy enough to start at right back.
-- Bocanegra, if he has rediscovered his "rhythm."