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U.S. left back jinx hits again
by Paul Kennedy, October 10th, 2012 7:46PM

TAGS:  men's national team


[ANTIGUA & BARBUDA-USA] U.S. players continue to drop like flies. A day after Landon Donovan and Brek Shea were ruled out for the final two matches in the semifinal round of World Cup 2014 qualifying, U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann revealed that the USA will be without both left backs Fabian Johnson (flu) and Edgar Castillo (foot injury) for Friday's game at Antigua & Barbuda, and Castillo will also miss Tuesday's game against Guatemala in Kansas City, Kan. This is nothing new: Johnson and Castillo were both sidelined for the USA-A&B game in June. One small problem: Jose Torres, the stand-in at left back in Tampa, is also injured and not in camp ...

“Obviously it’s a difficult situation losing Fabian for the Antigua game and Edgar being unavailable for both," said Klinsmann in a statement. "We were in a similar situation for the first match against Antigua & Barbuda in June, and we will be prepared. Fabian has been ill since the weekend, and we were waiting to see if he would be healthy enough to join us in Miami. At this point, it is in everyone’s best interest to allow him to fully recover from his illness and come into Kansas City ready to play against Guatemala.”

The loss of Johnson and Castillo leaves Klinsmann with only 20 players -- and six defenders -- for Friday's game at the Vivian Richards Cricket Grounds.

The only candidates for left back are Carlos Bocanegra and Michael Parkhurst. Another option would have been Tim Chandler, who has turned down chances to play for the USA in the past. He told Soccer by Ives last month he was open to playing in the October qualifiers if Klinsmann called him up. Sources told Soccer by Ives that Klinsmann did not invite him.

GOALKEEPERS (3): Brad Guzan (Aston Villa), Tim Howard (Everton), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake).
DEFENDERS (6): Carlos Bocanegra (Racing Santander), Geoff Cameron (Stoke City), Steve Cherundolo (Hannover 96), Maurice Edu (Stoke City), Clarence Goodson (Brondby), Michael Parkhurst (FC Nordsjaelland).
MIDFIELDERS (7): Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), Michael Bradley (Roma), Joe Corona (Tijuana), Jermaine Jones (Schalke 04), Sacha Kljestan (Anderlecht), Danny Williams (Hoffenheim), Graham Zusi (Sporting KC).
FORWARDS (4): Clint Dempsey (Tottenham), Herculez Gomez (Santos), Alan Gordon (San Jose Earthquakes), Eddie Johnson (Seattle Sounders).

Friday: Antigua & Barbuda-USA in North Sound, Antigua (beIN SPORT, 7 pm ET).
Tuesday: USA-Guatemala at sold-out Livestrong Sporting Park in Kansas City, Kan. (ESPN2, WatchESPN and the Univision family, 7 pm ET)

  1. Scott O'connor
    commented on: October 11, 2012 at 11:20 a.m.
    Geez. Fortunately, we have the weakest possible opponents in these 2 games. Looks like it's going to have to be Cherundolo, Cameron, Edu, Boca in the back. Jones and Bradley in the middle to help the D. Gomez and Dempsey up top. Zusi and Williams as the L and R mids? Again, the A&B game is essentially meaningless. 3 points would ease the situation going into Tuesday but still we would need at least a draw against Guatemala no matter what. The team is very weak now. Not sure why Klinsmann is not calling in some other players to be available.
  1. JP Nichols
    commented on: October 11, 2012 at 12:18 p.m.
    I am excited to see this lineup perform. cherundolo and zusi combined well up the right side against Jamaica in Columbus (at least in the first half anytway) and I think they can do it again. Bradley being back is huge for us in the midfield. It will be interesting game thats for sure
  1. Chris Sapien
    commented on: October 11, 2012 at 12:37 p.m.
    You nailed it Ric!
  1. Paul Stierle
    commented on: October 11, 2012 at 12:47 p.m.
    Where is Wondoloski? Last week he played midfield and scored 3. San Jose could beat our national team. They have the Red, White, Black a Blue Spirit. And of course they could wipe out Antiqua. More MLS players that can jell together
  1. John Hooper
    commented on: October 11, 2012 at 12:50 p.m.
    I think a back 4 of Dolo, Cameron, Goodson (or maybe Edu--but I go with Goodson) and Boca should be good enough to keep A & B out. Keep it simple in this game. We have the better players, lets act like it.
  1. Chris Sapien
    commented on: October 11, 2012 at 5:19 p.m.
    You're right John, and I like your back four, except I'm not comfortable with Edu as a center defender yet. Bocanegra on the outside won't give you alot of width or attacking support down the flank, but he could be called on to go forward for all set pieces and provide another target in the air since he wouldn't have middle of the field duty.

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