[ANTIGUA & BARBUDA-USA] U.S. players continue to drop like flies. A day after Landon Donovan and Brek Sheawere ruled out for the final two matches in the semifinal round of World Cup 2014 qualifying, U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmannrevealed 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.
U.S. ROSTER-ANTIGUA & BARBUDA:
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)