[USA MEN] The U.S. national team coaching staff breathed a sigh of relief when it got word that the leg injury that forced starting left back DaMarcus Beasley to leave Puebla's match at Pachuca on Sunday is not serious.
Beasley could play in Puebla's season finale against Morelia, MLSSoccer.com reported, though La Franja has nothing to play for except avoid the cellar -- it is tied for last place with Veracruz after 16 games. Puebla has already avoided relegation as Atlante's record over the last three seasons assures it of being the lone club to get the drop.
Beasley's American teammate, Michael Orozco, has not dressed since being sidelined with a hamstring injury of his own on April 6.
The list of injured World Cup hopefuls shrunk last week as Brad Evans (as a second-half sub for Seattle), Michael Bradley (part of a long list of injured Toronto FC players) and Nick Rimando (in spectacular form against Portland) all returned to action.
Of the players who were called in for the USA-Mexico match on April 2, four remained sidelined.
Of those four, Brad Davis was the lone starter, and he continues to recover from an ankle injury picked up on April 5 in Houston's game against FC Dallas. Davis, who would probably be considered to have the best shot of making the World Cup team, remained doubtful for Wednesday's MLS game between New York and the Dynamo.
Julian Green suffered a shoulder injury in the Mexico match and has not played since. (Bayern II with which he has played most of the season was off for Easter weekend.)
Luis Gil and Bill Hamid, neither of whom played against Mexico, are also injured. Gil came out of Real Salt Lake's match at Sporting Kansas City with an injury in the hamstring-groin area and has not played since. He did dress against Portland on Saturday but withdrew from this week's U.S. U-21 camp to continue his recovery. (Wil Trapp of the Columbus Crew also withdrew from the U-21 camp to allow him to nurse his injury.) As for Hamid, he has been bothered by a foot injury. In his absence, Andrew Dykstra has been undefeated in the D.C. United goal.
With the exception of Stuart Holden (knee), only a couple of other World Cup hopefuls -- both longshots to begin with -- remained sidelined in Europe. Timmy Chandler (knee) is back training after suffering a knee injury in February, while Eric Lichajis still recovering from his sports hernia operation.