[USA-COLOMBIA] After Carlos Bocanegra, Steve Cherundolo has been granted
permission to return to Europe, leaving the USA without its two starting outside backs for Tuesday's friendly against Colombia at PPL Park in Chester, Pa. (TV: ESPN2, Galavision, live, 8 p.m. ET).
Bocanegra and Cherundolo returned to St. Etienne of France and Hannover 96 of Germany, respectively.
Both clubs are challenging for the lead after battling relegation last season. St. Etienne is second in Ligue 1, behind Rennes, Bocanegra's former club. Hannover is third in the Bundesliga after seven games.
Jonathan Spector, who didn't play in the 2-2 tie with Poland in Chicago on Saturday night, and Heath Pearce, who joined the USA following FC Dallas' MLS game on Saturday, would be expected to get the starts on the outside.
U.S. coach Bob Bradley has Oguchi Onyewu and Maurice Edu, who started against Poland, and Clarence Goodson to choose from in the middle of the backline.
While Edu, who starts for Scottish champion Rangers in midfield, has only limited experience at center back -- he played there at the 2008 Olympics -- his pace is an asset on a backline lacking in speed.
Edu played in midfield alongside Michael Bradley at the World Cup, but Jermaine Jones now appears to be a fixture in one of the two central midfield roles.
With Jay DeMerit unemployed and Onyewu unable to win playing time at AC Milan, that leaves big question marks in the middle of the defense.
The only other defender available for the Colombia game is 21-year-old outside back Eric Lichaj, who has yet to play a league game for Aston Villa. His selection would make him the most inexperienced player to earn a cap in more than a decade.
GOALKEEPERS (2): Brad Guzan (Aston Villa), Tim Howard (Everton)
DEFENDERS (6): Clarence Goodson (IK Start), Eric Lichaj (Aston Villa), Oguchi Onyewu (AC Milan), Michael Parkhurst (FC Nordsjaelland), Heath Pearce (FC Dallas), Jonathan Spector (West Ham)
MIDFIELDERS (7): Alejandro Bedoya (Orebro), Michael Bradley (Borussia M'Gladbach), Maurice Edu (Rangers), Benny Feilhaber (Aarhus GF), Stuart Holden (Bolton Wanderers), Jermaine Jones (FC Schalke), Brek Shea (FC Dallas)
FORWARDS (3): Jozy Altidore (Villarreal), Clint Dempsey (Fulham), Eddie Johnson (Fulham)
GOALKEEPERS (3): Breiner Castillo (Inde. Medellin), Farid Mondragon (FC Cologne), David Ospina (Nice)
DEFENDERS (6): Pablo Armero (Udinese), Aquivaldo Mosquera (America Cali), Luis Amaranto Perea (Atletico Madrid), Juan David Valencia (Inde. Medellin), Mario Yepes (AC Milan), Camilo Zuniga (Napoli)
MIDFIELDERS (5): Juan Cuadrado (Udinese), Victor Ibarbo (Atletico Nacional), John Javier Restrepo (Inde. Medellin), John Valencia (Once Caldas), John Viafara (La Equidad)
FORWARDS (5): Falcao (Porto), Teofilo Gutierrez (Trabzonspor), Giovani Moreno (Racing Club), Adrian Ramos (Hertha Berlin), Darwin Quintero (Santos Laguna)