Tim Howard’s out, Clint Dempsey’s iffy, and Landon Donovan’s in Cambodia. Who else is out or in doubt for the U.S.’s upcoming qualifiers against Costa Rica and Mexico?
Fabian Johnson, that’s who. The Hoffenheim left-sider missed today’s game with what one German outlet described as “muscular problems.”
Before we get too deep into this, realize Johnson was listed as questionable. True, that turned into ‘out’ when he missed today’s kickoff at Greuther Furth, but he’s not as outright injured as somebody who was ruled out entirely. With 13 days until the U.S. hosts Costa Rica, it’s probable the muscular problems could improve enough for Johnson to make the qualifiers.
But let’s go down this rabbit hole and consider the scenarios if Johnson’s out. That would leave Tijuana’s Edgar Castillo next in line, right? Yeah, except for the broken bones in his face, for which he just underwent surgery. He’s doubtful for the next set of qualifiers.
I guess that leaves Carlos Bocanegra. Too bad he hasn’t been playing for Racing Santander. How comfortable should Jurgen Klinsmann be dropping the veteran into the team when he’s not playing in the Spanish second division.
We’ve seen Jose Torres out there before, but that was against much lesser competition (at home against Antigua and Barbuda).
Michael Parkhurt could be an option, but after that we’re grasping at straws. Does somebody like Justin Morrow get called in?
If Johnson isn’t ready this time next week, we might be asking that question. Does a player who has one, January cap get called in ahead of a game the U.S. really needs to win?
Let’s wait and see before answering that one.