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.
Seemingly everything he touches turns to
Marcus Rashford scored twice in the first 17 minutes of Wednesday’s League Cup third round match versus Burton Albion at Old Trafford, and the second was a beaut.
[ MORE: Everton fines Rooney ]
It was a classy little chipped finish that made it 1-0, but Rashford unleashed from outside the 18 to beat a flying goalkeeper and put a jewel on the scoreboard.
Well, not really a jewel, but picture that “2” as real shiny.
Rashford now has five goals in eight matches for Manchester United this season, and 22 in 78 for his career. He turns 20 next month, which is nice.
Wayne Rooney‘s move back to Everton was always going to benefit the Merseyside community, though it wasn’t supposed to be like this.
Everton has fined Rooney two weeks’ wages following his admission earlier this week to a drunk driving charge.
[ MORE: PL Player Power Rankings ]
According to the BBC, “Everton intend to give the entire sum – thought to be about £300,000 – to local projects through their Everton in the Community scheme.”
At a Monday court date, Rooney learned that he would not be allowed to drive for two years. He was also fined and assigned 100 hours of community service.
Rooney has two goals and an assist in nine appearances, all starts, for the struggling Toffees. He is not in the 18 for Everton’s third round League Cup tie versus Sunderland on Wednesday.
Five more League Cup third round games take place on Wednesday with Manchester United, Arsenal, Chelsea and Everton all hosting lower-league opponents.
[ LIVE: Latest League Cup scores ]
Holders Man United welcome Burton Albion to Old Trafford, while Arsenal host Doncaster Rovers, Chelsea welcome Nottingham Forest to Stamford Bridge, Everton clash with recently relegated Sunderland and Manchester City head to West Brom.
On Tuesday five Premier League teams were knocked out of the competition as Liverpool lost at Leicester City, Stoke were upset at Bristol City, Burnley lost to Leeds United on penalty kicks, Brighton lost at Bournemouth and Huddersfield were knocked out by Crystal Palace.
[ MORE: Tuesday’s League Cup roundup ]
Below is the full schedule for Wednesday’s League Cup games with all games kicking off at 2:45 p.m. ET unless otherwise stated.
Click on the link above for live updates on all five games, while the fourth-round draw takes place after the games have finished.
Wednesday’s League Cup schedule
Arsenal vs. Doncaster Rovers
Chelsea vs. Nottingham Forest
Everton vs. Sunderland
Manchester United vs. Burton Albion – 3 p.m. ET
West Bromwich Albion vs. Manchester City – 3 p.m. ET
Rog and Davo break down Arsenal’s draw at Chelsea, Wazza’s return to Old Trafford, and a robotic performance from Pep’s City side. Plus, a musical number at the end.
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