USMNT captain Clint Dempsey has picked up a calf injury in training this morning and has been withdrawn from the squad to face Scotland and Austria.
Midfielder Fabian Johnson, suffering from a nagging ankle injury he got with his club, has also been removed from the national team picture for this window.
Neither players will be replaced, according to U.S. Soccer.
It’s definitely not a surprise that either of the players will be removed, as it may have been a bit surprising that they were included in the first place. No MLS players still in action were included and a few on teams just recently eliminated – such as Dempsey’s Seattle Sounders – were also left off.
Johnson’s ankle has given him problems for a month or so now, and he hasn’t started a match with his Bundesliga club Hoffenheim since September 28 when he was injured. He was out of the squad until Saturday when he came on as a halftime substitute.
The injuries make even more room for players looking to become late additions to the World Cup roster.
Aron Johannsson, red-hot with his club AZ Alkmaar, could possibly get a start with Dempsey out. He could play either up front next to Altidore, behind the striker, or out on the wing as a direct replacement for Dempsey. Johnson’s exclusion makes way for the likes of Mix Diskerud or Brek Shea.
Arsenal lead Chelsea 1-0 at half time of the 2016-17 FA Cup final, but they should be so much further ahead.
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Alexis Sanchez put Arsenal ahead in controversial fashion as Aaron Ramsey was clearly in an offside position and flagged for offside, but referee Anthony Taylor overruled his linesman to allow the goal to stand.
Ramsey didn’t touch the ball but was remarkably close to it when Sanchez raced through to score.
Mesut Ozil, Danny Welbeck and Ramsey had further chances to score with Gary Cahill twice clearing off the line, while Chelsea had two chances through Diego Costa but he couldn’t convert.
Click on the link above to follow all the action from Wembley live.
What a first 45 minutes!
At the FA Cup final on Saturday at Wembley there was a moving tribute to the people killed in the Manchester bombing attack earlier this week.
On Monday a suicide bomber killed 22 people and injured a further 67 after detonating a bomb outside Manchester Arena following an Ariana Grande concert.
Ahead of the FA Cup final, Arsenal and Chelsea came together to salute everyone impacted by the atrocity.
Watch the moving video below as 90,000 stood in silence to show their solidarity.
Alexis Sanchez’s goal put Arsenal 1-0 up early on in the FA Cup final against Chelsea in hugely controversial fashion.
[ LIVE: Follow the FA Cup final here ]
Initially the goal was called out for offside on Aaron Ramsey who didn’t touch the ball but was mightily close to the action, but referee Anthony Taylor overruled his linesman and gave the goal.
There was also a hint of a handball on Sanchez’s part as the ball ricocheted off him in a tackle.
Watch the video below as Chelsea were left fuming but Arsenal didn’t care…
The U-20 World Cup in South Korea continues to provide plenty of drama.
[ MORE: U-20 World Cup latest ]
In Group C already-qualified Portugal fought back from 1-0 down against Iran to win 2-1 and sealed their spot in the last 16, while Costa Rica join both Portugal and Zambia in the knockout rounds after they beat Zambia 1-0.
Italy led Japan 2-0 in Group D but Japan fought back to make it 2-2 as they made it through to the last 16 alongside Italy and Uruguay. Elsewhere in Group D Uruguay and South Africa played out a 0-0 draw with Uruguay already through to the knockout rounds (they have yet to concede a goal) and South Africa heading home.
The final set of group games take place on Sunday with Groups E and F coming to a close, including the U.S. facing Saudi Arabia as Tab Ramos’ men aim to seal a spot in the last 16.
Three of the eight last 16 matches have now been confirmed with England facing Costa Rica, Venezuela taking on Japan and hosts South Korea will play Portugal.
Click on the link above for all the latest news from the U-20 World Cup, while below are video highlights from Saturday’s four games in Groups C and D.
Group C – Portugal 2-1 Iran
Group C – Costa Rica 1-0 Zambia
Group D – Japan 2-2 Italy
Group D – Uruguay 0-0 South Africa