TAMPA, Fla. – The sudden injury concern at left back won’t be a problem worth fretting over tonight. Solution by “stop-gap” will suffice.
But Tuesday against Guatemala? That’s when the managerial worry meter might rise into the red. So I started asking this morning if Jurgen Klinsmann might put in a call, adding a player ahead of Tuesday’s trip into Central America?
A team spokesman told me there was no chance it would happen before tonight’s contest. But adding a player this weekend was certainly a possibility, he said.
There would be no opportunity to put the question before Klinsmann, I was told, before tonight’s match.
So, if it comes to that, who are we looking at?
It would absolutely have to be someone in season, which means MLS. That eliminates Aston Villa’s Eric Lichaj. (Yes, I know there are lots of you out there who feel Lichaj should have been on the roster all along. I don’t necessarily disagree.) And that eliminates Tigres’ Jonathan Bornstein.
The best options then, would be Red Bulls defender Heath Pearce or FC Dallas fullback Zach Loyd (pictured).
Pearce has been a fullback most of his career, but has been stationed centrally for the last two seasons. Like Loyd, he was among the MLS-heavy national team camp in January.
Pearce started at left back in the first U.S. match this year (a 1-0 win over Venezuela). Loyd replaced him after 71 minutes and probably looked better that night. Klinsmann must have thought so, too, because Loyd started the next match (a 1-0 win over Panama), but came out injured just before halftime, replaced by Pearce.