Fabian Johnson ruled out for USMNT’s upcoming WC qualifiers

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Ahead of next week’s critical CONCACAF World Cup qualifiers, Bruce Arena has been dealt a big blow.

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Borussia Monchengladbach midfielder/defender Fabian Johnson has been ruled out of the U.S. Men’s National Team’s WCQs against Honduras and Panama after sustaining a thigh strain in Thursday’s UEFA Europa League defeat against Schalke.

Arena has named Sporting KC’s Graham Zusi as his replacement for Johnson to fill out the 24-man roster.

There is no timetable for Johnson’s return but it certainly leaves Arena in a difficult position in regards to his starting left back on March 24.

Although Johnson has been known to shift throughout the USMNT lineup during his time on international duty, the 26-year-old has largely locked down the left back position over recent matches.

Meanwhile, the USMNT will have similar difficulty finding a suitable starter at right back with Newcastle’s DeAndre Yedlin missing out on the upcoming fixtures due to a similar thigh problem.

Veteran outside back DaMarcus Beasley, Michael Orozco, Tim Ream and Jorge Villafana are currently Arena’s top options to fill the two outside back positions.