Feb 3, 2013, 2:58 PM EST
Fabian Johnson was back in the TSG Hoffenheim lineup yesterday, which is good wonderful news for the U.S. back line situation – one that was suddenly looking a bit sketchy at a pretty bad time.
A knee injury had kept Johnson out of Hoffenheim’s last two matches, a 2-1 loss last week to Eintracht Frankfurt and a scoreless draw with Borussia Monchengladbach as Bundesliga action resumed on Jan. 19 following the winter break.
But he was on the field as previously slumping Hoffenheim turned up with a 2-1 victory at home over Freiburg.
Longtime U.S. right back Steve Cherundolo is out for Hannover at the moment, also with apparent knee trouble.
Johnson (pictured) and Cherundolo are Jurgen Klinsmann’s first-choice back line starters along the outside when healthy, although Timmy Chandler will presumably have something to say about that soon. He will, that is, if he’s around.
Chandler has been quite wishy-wahsy about getting permanently attached to the United States. He says he’s in – but that will be easier to believe when we know for sure the German-American has landed in Miami, where the United States is gathering to prep for this week’s trip into Honduras.
The situation might have ticked upward had Tony Beltran done a better job of seizing his opportunity last week. The Real Salt Lake man got a start against Canada but hardly distinguished himself. (He wasn’t alone.) Justin Morrow did a little better in his start along the left, although he did not quite rise to “difference-maker” status.
Meanwhile, we all know that the central defense has questions makes of its own to consider.
Add it all up and, yes, Johnson’s ability to get back on the field is quite a positive development for Klinsmann and the U.S. national team.
Jan 31, 2015, 10:56 AM EST
Click here to watch the second half of any PL game you like.
Jan 31, 2015, 9:45 AM EST
Magpies ease to first victory post-Pardew, as Hull remain in relegation zone.
Jan 31, 2015, 9:34 AM EST
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Jan 31, 2015, 9:28 AM EST
Can the Eagles climb above the Toffees? Watch live, here.
Jan 31, 2015, 9:20 AM EST
Harry Kane is the lone striker for Mauricio Pochettino, with Roberto Soldado on the bench.
Jan 31, 2015, 9:16 AM EST
Danny Ings remains up-top as usual for the Clarets.
Jan 31, 2015, 9:15 AM EST
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Jan 31, 2015, 9:12 AM EST
Steven Gerrard is unavailable to Liverpool, neither in the XI nor the substitutes. Daniel Sturridge starts on the bench.
Jan 31, 2015, 9:04 AM EST
Can the Red Devils get revenge for their mauling by the Foxes? Watch live, here.
Jan 31, 2015, 8:40 AM EST
Did Costa know what he was doing? Our analysts break it down.
Jan 31, 2015, 8:15 AM EST
Socceroos do the business on home soil, beat South Korea in extra time in Sydney.
Jan 31, 2015, 7:38 AM EST
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Jan 31, 2015, 7:29 AM EST
Where and how to watch every PL game during Week 23 live online or via the app.
Jan 30, 2015, 11:57 PM EST
Transfer deals that have been confirmed over the past day or so.
Jan 30, 2015, 10:59 PM EST
Bayern Munich head man Pep Guardiola sees where his squad went wrong in its 4-1 defeat against Bundesliga opponent VfL Wolfsburg.
Jan 30, 2015, 9:48 PM EST
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Jan 30, 2015, 9:08 PM EST
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Jan 30, 2015, 7:00 PM EST
Danny Ings looks poised to stay at Burnley due to a certain transfer rule that would block his departure to Liverpool.
Jan 30, 2015, 6:05 PM EST
United States and Borussia Dortmund II’s Joe Gyau underwent another surgery on his torn meniscus, and he could be done for the season.
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