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Oh, Fabian Johnson’s out now? Yeah, that sounds about right.

Mar 9, 2013, 10:56 AM EDT

Germany Soccer Bundesliga AP

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.

  1. dfstell - Mar 9, 2013 at 12:05 PM

    I know he’s not perceived as sexy, but what’s wrong with Todd Dunivant? I’m sick of this plugging in of guys in the wrong position. The guy may not have the footspeed of some of these other guys, but he’s solid as hell and will do a job for us. I’m not saying that he should be on our World Cup roster (if we qualify), but he should be fine for a home qualifier against Costa Rica. There’s no player on the field for Costa Rica that is anything different than he’s playing every week in MLS. I mean….we’re not playing Brazil where he’s going to have to deal with someone like Danny Alves.

    I feel like we’re constantly trying to be too clever about this lineup stuff. Just plug in the next best LB and go win the game.

    • curtisw09 - Mar 9, 2013 at 12:28 PM

      I’m guessing that Fabian Johnson will be back, but I’d think it’d be likely that Klinsmann moves Cameron to left back even though he’s not left footed because he’s played there at Stoke and start either Edu or Bocanegra at center along with Gonzalez.

      • crnelson10 - Mar 9, 2013 at 9:57 PM

        I’d say Chandler out left and Cameron on the right.

    • Dan Haug - Mar 9, 2013 at 2:56 PM

      I was going to ask the same question. Dunivant is a good solid player, but there are others out there as well. We should be fine against Costa Rica

    • unitedlee - Mar 11, 2013 at 9:48 AM

      Agreed. I wish that was our thought process at USSF! I think Dunivant has had a cup of coffee with the national team when he was younger to and playing in the CONCACAF Champions League has to have him ready to play a Costa Rico.

  2. tylerbetts - Mar 9, 2013 at 12:25 PM

    I would have complete faith in Parkhurst. The guy has proven himself at the club level and the international level. He’s not flashy, he’s not going to win games for you. But, he’s going to remain disciplined and he’s (and this is important after watching the marking against Honduras) not going to lose any games for you.

  3. wfjackson3 - Mar 9, 2013 at 4:27 PM

    Dunivant? Really guys, you think that is better than using one of the obviously more skilled players out of position?

  4. bigdinla - Mar 9, 2013 at 5:07 PM

    How about Lichaj? He was excellent at LB before JK banished him from the team.

  5. drewvt6 - Mar 9, 2013 at 6:54 PM

    What did lichaj do to get banned?

  6. bigdinla - Mar 9, 2013 at 8:33 PM

    Nothing. He just has not been called in by JK.

    • schmutzdeck - Mar 9, 2013 at 9:49 PM

      bigdinia and drewvt6,

      Villa gave Lichaj a shot at the right back job. He failed.

      They gave him a shot at the left back job. He failed.

      They gave him at shot at first guy off the bench. Now he’s not even dressing.

      If he can’t play for one of the most messed up defenses in the EPL why should JK give him a shot? Because Bradley capped him a few years ago? It was Lichaj’s giveaway to Guardado in the box that led to Mexico’s second goal in their 4-2 massacre of the US in the 2011 Gold Cup final. Then after that he had a major hip injury.

      As long as you are giving chances to guys who were good once how about Gooch and Charlie Davies? They are available.

  7. crnelson10 - Mar 9, 2013 at 9:58 PM

    Hey, I wouldn’t cry if Heath Pearce got a call up in a pinch. He’s been there before.

    • schmutzdeck - Mar 9, 2013 at 11:05 PM

      “He’s been there before”

      And what happened when he was there?

  8. smgraff4 - Mar 9, 2013 at 10:01 PM

    Why not blood some of the U-20s? Also, if Klinsmann wanted to hand it to Mexico (and prove he understands the rivalry), he would start Richard Sanchez against Costa Rica.

  9. bigdinla - Mar 10, 2013 at 10:11 AM

    I don’t care what he has done in the EPL he was battling leg injuries btw. He was excellent at LB for the USMNT.

  10. schmutzdeck - Mar 10, 2013 at 1:17 PM


    So the guy hardly ever plays for his club, and last played for the US almost two years ago, when another guy was in charge, and just because you think he was excellent then he should now be capped?

    If Lichaj “battling leg injuries” is the reason AV is not playing him now then he isn’t fit to play for the US either is he?

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