Photo by John Todd/ISIphotos.com
By FRANCO PANIZO
If the U.S. Men’s National Team are going to end its successful 2014 World Cup qualification campaign with a victory, they will have to do so with a team comprised mostly of reserves.
U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann announced his expected roster changes on Saturday afternoon, dropping four veteran starters from his side ahead of Tuesday’s final qualifier in Panama. Landon Donovan and Jermaine Jones were sent back to their clubs due to injury concerns to their ankle and knee, respectively, and Tim Howard and Matt Besler also were released as part of a planned rotation of players.
“Landon is still struggling with the ankle injury from a couple weeks ago, so he will go back to Los Angeles and try to get back to 100 percent,” said Klinsmann. “Jermaine’s case is more of a concern. His knee was bothering him all night but he battled through. It’s clear that the issue with his knee is something that should be taken care of right away so he can be 100 percent for Schalke and the National Team as soon as possible.”
The lone player brought into camp as a replacement is Chicago Fire goalkeeper Sean Johnson, who joins Brad Guzan and Nick Rimando as netminders on the U.S. squad. Klinsmann said Guzan will start on Tuesday against the Canaleros.
“Brad Guzan has earned the opportunity to start against Panama,” Klinsmann added. “He has been outstanding for Aston Villa all year, and he has been huge in the games he has played for us in World Cup Qualifying. As I said before, we have one of the best situations in the world when it comes to our goalkeepers.”
Here is the updated 19-man U.S. roster:
GOALKEEPERS (3): Brad Guzan (Aston Villa), Sean Johnson (Chicago Fire), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake)
DEFENDERS (6): DaMarcus Beasley (Puebla), Geoff Cameron (Stoke City), Edgar Castillo (Club Tijuana), Brad Evans (Seattle Sounders FC), Clarence Goodson (San Jose Earthquakes), Michael Orozco (Puebla)
MIDFIELDERS (6): Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), Alejandro Bedoya (Nantes), Brad Davis (Houston Dynamo), Mix Diskerud (Rosenborg), Sacha Kljestan (Anderlecht), Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City)
FORWARDS (4): Jozy Altidore (Sunderland), Terrence Boyd (Rapid Vienna), Aron Johannsson (AZ Alkmaar), Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes)
What do you think of the roster? Think this squad has enough to beat Panama on the road? Wishing another player or two would have been called in?
Share your thoughts below.