Dempsey, F. Johnson forced off USMNT roster with injuries

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Photo by John Todd/ISIphotos.com

By FRANCO PANIZO

Two of the U.S. Men’s National Team’s most dynamic offensive weapons will not be suiting up in the upcoming friendlies.

U.S. Soccer announced on Wednesday afternoon that Clint Dempsey and Fabian Johnson have been forced to withdraw from the roster that is currently in Europe preparing for friendlies against Scotland and Austria. Dempsey suffered a right calf strain in training on Wednesday morning in Glasgow while Johnson is still dealing with the nagging right ankle knock that he only recently returned from.

No replacements will be added by head coach Jurgen Klinsmann, leaving the current roster at 21 players.

The Americans take on Scotland on Friday before closing out 2013 with a game in Austria on Nov. 19.

Here is the updated U.S. roster:

Goalkeepers: Bill Hamid (D.C. United), Tim Howard (Everton), Sean Johnson (Chicago Fire)

Defenders: DaMarcus Beasley (Puebla), John Brooks (Hertha Berlin), Geoff Cameron (Stoke City), Brad Evans (Seattle Sounders FC), Omar Gonzalez (LA Galaxy), Eric Lichaj (Nottingham Forest), Michael Orozco (Puebla)

Midfielders: Alejandro Bedoya (FC Nantes), Michael Bradley (Roma), Mix Diskerud (Rosenborg), Jermaine Jones (Schalke), Sacha Kljestan (Anderlecht), Brek Shea (Stoke City)

Forwards: Jozy Altidore (Sunderland), Terrence Boyd (Rapid Vienna), Aron Johannsson (AZ Alkmaar), Eddie Johnson (Seattle Sounders FC), Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes)

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What do you think of Dempsey and Johnson withdrawing from the U.S. roster because of injuries? Still think the Americans can win both of their upcoming matches without them? Who do you think this opens the door for in Friday’s friendly vs. Scotland?

Share your thoughts below.

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48 Responses to Dempsey, F. Johnson forced off USMNT roster with injuries

  1. BryanW says:

    So….starting line up?

  2. BryanW says:

    Sooo… Starting lineup predictions?
    Does this move them back to a 4-2-3-1?

    • Schmeig says:

      Altidore
      E. Johnson Diskeruud Bedoya
      Jones Bradley
      Beasley Cameron Gonzalez Evans
      Howard

      • divers suck says:

        This works for me. Would also love to see Aaron Bacon as much as possible though.

      • Lost in Space says:

        ———————Altidore—————–
        —-EJ——-Johannsson——Bedoya—
        ———-Jones——– Bradley————-
        Beasley Cameron Gonzalez Evans
        ———————Howard——————-
        Subs: Boyd, Shea, Mixx, Kljestan, Lichaj

  3. biff says:

    Why not fly Mike Magee over for a look? Magee on that plane in a second.

    • divers suck says:

      For his first cap? Isn’t it a bit late for a 29 year old?

      • David M says:

        What difference does the age make?

        • biff says:

          I guess he is thinking about WC 2018. Trouble with that argument is, WC 2014 comes first.

          • Kingsly Alexander says:

            I don’t think that plays as much in his decision to keep Magee off the roster as you’d think.

            I just don’t think Jurgen sees anything in him that he doesn’t already see in others on the team already

      • Gary Page says:

        I remember that Steve Ralston was pretty up in soccer years when he got his first cap and had some decent contributions to make. I like your idea.

  4. Maykol says:

    Can we please see johansson on the wing?

    • Kingsly Alexander says:

      Why? You want him near the goal, where he scores.

    • divers suck says:

      With, perhaps the best ball control of any forward in the pool that he has in tight quarters in front of goal? Why in the world would he play on the wing? He’s not fast enough or even built like a winger!

  5. Nihal says:

    I hope Jürgen brings in any of these players: Tim Ream, Mike Magee, Luis Gil, Jonathan Spector, or Timmy Chandler, but apparently no replacements. I saw Cameron at RB and Lichaj at LB. Also I’d like to see AJ start for sure now, or maybe move Bedoya underneath the striker, because that is where he plays at Nantes.

    • divers suck says:

      Not Timmy Chandler. He’s had many chances.

      • Nihal says:

        True. I would actually add Duane Holmes to my list.

        • Maykol says:

          Well if you’re gonna bring in someone with no chance of going to the World Cup, why not bring people who actually get decent playing time like Gil, Villarreal, or Magee. Or idk if Gomez is fully fit but I prefer him to wondo

          • Nihal says:

            Hm, I totally forgot about Gomez. I think Arriola and Gil have a possibility of getting a surprise call, but that is very, very unlikely. These are just players I’d personally like to see.

        • Joe+G says:

          He has tweeted out that he will be at the match. Maybe Jurgen can grab him from the crowd and throw him onto the pitch.

    • Kingsly Alexander says:

      Tim Ream has been playing very well and deserves a call up.

    • Dennis says:

      I think it is unlikely JK will call up any players he did not use in the Gold Cup or the fall friendlies. (Donavon, Dempsey, FJ, Castillo, Besler in addition to the 21 still in this camp are the most likely suspects along with Dolo if he gets healthy)

      • Kingsly Alexander says:

        Na, I could see Ream getting a call based on form, although any position he can play is aptly covered

        Lichaj is a position of need so that may be different, but that disses the premiss he wouldn’t call in anyone who hadn’t featured before.

        He was really high on Tim Ream if you remember.

        • divers suck says:

          Aside from his lack of ability to go forward into the attack, I think Tim Ream would be an excellent LB with that deft left foot of his and defensive abilities….

    • slowleftarm says:

      I’d like to see none of those players. Gil maybe but not while RSL is still in the playoffs. The others I’ll pass on.

  6. David says:

    Brek Shea now stands to get some time on left wing with Fabian Johnson gone. Eddie Johnson and Aron Johannsson could also do the job. Unless, Lichaj gets a run out at left back and Beasley moves up to the wing? That could happen at some point. Johannsson or Diskerud will probably get the Dempsey role supporting Altidore.

    Perhaps shutting down for a break will be the best thing for Dempsey. He hasn’t been right since joining the Sounders. Either he goes on loan to some European club in January or reports to Camp Klinsmann to get back into shape.

  7. Benjamin C. says:

    If you are taking the viewpoint that friendlies are at least partially about experimentation, then I would want to see backline of Lichaj at LB, Brooks and Gonzalez at CBs, and Cameron at RB at some point in one of the games and at least for an entire half. Everything else on this squad is a fairly known quality at this point, but even Klinsmann has to admit there is a strong possibility that Evans and Beasley as the outside backs will not work out against World Cup competition.

    • Kingsly Alexander says:

      Experiment, as in tinker with lineups a bit.

      there’s no way he starts both brooks and Lichaj in the back out right.

      • Benjamin C. says:

        He doesn’t have to start them, but I would like to see that lineup on the field at some point. And judging by Klinsmann’s track record, I don’t see why such a thing would be that outlandish.

  8. run says:

    Ben Lederman’s time has come. I think he has waited long enough.

  9. DCUnitedWillRiseAgain says:

    I think we will get to see Lichaj at LB with Beasley moving up to the wing.

  10. bottlcaps says:

    Outside of injuries, I do not think the JK will bring many “new” players into the mix at this late date. That being said, there are some players who have no or little time with the USMNT that JK may give a look-see in US based friendlies. Most of the players, even those on the bubble,have shown JK some tangible results in previous appearances.

    My lineup:

    Altidore >>>>>>>>> upfront as a single striker but with

    Johansson..>>>>>>>>>>>just underneath, as a withdrawn striker and with

    Shea and Bedoya>>>>>>>>on the wings and having

    Bradley and J. Jones >>>>>>>>at the center, the back line a little problematic with

    Gonzales and Cameron >>>>>>>>>as the center backs, with the corners being covered by

    Beasley >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>on the left and

    Evans>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>on the right and of course,

    Tim Howard>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>between the sticks.

    Look to see Diskerud, if a early sub is made, or Klejstan coming in for some passing offense and Orozco for late defense. As this is a friendly. more subs can be expected, especially to give Boyd a few minute before the game with Austria and Brooks some more time on the backline.. I can see EJ coming in if the the US gets behind.

  11. bryan says:

    Dempsey needs to rest. this FJ injury has become a real issue…

  12. P says:

    F. Johnson is proving to be fragile. Not a great trait for any athlete. Wonder what his professional habits are like or if he is just injury prone.

    • dude says:

      Strange comment. He hasn’t dropped out due to injury any more than Dempsey or Donovan have. Michael Bradley is almost indestructible, and he just missed a few weeks. There’s nothing wrong with F Johnson’s regiment, he’s just doing this for a living.

  13. dude says:

    Jozy
    Beasley-Mix-Bedoya
    Jones-Bradley
    Lichaj-Brooks-Gonzalez-Evans
    Hamid/Johnson.

    We get to see Lichaj at left back, push Beasley up to the wing, see Hamid and Johnson get a half to see where they’re at.

  14. Samster says:

    Can we call in Wondolowski twice?

  15. Dennis says:

    Job 1 is getting a team ready for Brazil. Right now that is made difficult due to injuries to key players. I am most worried about the back-line since I think that usually requires good cohesiveness and organization. Right now of the back 4, only Beasley has consistently been the starter (Castillo has played there, but JK clearly likes Beasley), RB has 3 or 5 potential starters, in no particular order, Evans, Lichaj, Dolo, Chandler, Cameron. CB, again in no particular order, has Gonzo, Besler, Orosco, Cameron, Brooks, Ream?. I hope that the musical chairs in the back comes to an end and a cohesive unit can be formed. At the very least, picking 4 and sticking with them will make it clear how JK wants them to play and will serve as models for the next 4 to emulate so they can fit in.

    Things are not so crazy in midfield since it is pretty clear who the leading candidates are, even if they have rarely all been healthy at the same time.

    I think the way the US has played, the forwards have not played off each other very well and that needs to change, but it is pretty clear that barring injury, someone needs to learn to combine with Jozy who is athletically special. Of course with only 2 forwards, that combining is less rigid and in fact being unpredictable is a positive.

  16. Quit whining about soccer in the US says:

    Man, who would have predicted that you might get injured if you don’t take a little time off ?

    JK, will now push for guys doing ‘two a days’ on loan to two teams until the MLS season starts up.