Photo by ISIphotos.com
By FRANCO PANIZO
U.S. Men’s National Team head coach Jurgen Klinsmann must be feeling a bit of deja vu right now.
As was the case in the United States’ first World Cup qualifier against Antigua & Barbuda back in June, Klinsmann will be without both first-choice left backs, Fabian Johnson and Edgar Castillo, for the Americans visit to Antigua this coming Friday. Castillo has been sidelined by a foot injury and will miss both upcoming World Cup qualifiers while Johnson, who is suffering from a flu, is expected to join the team prior to their match against Guatemala next Tuesday.
“Obviously it’s a difficult situation losing Fabian for the Antigua game and Edgar being unavailable for both,” Klinsmann told ussoccer.com. “We were in a similar situation for the first match against Antigua & Barbuda in June, and we will be prepared.
“Fabian has been ill since the weekend, and we were waiting to see if he would be healthy enough to join us in Miami. At this point, it is in everyone’s best interest to allow him to fully recover from his illness and come into Kansas City ready to play against Guatemala.”
Johnson and Castillo’s absence now leaves Klinsmann without a natural left back for the match in Antigua and it also takes away two more of his wide options. Landon Donovan and Brek Shea were both ruled out on Tuesday with respective knocks.
As things stand now, the U.S. roster is down to 20 players. Klinsmann can summon replacements, but he will not do so for the Antigua & Barbuda match. How things stand after that in terms of injuries and suspensions will determine if he calls in any extra bodies for the Guatemala game.
What do you think of this development? Who do you see playing left back on Friday? Think it would be a mistake for Klinsmann not to call in a replacement?
Share your thoughts below.