U.S. Men's National Team

Castillo out for both USMNT qualifiers, Johnson to join team in KC

Photo by ISIphotos.com


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.

  • Goalscorer24

    As I said in a previous post (and got hammered), Bradley never had this type of injury issues during qualification.


  • Eric

    Yeah, I don’t think asking a winger to play left back for a WCQ because he played right back for a few Tippelegaen matches would work out very well…

    @PD: Beasley is a possibility. I certainly want to see Lichaj there.


  • downintexas

    It’s just Castillo, never rated him highly. But for the love of all things holy bring in some one.


  • Old School

    There’s a difference between acknowledging issues and freaking out.

    I’ve never felt like this process would be a slam dunk, so as a result, I’ve always had a healthy concern.

    This type of chaos (mostly regarding availability, injuries, etc) is something every nation could potentially face in the World Cup. Assuming we make it, this adversity and chaos could actually be a positive in the long run.

    I’ll say it, despite it being obvious, but I guarantee we (the fans, media) are the only ones freaking out. I have every bit of confidence our boys are fine and ready to rock.

    Sounds cliche but we’re American. While we don’t play anywhere near the level of a Spain or Brazil, for example, our spirit, competitive nature and bravado is second to none.

    I imagine some so called “powers” on the national stage would likely wilt in the eye of this type of storm. I don’t believe our Americans will and I’m trusting in JK.

    If we fail to qualify, no one will be louder on here for JK’s immediate removal and voicing their disdain for some questionable decisions. Until then? Perhaps there’s some method to this mayhem.

    Let’s relax and let this play out, shall we?


  • Old School

    The best player of this generation was a mainstay under Bradley: Landon Donovan.

    Under JK, he’s been a ghost under.

    You’re not the only one that sees things for what they are and puts emotions aside, Goalscorer24.


  • cj

    Well I guess we can guarantee that Corona will be likely capped by coming off the bench. I think if we still do not beat A&B by three we are screwed and do not belong. Also, since I have never seen them play outside of USMNT could Williams or Jones play lb if needed?


  • YO

    How many players on the current roster are one yellow away from suspension? Add that to the equation!


  • Good Jeremy

    So with our forward pool and presumably our offense built around flank play and sending in crosses, how do we adjust to our entire depth chart on the left side being injured?


  • DCP

    My main concern yesterday was that Gomez would get injured… Now I realize I should have been worrying about both left backs.


  • joel

    Lichaj is a no brainer but I am pretty sure
    he wont be called in. Spector is a another option.

    I guess Bocanegra will be put into that position.


  • Voice of Reason

    The injuries suck, but lets all take a deep breath. Only 20 players now on roster, BUT only 18 dress for the game anyway! Its not like there’s going to be empty places on the bench. You move Boca over to leftback, Goodson fills in at centerback, and the big problem is solved. Give Corona a shot at left wing. Or Klejstan, or whoever. Its not ideal, but it should be more than enough to get by A&B. If Fabian cant go against Guat, then call a replacement. Until then, dont really see the point of calling replacements.


  • WK

    This here is your lineup. But who on the bench (is there anybody on the bench???) can play outside back? If Dolo or parkhurst get hurt I suspect Cameron- easily our most versatile player, moves to the outside and Edu comes in at CB.

    I believe we’ll get a result in both games- though we may have chew through a few pencils as fans.


  • Michael Stypulkoski

    The US had already clinched their spot in the World Cup when Davies and Gooch were injured.


  • Chuck

    Aurelio Saco-Vertiz is an American-born, natural Left Back. Got a call to camp from Peru but hasn’t played for them nor been re-called.

    Just sayin’


  • ANM

    I know that the conventional wisdom holds that Klinsmann would never do this, but… it’s got to be Bocanegra at LB, hasn’t it. He’s clearly not the fastest, but with A&B bunkering, the most useful thing would be to have a player who can get into the space on the left twenty-five yards from the touch line and serve up a decent left-footed cross when the left mid/striker in the corner lays the ball back. Bocanegra can do this. He’s played this role in both the EPL and the World Cup.

    I’d partner Cameron and Parkhurst in the center, since they have shown a nice understanding with one another.


  • dcm

    Voice of reason – we still have 2 more days to go, at this rate there will be 5 more injuries, think about it.


  • jb

    …and what would those extra dozen players do? fly down last minute to watch from the stands in street clothes? you could call 100 extra players…but only 18 are allowed to dress.


  • jb

    Haha, some optimism please. Besides, only 14 players max will see the field so even if 5 more injuries… 20-5 = 15! See, we’d still be ok!


  • beachbum

    are you calling Donovan out? you’ve been riding this one for some time now and not just pointing out he’s been out but pointing your finger at him too.

    didn’t the guy just fly to FL to answer the callup with a bum knee because the coach wanted him on the team, only to be ruled unfit? Does that not prove he wanted to play?

    the way you have been putting it lately you make it sound like Donovan is dissing Klinsmann…is that your point that you keep trying to make about Donovan’s absence?

    ripping on others about not putting their emotions aside? hahaha!!!!


  • MSNats

    I know he’s been unstable ever since that incident with Goose, but I think it’s time we call up Maverick.


  • BrianVT

    Kid on my U-10 team curled one in, left-footed, from the corner-kick arc in the run of play last Thursday. But he’s potential dual-national (Mex.) I say, with three open roster spots, we call him up and cap him.


  • mikeandike

    Does the A&B game even matter?

    Doesn’t it all come down to Guatemala game and if the U.S. win that game they’re through, no matter what happens on Friday?

    If anything Klinsmann should save all the guys with yellow cards for Guatemala…

    the USMNT’s fans bad bad dream if not worst nightmare…



  • Gary Page

    You sound like an officer on the Titanic telling the passengers not to panic, all will be well. While it is A&B and they probably won’t pose a lot of an offensive threat, the issue is Klinsmann’s approach to the qualifiers, his failure to call in the best players, his failure to replace other injured players and the fact that if we fail to get 4 points it will be the greatest failure in US soccer since forever.


  • Gary Page

    You pretty much nailed it. His roster moves have been just plain stupid of late. Even if we do manage to go through, I now have serious doubts about this man’s judgment.


  • Gary Page

    While you are calling in Bornstein, might as well call in Ricardo Clark, too. At least he started playing for the Dynamo. And, no, I am not being serious. Just hope to gawd he doesn’t play Beckerman since we have all these injuries. Then we are really lost.


  • Gary Page

    Replacements? We don’t need no stinkin’ replacements. After all, no one else can possibly get hurt or get suspended. I guess you were never a Boy Scout–you know, always be prepared.


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