U.S. Men's National Team

Johnson's flu adds to mounting USMNT woes


Photo by ISIphotos.com

Add Fabian Johnson to the list of players who could be sidelined for the U.S. Men’s National Team’s upcoming World Cup qualifiers.

Johnson is currently suffering from a flu infection and is expected to miss out on Friday’s trip to Antigua & Barbuda, according to German outlet Kicker. Johnson’s status for next Tuesday’s home game at Livestrong Sporting Park against Guatemala is also in question because of the flu.

The report makes it seem as if Johnson is not currently training with the U.S. in Miami, stating that he could join them this weekend if he recovers from the flu. U.S. Soccer did not respond to the validity of that in an immediate inquiry.

If Johnson is out, he would join Landon Donovan and Brek Shea as players called into this camp that will be unavailable for the final two games of this round of qualifying. It would also leave head coach Jurgen Klinsmann with one less option to deploy out wide, which might force him to call in some replacements.

Jermaine Jones has also arrived in camp carrying an injury.

What do you make of this development? Is it time for Klinsmann to summon some replacements? Who would you like to see Klinsmann turn to if Johnson can’t play?

Share your thoughts below.

  • ex_sweeper

    This. And subs:

    F: Johnson, Gordon
    M: Corona, (Edu), Jones
    D: Parkhurst,Edu
    GK: Guzan

    There’s your 18. Not ideal but a pretty strong lineup. So why panic?


  • The Imperative Voice

    He’s entitled to 23 players, lets it go down to 22 on Donovan and Shea like he’s got it under control, now 21…it’s egotistical to act like you need not bother with a full compliment. The very fact people are already out with illness and injury to put your numbers down should suggest that preparing for the possibility of others would be wise….if nothing else. And particularly considering the experimental nature of some of his picks, eg, Gordon, the honest thing to do would be to call in someone with experience when someone like Landon or the German goes out.

    After all, one of the reasons I felt Bradley had “lost it” was showing up to Gold Cup 2011 with a weird unit, then Jozy goes out….if you don’t install proper redundancy that’s how you end up playing your “Bornsteins” at some key juncture, when they’re in over their head.

    There’s no rule saying he has to stand behind an announced callup not required by the qualifying rules. So, heck yes it’s egotistical.


  • Dane96

    The FLU?!?!? Really?!?!?! Jeesh…in college, when I got the flu, the coaches had the trainers hook me up to the IV of Sodium and put me on the field. You aren’t out a week from a chest cold.

    Pro-athletes (hockey and football come to mind immediately) that I know play through the flu.

    That’s a bunch of B.S. It has to be more than the flu…maybe a pneumonia like infection…but the FLU? The Flu doesn’t stay in the body for more than a few days. I’d rather have a half-strength Johnson than a no Johnson.


  • mr coolio

    My problem is the team seems like it’s gone backwards since Klinsmann arrived. Our team is scoring less goals and the quality of our possession has decreased. The team seems to struggle to mount an attack against any opponent. At least under Bradley (i was a BB hater btw) the team dominated opponents that were inferior, now not so much.


  • The Imperative Voice

    What concerns me is that the unwillingness to replace the shelved players plus the Altidore mess plus the no-effort on Chandler suggests a degree of self-serving stubbornness, “how dare you question my decisions.” His selection is apparently to be treated as spotless even in the face of attrition. Even if he left the malcontents out you replace the unhealthy just to keep the talent level and numbers right, and preserve tactical flexibility. Two potential wing options out and you don’t fill the void?


  • Dane96

    I played Division I football. Yes, you are not running as much…but the physicality takes over for that…because w/o strength you are effed.

    We got sodium IV bags…tons of other crap and were put out on the field to bash heads with other guys looking to kill us.

    Please…you can play with the flu if need be. Maybe not Friday…at worst…but most definitely next week.


  • The Imperative Voice

    You either swallow your pride on Chandler, or you call in Lichaj, because if he starts Parkhurst-types barely fit for Gold Cup for deciding qualifiers, he needs his head examined. I will provide him with a pink slip and plenty of time to get his head shrinked…


  • cj

    Hell let’s call in Danny Potts or the kid from Blackburn. Yes I know they can’t I just throwing out names like everybody else lol


  • The Imperative Voice

    I want to say that any half baked unit could be sent down to Antigua to secure 3 points, but 0-1 and 0-0 home games for them hints otherwise.

    Particularly since the callups were always a bit wonky and shall we say experimental, now’s when you need to call in reinforcements.

    FWIW, you want them for the next game they better be on a plane very soon, game’s in Antigua.


  • 2tone

    Lichaj won’t get the call. I could see a few MLS replcements. It’s too late to supplement from Europe for A&B.

    1. Justin Morrow for LB considering Castillo is injured now.
    2. Pontius needs to be called in
    3. Freddy Adu. Hell why not.

    Is Klinsmann even in contact with these guys. Shoudn’t he have known that Johnson was sick?

    Well you better be ready for a whole lot of long ball action on friday against A&B especially if Boca is playing at LB.


  • C'mon Man!

    I want some answers from the so called journalists who…

    1.) Didn’t see Fabian was not in training
    2.) Got scooped by some nobody on twitter (I saw the timeline), and now are acting like they discovered this story.


  • Bryan

    Jones significant? JK said it wasn’t and Schalke only held him out of precaution. Do you have info that says otherwise?


  • biff

    This is true, I agree, that is a strong line-up that should have no trouble beating Antigua or Guatemela. But, ex_sweeper, yesterday Benny Boy (see comments above) was taking a lackadaisical view toward the withdrawals of Donovan and Shea, saying no need to worry Klinsmann, has it covered. Today Mr. Ben is worrying. What happens if another player falls ill with the flu and another sprains his ankle? I fear that Murphy’s Law has taken over this camp and Klinsmann was not wise yesterday to have called in a couple more players and that he is a total fool if he does not call in two or three players today just in case. He needs to be prepared if all heck breaks lose and the stuff hits the fan. there will be no second chances if we fail to get the points to move on to the hex. it will be over. Fertig. Das Ende.


  • The Imperative Voice

    “All due respect,” but why are we backing up the school bus in front of the net when I thought JK was justifying his own callups based on the other team bunkering? I thought the concept was we might need firepower to break down stubborn defenses. Make up your mind.


  • Joe+G

    He wouldn’t be able to call in Chandler now, even if he wanted to. That wouldn’t be giving his team in Germany enough advance notice and they wouldn’t have to release him (a practice they are often stubborn about sticking to).


  • hudson

    Is there any deadline for when a team can bring in replacement players prior to a qualifying match?


  • The Imperative Voice

    Adversity is you start the game and go down a goal. Stubborn stupidity is people get hurt or sick and you pound your chest and say I already got it covered, before that game even starts. A&B has allowed one home goal, and we know Guate and us will likely be playing with spots on the line. You do not make assumptions, you plan ahead.

    The comparison I would make is sometimes Dom Kinnear shows up for a road game with only one really good attacking sub and then a bunch of DMs and backs. Then the Dynamo have a rough week and fall behind. If you’ve not set up your roster right beforehand, you limit the tactical ability of your team to overcome the very adversity you’re holding up.

    It just feels like he’s taking it a bit lightly for losing a starting attacker, bench attacker called in for tactical reasons, starting back, borderline starting back. It’s not like a bench player has a hangnail.


  • The Imperative Voice

    I think you have to submit a final dress 23 at some point before the game, who must be on a previously filed list of 50 qualifying eligible players (which can be added up to the day before).


  • The Imperative Voice

    That they could insist upon advance notice doesn’t necessarily mean they will….this would be Klinsi asking and that might have some sway over there…


  • YO

    I have been saying the same thing JK never should have picked Vazquez as his assistant, I think he needs a tactical brain he does not have it.


  • Benjamin C.

    I still think we will qualify for the next round, but for some reason, this reminds of procrastinating on a paper in college until the last weekend and feeling you can get it done, no problem, Then, your computer’s hard drive crashes, the library is closed for some random reason, and your car breaks down the morning of the due date.

    We honestly should have taken care of business much earlier, but we piddled around and left it to the last games, and now two key starters and a decent offensive bench player are down. Like I said, I am still fairly confident, but these developments combined with Klinsi’s somewhat eratic decision making has me sweating under the collar a little.


  • Byrdman

    exactly who did we dominate under Bob.
    2008 Beat Barbados 8-0 then 1-0. Guatemala 1-0, Cuba 1-0. Beat T&T 3-0 home, then lost on the road 1-2.
    2009 El Salavador (2-2 away, 2-1 in Rio Tinto), no. Honduras home (2-1). We did beat T&T 3-0, but we lost to Costa Rica away, and tied them home. We were much better than CR.

    2010 El Salvador home 2-1 win. Loss at home to Honduras 1-3. Beat S.Africa 1-0 on late Agudelo goal.

    I don’t see a lot of domination there. Let’s be honest. The offense stinks right now, but we aren’t leaking goals the first 15 minutes of every game, and coming from behind every night, like under BB. I don’t like the call ups, but it’s wrong to makes stuff up.


  • Byrdman

    Not really true. Let 2 points slip away in Guatemala late. Yes, but on the road in Central America is well….dicey to say the least. The game at Jamaica, we had health issues again in the mid field, with Deuce not having played regularly for a few months.

    We do need to step it up. I have always given JK the benefit of the doubt. I am fine with Jozy being anywhere but with the team. discension(sp??) is the most debilitating thing for a locker room. So even if JK is wrong about Jozy, he needs to be a man and either decline call up or shut up or man up and talk to him about it. Any of the three will work.

    That all being said, no reason in the world that I know of not to call in Lichaj or Chandler for Guatemala game. probably can survive with out them on Friday, but make the call already.


  • TheRealBen

    Lol, some other Ben taking credit for my comments yesterday. =) I agree with both you fellas, however. I’m sufficiently worried at this point, and hope Klinsi calls in a few replacements. I don’t know how it works regarding the number of players he calls in…does he need to stick to the same 23 for both qualifiers? If so, he may be holding out since it sounds like at least Johnson may be fit for Guatemala.


  • RLW2020

    haha he will probably call in Torres so he can play LB again, jk i know he is injured too…


  • Ben

    If nobody else is called in I could see Parkhurst at LB for the A&B game. He’s a relatively capable fill in across the back four, and if I recall he has played some club ball there. He looked sharp on the right against Chelsea, very solid and involved in the attack. Not ideal, but as somebody mentioned…we had JFT at left back last time against A&B, and surely Parkhurst knows the position better than that!


  • Hogatroge

    I don’t want to be misleading by saying “significant.”

    He’s got a documented knock that is probably keeping him from being 100%, and that makes it (somewhat) significant.


  • Shane in AL

    Do I have this right? Players dropping all over the place and we haven’t called in our best utility player, Jonathan Spector? WTF?


  • KutamaObama

    I think he should go, Klinski will never give him a chance. I’ll rather he tries for a World Cup with Norway than not getting a call for one. Age is not on his side, he gots to do what he has to do


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