U.S. Men's National Team

Leg injury puts Ashe's Gold Cup in jeopardy

CoreyAshe (ISIPhotos.com)


HARRISON, N.J.– As 21 players walked around the Red Bull Arena field after the final whistle of Sunday’s match between the New York Red Bulls and Houston Dynamo, one player didn’t move. Corey Ashe stood inside the center circle, hunched over, hands on his knees, frozen in place.

At first it appeared that perhaps Ashe was taking Houston’s 2-0 loss tougher than the rest, but when two teammates walked over and put their arms around him to help him limp off the field, it became very clear just why Ashe had the look of someone devastated by the prospects of another terribly-timed injury.

Ashe was due to depart from Houston to San Diego on Monday for the U.S. Men’s National Team’s Gold Cup training camp, but that appears to be in question now after Ashe suffered what appeared to be a thigh injury in the second half of Sunday’s match.

Ashe was on the receiving end of a hard challenge from Red Bulls midfielder Tim Cahill mid-way through the second half, and while it looked as though he had shaken off the effects of the collision, it became clear late in the match that Ashe had suffered an injury that could cost him a place on the U.S. team.

The Dynamo did not release details of Ashe’s injury, but there was visible discoloration on Ashe’s right thigh, just above the knee, as he sat in his locker after the match, with his face in his hands for several minutes. He had the look of a player who was dreading the possibility of seeing another national team call-up foiled by an injury.

Ashe was called up by Klinsmann ahead of the U.S. team’s training camp in May, but had to withdraw due to a groin injury suffered the weekend before camp.

Klinsmann could choose to still bring Ashe into camp even with an injury, assuming it is a thigh bruise and nothing structurally wrong with his right knee. The U.S. Gold Cup squad boasts DaMarcus Beasley and Edgar Castillo as left back options, so Ashe wasn’t expected to play much to begin with, but after being one of the better left backs in MLS, Ashe had earned the chance to challenge for playing time.

If Ashe is forced to withdraw from the Gold Cup squad, Klinsmann would have to call in a player from the 12-player provisional roster pool:

Tally Hall, Matt Besler, Carlos Bocanegra, Omar Gonzalez, Brad Davis, Brad Evans, Benny Feilhaber, Eddie Johnson, Brek Shea, Graham Zusi, Alan Gordon, Bobby Wood


What do you make of this development? Hoping Ashe can recover in time to be on the Gold Cup roster? Who would you add to the team if Ashe is forced to withdraw?

Share your thoughts below.

  • Zac Mac

    It’s fairly obvious… if Ashe leaves, then a like-for-like swap with Alan Gordon. Peas in a pod. They even look the same.


    • Nick4235

      If Alan Gordan is put on the team then I will not watch. If he sees the field we know we’re in trouble. If he starts Ill forever give up on the USMNT…


  • PedroVB13

    It’s Agudelo time.

    Alan Gordon, despite the Galaxy collapse, is simply not good enough. Neither is Wondo. It’s Agudelo, mi amigos.


    • Snack Time

      Except for the fact that, you know, Agudelo wasn’t on the preliminary roster…


      • PedroVB13

        injured, got it.

        forgot bout prelim roster.

        wtf was JK thinking?


      • Joe+G

        The preliminary roster was due a month ago and Juan wasn’t really settled into NE. He went on a hot streak during June, but that didn’t help for the Gold Cup.


      • The Imperative Voice

        Preliminary rosters are usually fungible.


  • bryan

    eh, i don’t think JK really needs to bring anyone in. i wouldn’t mind seeing Feilhaber, Wood, or Boca though. and yes, i know what JK said regarding Boca.


  • Iggy

    Ashe finished the game. I think he shakes it off and is able to stay with the team. Maybe he misses the Guat game though.


    • The Imperative Voice

      Gold Cup game 1 is Friday. He’s a marginal guy, far as I am concerned a mistake, get someone better in. If the U20s won’t wait on Zimmerman the senior team is supposed to wait on Ashe?


  • Michael F. SBI Mafia Original

    KJ said Agudelo didn’t make it bc he he’s not consistent enough.

    Bummer for Ashe. Not that I think he’s good enough, but still a bummer for him.


      • T.J.

        Did Corey steal your significant other or something? I’m a Dynamo fan, but we were probably his biggest critics. However, since that inexplicable 2011 All-Star appearance (seriously how’d that happen?), he’s turned into one of the best LBs in MLS. His solid cover and quality pace give Davis the freedom to create without fear.

        For the USMNT, he’s a fringe guy at best, but he’s earned a look. There’s two scenarios: if you’re wrong, he comes in, sticks with the national team, and the U.S. just found another option at LB; if you’re right, then you can say ‘I told ya so!’ It’s the Gold Cup, not a qualifier at Azteca.


  • Goalscorer24

    Is it just me or does JK seems to have an unusually large amount of injury bad luck with people he selects for National Team call ups?


    • jake

      It would probably be worse except he waits until the last opportunity to name his roster most of the time. Some of the choices (like Shea) are of guys who he knows are injured and he just hopes they’ll get better. Of course that rule doesn’t apply to all players, he picks injured guys sometimes and often uses fitness as an excuse for not picking others.


    • GW

      It is you.

      If you announce this sort of roster for a tournament and there are still club games to be played before the tournament injuries are always a possibility.

      Follow another national team in the same situation for a while , for example England, and you will see this sort of thing happens all the time.

      The US’s situation is not unusual and is mostly noticeable because the US lacks depth and any absence is usually more noticeable.


      • futbolisimo


        Good elaboration. U.S. does lack depth, not to mention talent.


      • Fast Cheese

        Lacks depth?


        Not that you’re wrong, when compared to traditional soccer powers . . . but as recently as a few years ago USMNT lineups were easier to pick than peaches. We only had 11 players that were even remotely capable of competing on the global stage. The fact that we’re writing, reading, and commenting on articles about the third string fullback option on the USMNT B squad, however, evidences the radical increase in US pool depth over the past few years.


      • BrianK

        Agrees. Not to say that the first team is better or worse than those 10-20 years ago but the pool is absolutely deeper.


      • GW

        Mr. Cheese,

        You are right, to a point. It still would take only one or two injuries to key people to screw up this squad’s World Cup campaign. Remove Dempsey and Bradley and see how well they do.

        “The fact that we’re writing, reading, and commenting on articles about the third string fullback option on the USMNT B squad, however, evidences the radical increase in US pool depth over the past few years.”

        This interest in Ashe is mostly evidence of a radical increase of interest in the USMNT in general and the general lack of news about US soccer in particular. I’m more interested in the USMNT than in any other soccer team, MLS, EPL or otherwise, and I’ll bet I’m not the only American fan who feels that way. But there is not a whole lot of news about them out there compared to other teams.

        US depth is much greater than it has ever been in that there are a lot more good US players around than there used to be.

        And yes the drop off from the starter to the backup is, in general, not as steep as it used to be.

        But it needs to get much better and it needs to do that soon.

        The goal of all national teams and JK’s stated goal is to have 2 starters for every spot.

        Should the starter be unavailable, for whatever reason, #2 should be able to step in with minimum performance dropoff.

        That is the goal.

        The only US starter who could be replaced by his back up with no significant drop off in individual performance right now is Howard.

        It takes time to develop what I call that “second starter”. For example, Zusi has done a good job “replacing” Donovan but it took a while to work him up to that level.

        JK is right now developing the “second starter” for Dolo but the US is not there yet.

        JK was forced to rush Besler and Gonzo into production when the Boca/Onyewu/ Goodson went bad sooner than expected. And there are still no real proven backups to BEGONZ, who are still unproven themselves.

        These are the most obvious ones but JK has been working to develop the “second starters” for all 11 spots.

        There are guys who could theoretically replace Deuce, Bradley, and Jozy, but I’m not sure they would be ready immediately.

        In other words, Fast, the USMNT remains very vulnerable to injuries to the wrong guys. And injuries are always a big deal in the World Cup.

        Once they secure qualification, I’m sure JK’s job one will be working on that depth.


      • Fast Cheese

        Hell of a response. Just not sure what we’re arguing about. I agree with you on all points (especially referring to me as “Mr. Cheese”). All I was getting at is that, as shallow as the US player pool is compared to the rest of the footballing world, it’s actually much, much better than it used to be.

        That’s an indictment of US Soccer, not a defense.


    • The Imperative Voice

      I think if you look at the history JK has no better or worse luck than the next coach — dealing with injuries is par for the coaching course — but the things he does that exacerbate the situation are (a) only sometimes replacing people and (b) he’s already often made a head scratching omission he won’t reverse. Such as, he leaves Donovan out some wingers get cards or injuries and he at first calls no one but then calls in Davis not Donovan. Meanwhile at the same time he’s listing Donovan for Gold Cup.


      • GW

        “exacerbate the situation?”

        What situation?

        By the time it becomes clear a player can’t go, sometimes it is too late to call in new guys.

        Many of the rosters JK has made up are not limited per se i.e. calling in Holden, for example, for this last round of games did not prevent anyone else from being called in to camp. Stu did not take someone else’s place.

        So if you weren’t called in the first time you probably weren’t getting a called in at all. And if Stu drops out then there is probably no sense in calling someone else in.

        As for the Donovan thing JK wanted him to get it going with the Galaxy. When Davis was called in LD still had not proved he was back remember? Donovan was only on a provisional list. It was only recently, after those last 5 games were over that JK saw fit to formally name LD to the Gold Cup.

        Davis was called up for a particular reason and he did his job. If you’ll notice the USMNT has done very well lately.


  • Jon

    Holden just tweeted that he’s at the airport with Bruin and Ashe. So it appears he will travel to SD and get checked out, at least.


  • LeeJ

    Was Ashe the player who took out Henry? Good for Cahill. ” The Beautiful Game”


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