U.S. Men's National Team

Zusi replaces Johnson on USMNT roster

One of the few players the U.S. Men’s National Team could ill afford to lose ahead of the CONCACAF World Cup qualifiers against Honduras and Panama is officially off the roster due to an injury.

Fabian Johnson, who was injured in Borussia Monchengladbach’s UEFA Europa League match against Schalke on Thursday, was taken out of the 24-man squad on Friday with a hamstring injury. Johnson will be replaced by Graham Zusi.

Zusi is listed as a defender on the USMNT roster, which means he’ll be in contention to start at right back next Friday in San Jose against Honduras at Avaya Stadium.

Johnson is the second player to be removed from the squad since Wednesday’s roster announcement. David Bingham replaced Brad Guzan on Thursday so Guzan could be with his wife during the birth of his second child.

  • Old School

    I’m not digging this concept that he’s a right back, let alone at the international level, at all under Bruce. Even against CONCACAF talent.

    While he can provide service down the wings, he simply doesn’t have the defensive acumen or the acceleration to be viable at the position from the footage I’ve seen. Hell, give me Steve Birnbaum out there at the cost of crosses or set-piece corners. At least he will protect the back line.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Gary Page

    Certainly we can do better than this. there are at least a half dozen other players I would choose first.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Mike

    Trying so hard not go into cardiac arrest with this head scratch and shake of a choice.


  • Twomilerule

    Coaches go with guys they trust and will be accountable. Unfortunately, Zusi is not much for positive results on the field especially at RB.
    It would have been nice to see Fab Johnson at midfield.


  • Edwin in LA

    I would like to know what Does Danny Williams have to do to get on the roster and for meaningful games again? He doesn’t strike me as someone who didn’t play with heart for the US so that can’t be it…. and when Jurgen FINALLY played him in his actual Center Defensive or Holding Mid position…he did GREAT vs Jamaica over 4 years ago in the round before the hex…that game in Columbus was great because D-WIll bossed Jamaica’s midfield and I remember he almost scored when he hit the crossbar….

    Having said that Paul arriola is a WAY better choice and has actually played sometimes at Right Back…..

    Liked by 1 person

    • Chad

      I agree, we need to see more Danny Williams. IMO he is the most similar player to Jermaine…and a bit younger.

      Liked by 1 person


    I am now totally disappointed in Arena. He is the reincarnation on Klinsmann and like Klinsmann, he will fail too. There is NO WAY Zusi is the best option. Any starting right back is MLS is a better option… This is just crazy. Lets hope no forward gets hurt or we’ll see Wondo rolled out


  • Super Nintendo Chalmers

    This is going to be a weak defensive unit, so it is important to put the best players out there. I’d shift Cameron to RB, admittedly not his strongest position rather than play someone weak like Zusi or Orosczo. I’d pair Brooks with Walker Zimmerman and I would line up Villefana at LB. Honduras is a team that will probably attack down the wings. Zusi couldn’t keep up with the pace of the Jamaican wings so he would be probably the least likely to start for me. This is a big ask of the entire defense. Yes, it will help having the experienced Howard in net, but this might be the shakiest US defense for a WCQ in years.


    • Chad

      Agreed on Cameron @ RB. We cant afford Zusi’s lack of pace against Honduras or Panama.


  • jb

    It seems Arena likes the idea of Zusi’s crossing ability from the right fullback spot. I don’t blame him since the teams we will be playing will likely sit back and play defensively, so crosses into the heads of our taller more athletic players could be the difference. Or Zusi is simply backup and Arena has planned on going with Cameron at rightback all along.


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