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Donovan, Shea ruled out of USMNT’s upcoming World Cup qualifiers


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U.S. men's national team head coach Jurgen Klinsmann said Monday he called up target strikers with good heading ability because it was likely that the Americans were going to be forced to settle for whipped in crosses in their two upcoming World Cup qualifiers.

Well, Klinsmann will not be getting any of those crosses from Landon Donovan or Brek Shea.

Donovan and Shea have been ruled out for the Americans' upcoming qualifiers against Antigua & Barbuda on Friday and Guatemala next Tuesday. Both entered the camp with knocks and underwent medical evaluations by the team staff on Tuesday morning, only to be ruled out and sent back to their respective clubs. Klinsmann has the option to replace them on the roster, but he is not expected to summon any at this time.

"It's unfortunate for Landon and Brek that they won't be able to play," said Klinsmann via a press release. "Landon was very optimistic over the weekend when his knee was feeling much better, but now he needs time to recover. We knew Brek was a question mark coming in, and now we have a clear picture of where he stands. We feel confident that the group we have will get the job done."

Donovan had suffered a left knee injury on Saturday in the LA Galaxy's 2-1 loss to Real Salt Lake but he said it felt better on Sunday, and he skipped an MRI in Los Angeles to fly to Miami on Monday. Shea, meanwhile, had been carrying his knock since FC Dallas' 3-3 draw with the San Jose Earthquakes on Sept. 30.

Donovan and Shea's absences now leave the U.S. with two fewer wide options on a team littered with central midfielders. Graham Zusi, Fabian Johnson, Edgar Castillo and Sacha Kljestan can all be deployed out wide in the midfield, but that is not a position any of them play regularly for their clubs.


What do you make of this development? Starting to worry about the U.S. team's chances of getting results? Who would you like to see in Donovan and Shea's spots?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. Klinsmann’s own words:
    “In international games, there’s less space. It’s hard to get chances — you have to create them yourself. Yes, you always want people to feed your strikers who are good at finishing, but on the other hand, when teams are locked in, you have to work-work-work and force your luck, and sooner or later you’ll get rewarded for that”…….. Who’s resume fits this job perfectly?
    What the TDs and coaches like about FREDDY ADU:
    “His technical ability, his one-on-one ability is where he can beat players … He’s very good in the final third … He has that kind of ability where he can create for himself and also his teammates … When he gets by a player, he’s got good vision and passing ability where he can find the open player … He’s still got the ability to break games for you … Has a good left foot … He is quick enough and he’s technical enough. He can put you through, shoot from distance. He’s very good on free kicks … Freddy is very good technically. Good server of the ball … On the ball, he is [at his] best. Technically he is fantastic. He can beat almost anyone one-on-one.”…..24 under 24 MLSSOCCER.COM.
    Now all I have to do is find a way to send this to Klinsy….or am I too late…damn lol

  2. Weather report for Antigua for Friday is high of 86F with a heat index of 95F! Yikes – not good news to lose anyone else off the roster.

  3. Wouldn’t mind seeing this, but I think the natural selection out wide is Gomez. He’s got some pace and has played there plenty of times in his career. I think Klinsman will play him out wide over others…

  4. Germany’s Kicker is reporting that Fabian Johnson has the flu and will not be able to play Friday and his status for Guatemala on Tuesday is questionable. Murphy’s Law seems to have kicked in for these next two crucial games. Last week several Bundesliga players missed games because of the flu. Here is the link to the Kicker story, with Fabian’s illness mentioned near the bottom.—donovan-faellt-aus.html

  5. How ’bout this for craziness: Guat. beats Jam. and USA beats A&B. Then, Guat and USA both advance with a lifeless 0-0 draw … at the same time, Jam. beats A&B by 30, but it doen’t do ’em a bit of good.

  6. I like this formation/lineup very much. But knowing JK, I expect a few changes. Dempsey will be more central (a withdrawn striker). Jones will be on the field, barring any injuries. So I expect Bradley where you have Dempsey, and Dempsey taking over for Gordon. Either Williams or Jones in Bradley’s spot.

    That’s my prediction, anyway.

  7. Exactly. Antigua and Barbuda are minnows. If we don’t win that one by at least 2-0 there’s a problem. Guatemala will be tougher, but I still like our chances at home.

    BTW, why does everyone keep saying Zusi doesn’t play wide. That’s all he does for SKC. Espinoza/Nagamura/Cesar play in front of the back four, and Kamara and Zusi end up wide.

  8. Actually we lost to T&T in the second-to-last game of the previous round (2008); we had already qualified to advance and took a second-string team and lost 2-1. In the hex in 2009 we were 6,2,2 20 points (lossing to Mex and Costa Rica away. J Bornstein’s last minute goal earned us 1st place in the hex, otherwise we would have finished second, Costa Rica 3rd.

  9. Beasley is probably the one player who was not called in, who is not inured, who has the talent and experience to step into the roster as a wing player and who does not have to cross multiple time zones to get here. (for the Freddy lovers, Adu is injured and did not play in Philly’s last 2 games.)

  10. Who said we need four points? We can lose to A&B and then draw the Guats, and still qualify if Jamaica beats the Guats. That would be one point, not four. Is that our best bet, No, but we’re in the best position of any team trying to qualify at this point.

    Easiest team on the road and second easiest team at home.

  11. Timmy
    Dolo Cameron Boca/Edu Castillo
    Bradley Williams
    Zusi Johnson

    Why should we be scared this is a very solid team and we shouldnt have any problems.

  12. I’m for this. Anything that doesn’t have Fabian Johnson in midfield because it’s not going to happen.

    Dempsey is going to pinch in centrally and Johnson can take up that space when appropriate. He’s a great left back. Leave him there.

  13. JK said it himself in a recent interview when specifically asked about players in certain positions…

    Johnson is a left back for the USMNT, not a left midfielder. He’s not going to create another problem at left back when he has the solution in Johnson.

    He also said always saw Williams as a ‘6’ and Jones/Bradley as an ‘8’ but the depth at midfield pushed Williams out wide right in an attempt to get the best talent on the field.

  14. I’m sick of people like you completely mischaracterizing what people say about Lichaj. Absolutely no one thinks he’s the “best player ever”, we simply think he has done enough to deserve a call-up. He’s young and could someday replace Dolo. Would be good to have him actually playing with Dolo in practice. Or you could have Lichaj as a LB option now, freeing up Johnson to play left wing. So to recap: 1. no one is saying Lichaj’s the best thing ever. 2. Very few people are saying he should start for the USMNT. 3. Some people think he deserves to be called in to camp. 4. You’re a sarcastic, hyperbolic moron.

  15. Lijac should be brought in and you should seek to push Johnson up into the midfield. This really shouldn’t have been that hard. I would think that Castillo will probably get run at LB while Williams does the aforementioned move to wing. We’re really not that much worse off, but the moves and lack of them from JK has been confusing to say the least.

  16. So we don’t call in a striker who has scored 4 goals in the last two years for us, and everyone begins to panic. Jozy has not produced for the USA. He is only 22, i’m not surprised he has had some issues with JK and his previous three managers due to his commitment levels.

    As long as our guys get switched on for these two games we will be fine.

    Go Go USA!

  17. yeah Beasley did, but Beasley and Gatt have A LOT more minutes than Gyau. Gyau is not ready for the senior team. he needs to be playing. right now he’s riding the bench in the 2.B.

  18. lol….PJC, I think its a good think for the USMNT…
    *It eleminates the fact that just because you play in the EPL, Bundesliga or Dutch Eredivise doesn’t mean your spot is guranteed. your work rate in the red,white and blue counts
    *Its something different. No Donovan, No Altidore, No Shea(not as important)….and adding something different. Alan Gordon, Kjestan, Johnson…who would have known. Its different, its change…totally left field so it might work.
    *It gives other players especially in MLS a reason to fight, to work hard, to excel in other areas not just Goals and assists.
    Its kind of different….but lets see, you never know

  19. +1 on your wing comments. Crazy and I am so tired of it and it is almost as if Klinsmann is opening the door to disaster with a couple of injuries and/or yellow cards as a poster mentioned above. I will say that if no injuries or yellow card suspensions, the care team does look strong.

  20. Nope, I think this is game Klinsmann will tinker around and try Danny Williams as left winger and maybe Joe Corona at right back.

  21. If I were coach, I would have back-ups on board and ready in case disaster strikes. It seems so simple to me to just do it and be prepared for the worst while hoping it does not happen

  22. OMG, that is also a valid point. and a few others are sitting on yellow cards, including Clarence Goodson who according to official Concacaf statistics has only 1 yellow card, not the two yellow cards that US Soccer on its web site is wrongly reporting.

    (Click the box that says TopScorers to move to the yellow card list)

  23. Forget getting out of this round. Not qualifying for the WC at any stage is a complete and unmitigated disaster. It would be THE worst disaster U.S. sports history and everyone involved would need to have their citizenship rescinded, if not be arrested.

  24. 10yrs ago, we had donovan fast as hell surging forward, creating chances and scoring some goals…and that was him at 20! Hmmm….sounds like 21yr old Gatt could lift our team by being what Landon was 10yrs ago. Fast as hell and surging forward to create chances for himself or others.

    I can’t wait to see Gatt play next month furing the Euro friendlies.

  25. If Gordon and Johnson have played previously with the USMNT and/or have been in a previous callup made by Klinsmann then do they qualify as “new” players? Johnson, in particular, certainly isn’t “new” to the USMNT and many of the players on the current squad already know the guy.


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