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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. after two days, I somewhat get the Jozy call…the coach should not be as hostile and throw any player under the bus in public as Klinsmann did in the ESPN interview and on Monday, but if you look at match by match performance, the team actually did better offensively and result-wise without Altidore….it’s hard to argue against that too much-I still thin there is a place for Jozy on the roster and he should be given continued chances if he excels at the club…

    but, WHAT ABOUT WING OPTIONS? How many times are we gonna go through this? he doesn’t call in enough wing cover and boom an injury here and there leaves us very, very thin…. Lichaj, Lichaj, Lichaj- at worst a back up to Castillo if FJ gets moved up to LM, at best starting instead of Castillo… instead there is a gaping hole at LM, no speedy winger to get up and down…

    you’re never gonna get experience players if you don’t give them a chance to gain experience in the first place…Klinsmann just continues painting himself into corners with his nonsense

  2. If you had to pick one out of the two forwards for qualifying, Gordon or Wondolowski, who would it be? The guy who has 25 goals right? I guess not. Jk, what the hell is going on around here!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. Oh I get it,,, we are going with sarcasm… let me try…uhh yes… whenever I think of someone to step in for LD on the Wing, Altidore is the first person that comes to mind.

  4. I don’t know any details, but this week’s Americans Abroad Weekend Rewind states that he did not dress this past weekend because he is recovering from an injury.

  5. If we can’t beat Antigua and Barbuda away and Guatemala at home without Shea and Donovan, then perhaps we have no business being in the World Cup.

    We’ll win, and do well in the hex, but that won’t stop the “sky is falling” posts between now and then every time the ball doesn’t bounce our way.

  6. Because Klinsmann has already said he won’t bring in brand new players at this point.

    Except, of course, Gordon and Johnson, because…..I can’t remember why that “rule” didn’t apply in their case…

    Any help?

  7. Why are Klinsmanns call-ups always a mess? They never go smoothly. This time he calls in guys we already knew were injured just to find out they indeed are injured. Players cant come because they’re fatigued or their club is making them vacation in the carribean.

  8. Eddie Johnson played for Cardiff FC from 2008-2009 and put in 2 goals in 30 games. Still, they loved him.

    Oh, and Cardiff is in Wales.

  9. I like our chances but one has to remember that Guatemala is the country that has been knocking out our boys from tournaments, can they do the same with our big boys?

  10. Don’t worry, JK will just plug Danny Williams in Donovan’s spot. Never can have too many DM’s.

    Then he can put on Gordon and Eddie Johnson and have Cameron hoof the ball 50 yards upfield and pray for a goal to win 1-0 in the final 10 minutes.

  11. I get the Beckerman call up this time. With Bradley and Jones coming off injury and sitting on cards (as well as Edu who hasn’t played much recently), he can at least provide cover in case of suspension/injury.

  12. I would imagine if any CB is deployed at LB it would be Cameron. At least he has played a handful of games out there for Stoke. He might not get forward much in that role, but I am confident he would do a professional job.

  13. i don’t understand why JK isn’t going to call in replacements.

    I would think Boyd and maybe even Wondo would be added.

    it just makes no sense at all

  14. —-Howard—-

    Dempsey scores goals wherever he is, he doesnt only need to play offense…
    this formation has got some great results for us.

  15. Beasley is probably the player best suited to fit in for Shea or Donavon. He is playing regularly (but missed last week,why?)
    Attacking speed on the wings is not a strength on the US squad. I blame that on a US soccer youth system that lets fast players get by on speed alone, never putting them where they must control the ball and dribble in tight spaces to succeed, or maybe they become wide receivers on their HS football teams.

  16. let’s not forget bocanegra has played leftback probably just as he has center back over his career, so we could just as easily deploy him there and put any combination of goodson or edu at the other center back spot! I agree we we should definately put FJ on the left wing and let him work, he has been very productive out there in the past for us! But please, no sasha or danny willliams on the wings!

  17. I appreciate what Lenhart is doing for the Quakes, but no… Carlos Ruiz would get him red-carded with his (Pescadito’s)first flop. You never know which Lenhart will show up – Good Lenhart with the killer headers or Bad Lenhart the provocateur.

    We might see some of the Quakes mainstays in the hex (if we get there, of course). Unfortunately, they’ll be playing for Honduras (Bernardez and Chavez), not the U.S.

  18. Why does it feel like klinsman is making decisions off how he judges a player based on how the player does while playing FIFA13? Is beckerman that good in FIFA?

  19. What about Lichaj?! Everyone knows he’s the best player EVER! He could play creative mid, or he could play striker, or he could play left back, or right back, or give Timmy a rest in goal. Kilnisman just needs to give him a look at those positions. Eric Lichaj! Yyeeeaahhh!!!


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