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Fabian Johnson to miss Guatemala match

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Fabian Johnson had been expected to be able to recover from a recent illness in time to join the U.S. Men’s National Team for its World Cup Qualifier vs. Guatemala on Tuesday, but his inability to shake off the flu has ruled him out for the all-important group finale.

U.S. Soccer announced on Sunday that Johnson will not be joining the U.S. team in Kansas City ahead of Tuesday’s showdown with Guatemala. As of Sunday, U.S. Soccer had no plans to call in a replacement.

Johnson missed the team’s 2-1 victor in Antigua & Barbuda, with Carlos Bocanegra filling in at left back. U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann could be forced to look elsewhere for left back help after Carlos Bocanegra struggled at the position on Friday, and after Clarence Goodson turned in a shaky showing at centerback.

Michael Parkhurst could get the nod against a Guatemala side that boasts some dangerous threats on the wings, including former Chicago Fire and current Heerenveen midfielder Marco Pappa.

What do you think of this development? Who would you start at left back against Guatemala?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. this sucks. i dont think we’ll see Boca at LB. i think Parkhurst will come on or Cameron will slide over with Edu playing CB next to Boca. i’d rather have Parkhurst in if those are the two options.

    Lichaj and Chandler are not coming! they are in Europe, just not enough time, among other things.

    i still think calling in a LB in MLS would have been smart.

  2. Just crazy not to bring in additional players to cover for all those who are injured/sick. Sure hope it works out, but wow, you would think JK would be better prepared for contingencies.

  3. Sheesh. Five days for “the flu”? I guess Fabian Johnson and Stu Holden see the same doctor.

    Hi Everybody! Hi Dr. Nick!

  4. After reviewing the highlights on the A&B goal on USSOCCER.COM I observed at the 2:19 mark #23 Blackstock pulling down on Goodson’s jersey and making him go down to the ground. Blackstock was free for the goal. You can see afterwards, clearly, Goodson complaining to Howard all about it. The referee and linesman did not see it or were watching the ball. So WCQ really does involve not just teams rising to the challenge as best they can, but if they are not cheating they are not trying hard enough to win. Gamesmanship goes both ways. I accept that. Referees is something both teams have to deal with, but mostly USMNT ( I will boldly say discrimination against USA is a factor too). Field conditions at some places need to be much better. I am not listing excuses for the USMNT. I am pointing out factors we have to deal with. The best the USMNT is run up the score as much as we can and not let these ‘factors’ determine our fate.

  5. i predict Klinsmann will come out ATTACKING!
    with an unbalanced lineup like he likes to do:


    something like that. maybe it will be Beckerman for Klejstan ‘cos Klinsmann is dumb.
    sure would be nice to have Lichaj on the roster right about now…

  6. Its hard to bring someone who has not been part of a recent camp into the match this late….but….
    1- Given that Chandler has played LB (and RB) and been part of the program this would have been a nice time for him to pick up the phone and say “I would like to play and help…seriously”….he might not be 100% committed to all the extra time/travel needed to play international ball, but if he really is “open” to playing for the US given a loss would mean we dont make it to Brazil this would be a good time for him to win back the US fans. He gets to avoid 2 weeks of practices and the extra travel and can just first class it over to KC for 2 days of light practice and a match. He might decide again later that international games are not for him….but would be pretty huge if a fly-by for game time was to happen.
    2- Would not kill us to bring in one of the other guys even for an off the bench option if someone gets hurt before or during the match. He might never expect to play someone like Omar or Eric in the game since they have not been working out with and practicing with the team….but if we have room for subs and Jones can’t even be on the game day squad it really doesnt seem like it would be that bad to have one of these guys incase something crazy happens on the backline. My assumption is that someone who plays the position ever day but has not really practiced with the team, might still be a good option on/off the bench vs someone who has been in practice but is not a back or CB. You could always put Edu in the middle and slide Cameron out left if needed….but lets say Geoff or Edu gets hurt or something crazy happens and 2 guys go down……….again …..i get that a person brought in at this point would be VERY unlikely to play…..but doesnt it make sense to have SOMEONE in the pool who has played LB or is currently playing LB or anywhere along the backline to at least be near KC on game day incase some crazy card/injury happens?? I would even be happy to have our current U-20 sitting on the pine (there must be a few Yanks in MLS playing LB )….at least kid gets to have a cap and feel the stress of sitting on the pine in a huge game praying he doesnt get called in to take the field unless there are 5mins left…..its not like we get extra points for not bring in a full roster to KC.

  7. I’m not crazy about Parkhurst or Boca at LB. I’d put Williams and his pace back there as a stay home back. Play MB as the 6…that area needs to be solid defensively with good distribution against Guat…Please no Beckerman or Edu there…Zusi as the 8. I think Herc is a little off form. I’d rather see EJ up top with Deuce underneath. Herc has a great workrate, you could drop him to right mid to run the flank… play Sacha on the left. I mainly want to see Zusi at ACM.

  8. Man fans make me laugh. Everyone just needs to chill. Guatemala has to I repeat has to play for the tie which means they will play reserved which also means the U.S. will have a whole lot of the ball regardless of who is at LB.

    personally I see a 2-0 win for the U.S. with EJ scoring both goals again.

    • US had a very important most win game vs A&B…….a team that didn’t have players so just fielded a 3rd division USL team, the ANTIGUA BARACUDAS…..A team last in a third-tier US soccer league and :
      They were able to score on us
      Had very good chances on goal to take the lead
      Our second goal came in the final min of the game.
      Our back line looked like crap
      Now we are going up against a better, more organized team than A&B….and you don’t want people to be worried because of what again????

  9. We dont even have enough field players now! I know we only need a draw but still…

    Subs: Edu, Kljestian, Guzan, Goodson, Corona, Gordon, and Rimando? Id call in Sinovic or Morrow or Beitashour for the outside cover. Hopefully we dont need them but its worth the risk.

    • Hopefully Zusi is the star of the show again and all is fine in defence… If you had told me this was the lineup for the last game back in June I would have called you crazy or assumed we were already qualified

  10. If he wasn’t injured, I think Dunivant deserves a look. Not the best the U.S. has, but would be competent and dependable. I think that is really what we are looking for in a match like this.

    • Ironically, CB is probably the weaker spot. I could understand Klinsi freezing up there. But at LB I can think of Johnson, Castillo, Lichaj, Chandler, Pearce, Dunivant, and on and on. Most of those guys have cycled through the US XI at some point and so it’s not like you’re risking Guatemala on some untried LB.

      FWIW one of the more frustrating aspects of Porter’s U23 team was watching him seemingly paralyzed while fielding an awful backfield. As aggressive/ crazy as Klinsi’s F picks were, his D picks were goofy and as attrition has set in display Porter-level stubborn faith.

  11. ———————————-Altidore——————–Gordan————————————–






    I believe we can take on Mexico with this team!!!!!!!!!!

      • *Edu has been tested at CB and did well….. better strength, speed and ball handling abilities than Goodson.
        *Cameron also plays midfield in the EPL…….the EPL
        *Eddie was playing on the left flank for the A&B game (4-3-3) so why no try dropping him back a little and bring in Altidore(I’ll rather have him up top with Alan and bring in chris pontius…lol).
        *No Dempsey maybe???…the man didn’t make the highlights with a shot on goal or an assist for a goal for 90 mins….against a 3rd division USL team(he was one of our forwards). Altidore got snubbed, now its the big man’s turn to ride pine.
        *Alan Gordon is in his natural position and did more as a sub than Dempsey did for 90 mins

        Soooooo much wrong?? Maybe Eddie Johnson on the flank. Do you watch soccer?

  12. No problem. We’ve got Alan Gordon. Goonies never say die. Gordon’s going to come on in the 80th minute, score a goal off his noggin, and bait Pescadito into a red card Zidane style.

    Nothing to see here. Onward and upward.

  13. Can anyone on the message board play left back!!!!!!!!
    No Bocanegra at LB…PLEASE…Can Steve or Parkhurst play on the left? They are both right backs.

  14. If JK doesn’t call in someone we’ll see Boca at LB again. IMO JK needs to get off his a$$ and call in a couple replacement players. With Donovan, Shea, Johnson, Castillo, and Jones all out we need players. Call in Lichaj, Chandler, or some other Outside back since we have no coverage at all at the moment. Call in at least 1 winger….someone who can provide coverage and a bit of speed.
    I have the feeling that this is going to be a very ugly match on Tues.

    • A bigger chance that it will be ugly for Guatemala than for us. But in case it is ugly for us I have been trying to figure out how many goals Jamaica would have to score to clinch second place. I found this explanation on Wiki, but does not make complete sense to me. Anyone know for sure how many goals Jamaica would need to win by if we would lose by one goal? And two goals?

      • I think it would really depend on goal differential and the scores of the last round games.

        Say the US wins 1-0 over guatemala, Jamaica would have to win 3-0 to move past Guatemala. same goes for Jamaica to knock put the US, knock on wood

        Right now USA and Guatemala are sitting at 10 pts +3GD, Jamaica is at 7 pts and 0 GD.

  15. I would call in Marcelo Balboa and Thomas Dooley. I heard they have been working out with the U-17s and want another go-around.

    But seriously, I would call in Lichaj. I haven’t seen him that much but as I recall he has some pace. I liked what I saw. I think for this game, it seems a little arrogant to not have a full bench in the event of a contingency.

  16. I’m amused by some of the EJ-touting going on here, short memories, he had a few goals similarly early in 2006 cycle qualifying then disappeared so bad when it mattered that by the time Germany rolled around it was McBride alone in a 451.

    He doesn’t absolutely stink, he interestingly seems to have more career international goals than Jozy, and maybe more qualifying goals too, but it’s important to see players how they are, not how we wish, or how one game makes them look. I mean, it was A&B. 2-1 should be a reality check, not a sign we’ve misjudged Klinsi or EJ.

    Along those lines the last game should be a wakeup call about the defense, particularly if the Klinsi concept is scoring less and allowing less and squeaking through. I’d have been on the phone for replacements after giving up yet another A&B goal (remember they got one in our home game too).

    • Its a good point. Especially with the way Jozy’s goals get dismissed (the defenders were low quality, he was lucky, etc.). I remember how reviled the GAM was just a few years ago. He’s always been able to score against crappy opposition. At 28 years old and after a few failed stints in Europe, how much can he possibly have improved.

      However, if Klins sees EJ as a situational call-up I have no problem with it (in the end it worked).

      • He learned how to use his speed to check off defenders and get open in the box…coupled with a very good vertical. His air game is three times better than it was before he went overseas…that’s why JK brought him in. Before he was simply a speed guy over the top…now he can potentially stretch the D and be a menace in the box. That’s twice as much as we saw from Jozy in a year with the nats.

    • Certain players are good at one level and not another. Johnson can’t score against top teams(Brazil, Italy) or in the Premership. However, he can score well against lower level competition(concacaaf, MLS and Greek League).

      • …….and Dempsey can score in the EPL but not against minnows of CONCACAF…or should I say USL. So true Vic……..

  17. It’s annoying JK didn’t call another goofy footer up. I don ‘t see how Parkurst is any more of a left back option than Boca or Cherundolo — has he ever played on the left?

      • Slllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllow. I think he’s versatile in much the same way Boca is these days, with likely similar results. If the problem is the emergency LB doesn’t have wheels you replace him with a guy who has the same problem?

      • if it keeps a strong CB pairing intact then yes. Cameron and Bocanegra are best left in the center of the pitch.

      • Parkhurst isn’t very fast but he’s responsible going forward. When he goes forward, he’s very good in possession (one of our most technical players actually) and he doesn’t get caught out. Boca, even if he still could play LB, isn’t playing it regularly and therefore is much more likely to give the ball away in a bad position (just like A&B’s goal last game). It’s a no brainer to play Parkhurst at LB given the current situation. An absolute no brainer.

  18. One solution used many times is to bring a winger back to the corners. Beasley was used in this capacity against Mexico. The position requires some experience to be really good but in this case you just need to be effective in matching speeds cutting down the runs on the flanks. Zusi or Williams would be my guess.

    • Eddie Lewis, 2006. Particularly if the winger is a technical type I don’t buy it, don’t see how it’s better than Boca. I’m in some disbelief Parkhurst is much faster than Boca, for that matter. Parkhurst has always been a slow, positional type that I felt was vulnerable against athletes.

      I also think the current callups are thin at wing, and if you’re going to summon replacements why not call in a position specialist, ie, a regular LB.

      • Most likely Klinsmann already knew yesterday that Fabian would not be coming. So if he has not called in anyone yet, will be surprised to see him do so now. Plus, if Klinsmann would have been concerned about Johnson missing Tuesday’s game he would have called in someone last week and he didn’t. Although the US Soccer press release on Johnson’s illness last week claimed he would be well in time for Kansas City, the original news story in Kicker magazine made it clear that a recovery in time for the Kansas City game was far from certain. Klinsmann, I think, is going to do it his way…

      • I don’t buy it he called in Landon too and anyone halfway paying attention to MLS knew he’d come out of the game the day before injured. Why wait until Monday to call in players if some of the choices are injured or ill?

        Little concerned that the Jozy/ Chandler/ other situations are making him defensive and one of the worst qualities a coach can develop is “I’ll show you” stubbornness.

      • In the case of Donovan. he told JK he was fine and reported to camp. JK and the physio’s checked him out just the same and then sent him home. LD was just too optimistic about his injury. Often player will not voluntarily take themselves out of a call-up especially when there is a crucial one. In FJ case he was sick, thought he would get well in time but didn’t.

        I think it would behoove the coaching staff to have a coach or physio monitor the players real condition by calling team doctors( a risk, as some teams will lie)

        There might be constraints to replacing players under FIFA rules, but I think he has the latitude to call up an MLS/League MX player before Tuesdays match.

        I think JK duf him a little bit of a hole when he relied upon the players to tell them thier condition and was left holding the bag.

        A mistake he won’t make again.

  19. Meh not really worried if Boca starts at LB. But i think Parkhurst will get the nod, and Boca will slide over to LCB.

    This is my starting 11.

    Subs: Guzan, Edu, Goodson, Beckerman, Corona, Kljestan, Gordon

    • Parkhurst deserves the nod.

      He was one of the few players who had a solid outing away at Jamaica, and while Cherundolo tore it up in the next game, Parkhurst certainly didn’t get benched due to poor form.

      He’s also been tearing it up for Nordsjaelland and in the UCL (though his team hasn’t been stellar).

      • +1, unless parkhurst is the answer he needs to call someone in. Boca at LB vs Pappa and Ruiz is a bad idea. I can see why calling in lichaj or chandler might be difficult but why not sinovic or morrow

      • Morrow is very solid, gutty with great pace. Good awareness, He filled in at CB in the early part of the season and played better than Hernandez or Opara…also showed well against Chelsea in the All-Star game. His offensive skills on the overlap are still a little raw. Makes way too much sense to bring him in, but it won’t happen. JK is on a mission to prove a point.

      • +1
        I never thought about him (thought he was foreign)….Sinovic and Besler are part of a defense that has allow the fewest goals in MLS. They would pair up on the left side perfectly

  20. If Worst comes to worst ! Which it has. We play Cameron at Leftback and slide Bocs into the middle. Though Geoff doesn’t have the best speed. He seems to be playing at a high enough standard week in and week out to be called on. I would much rather have Cameron’s abilities than see Bocs or anyone else get burned again.

    • I missed your comment while posting above, but I agree.

      Cameron is used to the left side of central D, and he’s faster than Boca. He’s also been playing fullback for Stoke, albeit on the right side. In a pinch (i.e. Parkhurst injury mid-game), slide Geoff over to the left and bring in Goodson or Edu to close out the match.

      • After Bocanegra gave the ball away and had no chance with his lack of pace of ever catching the play. Let’s just say it was awful defending from all 3 of them (Boca, Cameron, and Goodson).

  21. Same old Same old. We either have subpar players or subpar coaches or some combination of the 2. I think if Klinsi settles on a formation or core group of starters and sticks with it things will start to fall together for us. Have to get by Guat first. Who else was thinking “I hate being a USMNT fan” when we were tied with A&B at 89 minutes? These boys raise my blood pressure more than just about anything else.

  22. For every great selection he makes (Johnson, Gordon), Klinsi makes some real head scratchers. On the one hand, he craps on the defensive qualities of the Dutch league in explaining part of his Altidore snub. Yet, the Danish league is such that Parkhurst is the back up for left back over Lichaj, chandler, etc.

    Given what we saw from Boca, not everyone can play left back.

    • While I agree with you on some of Klinsmann’s head-scratchingly strange decisions, let’s not crap on Parkhurst.

      1. The Danish league is a solid league
      2. Parkhurst is playing UCL soccer, even if his team will not be advancing
      3. Parkhurst is playing WELL, and was probably the most solid USMNT player against Jamaica in Kingston.

      There’s no reason he and Cherundolo shouldn’t be on the field together for this game now that FJ is out.

      Parkhurst – Boca – Cameron – Cherundolo

      Worst case scenario… put Cameron at LB if there should happen to be a mid-game injury. He’s been playing RB for Stoke and generally lined up at LCB for Houston and the Nats when Boca is not out. Then we’d have

      Cameron – Boca – Goodson / Edu – Cherundolo

  23. I don’t know what is his deal, not replacing all the players that were hurt, Like Donovan, Shea, Johnson, and Castillo. He Could call Lichaj, Lleget, Chandler, Gatt, Gyau, Adu, Torres or any more of the young pool of player we have coming up.

    • Well JK obviously doesn’t like Lichaj, Chandler doesn’t want to play for the USMNT, Sebastian Lletget’s name shouldn’t yet be mentioned in the same sentence with CONCACAF qualifying and neither Lichaj, Gatt, Gyau, Adu or Torres is a left back. So why would you want ANY of them called in? There were REAL omissions but only Lichaj is legitimate.

  24. I would call in another LB. Even if you play Parkhurst, you need cover in the event of an injury or card. Isn’t Bessler (SP?) a LB @ SKC? He has also been called in recently, so chemistry wouldn’t be as big an issue as bringing in some others.

    • Besler is a CB for SPC and would be a good look because that team has the least Goal Against(26) in the league. The way MLS players are making an impact on the national team maybe we should bring in both him and Morrow, playing for the SJ Earthquakes and was the LB option for MLS ALL-STARS….

    • He should call in Seth Sinovic. The guy has been doing well and as a Revs fan I think we made a terrible move letting him go. He’s right there in KC so logistically it’s not a problem. I’m not saying he should play but at least have him there as another backup.

  25. What is Klinsmann thinking? Since a draw will send us through are we going to have both teams staring at each other for 90 minutes. There are options for him. Why doesn’t he use them? We had 2 keepers on the bench for the A&B game just so we had 18.

    I cannot comprehend what is going through his head. He has said CONCAF qualifiers are hard. Use the available resources.

  26. let’s hope Parkhurst does not pull a hammy…otherwise it’s Carlos “turtle-speed” at LB and Clarence “Jenga” Goodson at CB again…

    luckily Guatemala only needs a tie and unless they’ve got much bigger cojones than I think, they’ll be playing not to lose and won’t attack much…

    • Serious question: Would Parkhurst even beat Boca in a foot race?

      It’s like comparing a man in a wheel chair going up hill and a man with broken feet in a race.

      • Not even close,,,,,,, one plays the over lapping winger, actively participating in attack and after which has to track all the way back to defend….and showed he is capable of doing it against a tougher adversery, Chelsea, in the UEFA League for 90 mins. Chasing down the likes of Lukaku, Torres etc……..The other lost the ball to an A&B attacker and couldnt catch the guy in a sprint with the ball at the other guys feet.
        So it’s more like one in wheel chair and the other on a scooter

  27. Wow. That’s great. Just great.

    Well, at least one of our starting strikers didn’t get red-carded for fighting with the opposing keeper for the ball after a goal, like Canada’s Occean.

    • Maybe it’s an easy flight from Mexico? I heard Jonathan Bornstein isn’t doing much these days.

      Oh, nevermind. We’re trying to win these games…not lose it.

      Be careful what you wish for, all those whining about replacements. I’d rather put a bright orange cone at LB than Bradley’s favorite guy.

      How soon we forget…


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