The big news yesterday was that Tim Howard has two broken bones in his back that will keep him out of the upcoming World Cup qualifiers. The Everton keepers streak of over 200 straight matches in the Barclays Premier League ended last week. He was injured in the FA Cup tie with Oldham on February 26 after taking a hard fall. The bones are not weight bearing, but only time will heal the breaks. Unfortunately for U.S. Soccer, the keeper is not the only injury concern.
Fabian Johnson, the expected starter at leftback, was out today with a muscular problem. This is a vague description that allows for interpretation and hope that he will make it back in time for the March 22nd qualifier in Colorado. Some may be comfortable with Edgar Castillo taking his place, but is unsure if he will be ready after three bones breaks in his face. There is talk of a facial mask and some optimism with Castillo.
Clint Dempsey has not been playing for Tottenham because of a calf strain. The original diagnosis was for a week or two, but it has been nearly two weeks since the news emerged. Landon Donovan is not injured, but isn’t about to come and rescue the team.
The injuries make putting together a lineup even more of a task for Jurgen Klinsmann. Some young players could be called in as well as those that haven’t had a starring role in some time. Watch for a series of posts over the next week regarding the possible options for the USMNT.
Keeper is a big concern for U.S. Soccer as a whole with Hope Solo and Jill Loyden out for the Women’s National Team. Nicole Barnhart has taken over in the Algarve Cup. For the men, Brad Friedel is ready to go if called upon by the Federation.
GK situation US:YOU ARE IN GREAT HANDS WITH GUZAN!!!! If he was also hurt of course I would consider helping until Tim and Brad were fit!!
— bradley h friedel (@friedel_b) March 9, 2013