OT: Soccer - USMNT Injury Updates - Donovan, Shea, Castillo Out for Upcoming WCQs

Submitted by I Bleed Maize N Blue on October 10th, 2012 at 11:52 PM

Per USSoccer.com (link),

Landon Donovan and Break Shea have been ruled out of the upcoming FIFA World Cup Qualifiers after further evaluations conducted by the U.S. Soccer medical Staff on Tuesday morning. U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann has indicated that no immediate replacements will be added to the roster.

Donovan suffered a knee injury in the LA Galaxy's 2-1 loss this past Saturday night. He will return to Los Angeles later today to be further evaluated by club doctors.

Shea entered camp with an abdominal strain that kept him sidelined for FC Dallas since Sept. 29. Shea will continue treatment in Dallas....

Also USSoccer.com reported on Wed (link) that

U.S. defender Edgar Castillo has been ruled out of both upcoming FIFA World Cup Qualifying matches with a foot injury following an MRI evaluation this afternoon, and Fabian Johnson will not participate in the Oct. 12 match against Antigua & Barbados while he recovers from the flu. Johnson will join the team in Kansas City, Kan., to prepare for the team's final qualifying match of the Semifinal Round on Oct. 16 against Guatemala.

Hopefully, everyone gets well soon, especially Fabian, who can get back for Guatemala.  Dang, was looking forward to seeing Landon & Brek. Wonder who goes in at LB against Antigua & Barbuda with starter and backup out.  Commence panic?!



October 11th, 2012 at 1:07 AM ^

You wanna call some guys up, given that we only have 20 roster spots filled, no wingers or left backs, and something like 6 guys carrying a yellow?  I hear we got a striker in the Netherlands and another in in Austria.  There's also a defender playing for Aston Villa.

No?  You're good?  Okay then.  


October 11th, 2012 at 1:58 AM ^

Not entirely sure you can change your roster after it's announced as far as WCQ is concerned. Basically, Jurgen hamstrung himself by taking three guys who were possibly injured and a 4th that was sick.

I have a horrible feeling disaster awaits either now or in the Hexagonal.

In fact, BK Finest it, the U.S. will not be a participant in the 2014 World Cup.

Consider it the Germans revenge for World Wars 1 and 2.


October 11th, 2012 at 5:41 AM ^

out of the roster is looking worse and worse.  Could really use the help at striker and move Duece to midfield.  If USA does not qualify for the WC, I expect Klinsy to be fired.  As of now, Klinsy has not done anything great, and Bob Bradley looked like the better coach at the moment as frustrating we get about his lineup decisions/tatics, but he is the winningest USMNT coach and actually won against real competition like Spain in Confed Cup.

los barcos

October 11th, 2012 at 10:42 AM ^

bob beat spain in s. africa. and, i know a wins a win, but the mexico victory was...fluky.  

anyways, i support JK but its hard to deny the fact that he has looked...underwhelming.  theres a pretty good article here about his tenure so far.  

with some of these questionable call-ups i think most of us would be lying if we said that we were not nervous for the remaining WCQs. 


October 11th, 2012 at 11:09 AM ^

Bradley's getting the US to the finals of the Confed Cup was more impressive than anything that Klinnsman's accomplished. While it's not a tournament that top teams take particularly seriously (though Brazil started taking it pretty seriously once they were down 2-0), it's far better than winning a couple of one off friendlies from goals against the run of play (which was also the story of the win against Spain). 

I thought a change away from Bradley was necessary, as I don't think managers do well taking teams through more than one cycle, but JK's player management and tactical ability has been questionable at best.


October 11th, 2012 at 2:06 PM ^

You're comparing Klinsmann, who has been around for all of what 17 months? to Bradley Sr. who was the coach of the USNT for 5 years, and beat Spain in the confed cup in his third season.

I agree that if he doesn't get us to the WC he needs to be shown the door, but what has he done that has been so horrible? player selection? really? so the results are okay, but we are going to complain about which players he's using to get the results? seems silly to me.  look at the rag-tag squad he brought to Azteca...


October 11th, 2012 at 6:54 PM ^

talk to me if USA beat world powers and Mexico in a meaningful games like Spain in Confed Cup(though it's more of a warm up for WC).  BB took USA to the round of 16(knockout round) and nearly got into the final 8 in the WC.  USA under Klinsy haven't qualified for the WC yet and they're not a lock to win CONCAF.


October 11th, 2012 at 10:38 AM ^

you can change the roster for injuries, but you cant just change players for no reason.

technically, i think he would be able to replace Donovan and Shea with whoever he wants if they can make it in time

swan flu

October 11th, 2012 at 8:03 AM ^

None of these injured players could be replaced on the field by Altidore, so if you're using these injuries to fan the flames regarding Jozy, then you're erroneous.

But we absolutely need to call up a few more players as stop gaps. I'd love to see Benny Feilhaber brought in for these 2 games: he has always done very well against inferior competition. Also, when the fuck are we going to bring back Mix Diskeruud!? That dude has more attacking creativity than anyone on our roster. Jonathan Spector is also a good veteran option at left back imo.

On the plus side, these midfield injuries should mean that Joe Corona gets some playing time.


October 11th, 2012 at 10:17 AM ^

Does Corona play on the wing? (I honestly don't know). The main issue with all these injuries is that they're all happening to players whom, apart from Donovan, provide width to the US attack, particularly Shea and Johnson. Feilhaber's never looked comfortable out wide, and I think Diskeruud plays centrally as well. We're fine in the center of the midfield with Bradley back, Dempsey dropping deep, and Jones, Edu, Danny Williams or even Beckerman sitting in front of the defense, but apart from Cherundulo, there are no wide options.

The danger is that without the ability to push the ball wide and send crosses in, we're going to be very narrow, predictable, and easy to shut down as we're forced to play everything through the center. It seems that pushing the ball wide was Klinnsman's stated plan in choosing Gordon and Eddie Johnson over Jozy, which is still a mind-boggling decision, but it's even worse now because neither of those guys is likely to pick the ball up and do anything with it, and our ability to send crosses in is hurt by these injuries.

Eric Lichaj is another possibility but Klinnsman seems to have ruled him out. Most likely is that Danny Williams gets played wide, but he's never impressed doing that. I hope I'm wrong, but I anticipate a couple games where the US has a lot of possession, but fails to translate that possession into a lot of clear chances.

swan flu

October 11th, 2012 at 10:31 AM ^

I've always believed that putting a good player out of position is better than putting a weaker role player in. Switching a guy from one side of the field is difficult (see Barcelona trying to play Adriano on the right) but putting a central guy on a wing isn't too difficult of a switch IMO. Mix has played on the outside in the past, as has Feilhaber. Neither were world beaters but certainly better options than beckerman out wide

Corona is more of a 10 then a 7 or 11, but he has speed and I think he could play well as a winger.

Perhaps we need to try starting Bocanegra at his natural LB position with Cameron and Goodson in the center, then our fullbacks can play more like wingbacks and get some nice service into our forwards. A midfield of Bradley, beckerman, Williams, and corona could work well with this format. Like a 4-3-1-2


October 11th, 2012 at 11:02 AM ^

I generally agree with the good player out of position > role player, but wing play, particularly offensively, is its own thing, as it requires the ability to quickly beat a guy and get a good cross off. A player really only acquires the combo of unpredictability on the dribble and precision on the cross with game experience. F. Johnson and Shea were clearly the best players the US had with these skills. Hopefully Johnson will be back for Guatemala, which will be the more difficult game (and likely a do or die game).

Boca is just too slow of foot to play as a wingback. He is an excellent crosser from further up field, so maybe that can work out. Zusi also looked good playing in Donovan's spot, and he has experience playing with Cherundolo against Jamaica, so that doesn't worry me particularly. I just don't know what options there are on the left of midfield. Other than Shea, they don't have any left footed midfielders, but that wasn't a problem as long as Johnson was able to attack down the left, but now that option, and Castillo are gone. The US is just going to be very one sided in attack.

As for Corona, I'm not sure you give a guy his first meaningful playing time for the national team in a critical qualifier but they might not have any choice. Of the other players listed at MF, I've never seen Bradley, Jones, or Beckerman play anywhere but the center, Williams plays in the center or on the right. I'd think it's down to Kljestan or Corona. I guess out of those options, I'd prefer Kljestan, purely for the experience factor, but I'm really not enthusiastic about that choice given some of the eggs he's laid in the past. I guess my preferred MF would be

Sasha/Corona --- Bradley --- Zusi


(I really liked Williams at DM against Jamaica but we'll probably see Jones).

Regardless, though, it's just bad selection when 4 out of your 20 named field players are unable to take the field, with 3 of those injuries existing when they were named.



swan flu

October 11th, 2012 at 1:55 PM ^

According to goal.com, Corona starts on the right wing for Tijuana, so I'll assume he will not be playing on the left tomorrow and probably will only get garbage time minutes if any at all :(

It's a bummer because he is so talented and possesses the ball skills that few Americans have.


October 11th, 2012 at 11:28 AM ^

Add in to these injuries that 6 of the players on the US squad are on a yellow card (Bradley, Jones, Edu, Zusi, Goodson and F Johnson) and would be ineligible to play against Guatemala if they pick up a card against A&B. Obviously F. Johnson's not going to be an issue, but Bradley and Jones are known to pick up cheap frustration cards.


October 11th, 2012 at 12:41 PM ^

This is the exact thought I had. Not sure why JK took the risk on so many questionable or injured players when you already are handicapped with all these Yellow Cards. There is a bunch of guys who would be serviceable enough vs A&B that we could stop risking suspension of players in a very important game vs Guatemala.


October 11th, 2012 at 1:37 PM ^

I'm not sure if Parkhurst can play LB, but he looked really good vs. Chelsea at his RB position.  He might be an option if Jurgen wants to keep Bocanegra at CB.


October 11th, 2012 at 5:14 PM ^

FWIW, Ives thinks that JK will start Parkhurst on the left against A&B, resting Boca for the Guatemala game. Backline of Parkhurst--Cameron--Goodson--'dolo.


In front, he's offered up either

1. a 4-1-3-2 with Williams shielding the defense, and Kljestan and Zusi on either side of Bradley, with Gomez and Dempsey up front, or

2. a 4-3-3 with a triangle with Zusi and Bradley in front of Williams, and then Dempsey and Gomez flanking Eddie Johnson up top, which, man, it might work because it's a tiny Caribbean nation, but it might not be possible to put out a narrower lineup. It would be an interesting test to see if Eddie Johnson's MLS form is all that.