By Patrick MacDonald
Come on, the thought has certainly crossed your mind just a little bit hasn’t it (as if Jozy Altidore’s exclusion wasn’t enough)? The news going into the final two third round qualifiers has soured beyond belief. Four of Jurgen Klinsmann’s 24 players have now gone down with injuries. First came the news that indeed proved the USMNT was overly optimistic over the health of Landon Donovan and Brek Shea. Now comes the revelation that Fabian Johnson is likely out of both games with the flu and his backup, Edgar Castillo has aggravated a foot injury.
Some may be clamoring for Jose Francisco Torres as he filled in admirably in June, but he too is injured. That leaves the plodding Carlos Bocanegra as the best available left back option on the team.
The U.S. just can’t catch a break can they?
Through four World Cup Qualifying matches, the U.S. has looked nothing but lackluster. Plenty of excuses were thrown out for those performances. In June, the U.S. played an overcrowded schedule of friendlies leading up to the opener against Antigua and Barbuda. In September, there was the excuse that has dogged the Klinsmann era – they weren’t full strength as they played without two of their best players in both Landon Donovan and Michael Bradley.
This round was FINALLY supposed to be different. There were no distractions, everyone was healthy, the U.S. was going to cruise to the hexagonal round. Or so it seemed for Klinsmann’s kursed side.
The constant string of follies certainly seems to be due to divine intervention considering the laughable regularity at which misfortune strikes the U.S.
However, U.S. fans really shouldn’t worry all that much. Antigua and Barbuda is tenacious, but they’re not Jamaica. A U.S. C squad should beat them, even in Antigua. Guatemala is another feisty side that battled the U.S. to a draw at home but does anyone expect the fans in KC to make Livestrong anything but the intimidating cauldron it is for MLS matches?
The U.S. will be fine. They will advance, fans are just going to have to sweat it out a little more. Besides, there’s a solution that could solve all the problems and they wouldn’t even have to cancel Johnson’s ticket.
Hey Tim, you busy this week?