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Donovan, Howard to miss World Cup qualifier

The SportsXchange

Midfielders Landon Donovan and Jermaine Jones are absent from the U.S. roster for a final World Cup qualifier on Tuesday against Panama and goalkeeper Tim Howard and defender Matt Besler were permitted to return to their clubs.

Donovan is nursing an ankle injury and Jones is bothered by a recurring knee problem.

"Landon is still struggling with the ankle injury from a couple weeks ago, so he will go back to Los Angeles and try to get back to 100 percent," U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann said. "Jermaine's case is more of a concern. His knee was bothering him all night, but he battled through. It's clear that the issue with his knee is something that should be taken care of right away."

Brad Guzan will start in Howard's place against Panama. The U.S. team already clinched its seventh consecutive World Cup berth and secured first place in its qualifying group with a 2-0 over Jamaica on Friday night.

"Brad Guzan has earned the opportunity to start against Panama," Klinsmann said. "He has been outstanding for Aston Villa all year and he has been huge for the games he has played for us in World Cup qualifying."

Klinsmann added Chicago goalkeeper Sean Johnson to the roster as a backup to Guzan.
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