For the second straight World Cup qualifying match, the U.S. national team will be playing with a left back situation that is less than ideal.
First-choice starter Fabian Johnson, who missed Friday night's match against Antigua and Barbuda with the flu, has not recovered sufficiently and will not join the team in Kansas City, Kan., ahead of Tuesday's bout with Guatemala, according to U.S. Soccer's official Twitter feed. He was expected to be ready for the match based on comments made by USA coach Jurgen Klinsmann last Wednesday, when he and Edgar Castillo were ruled out for Friday's game.
No immediate replacement will be brought into U.S. camp, meaning that Klinsmann will have just 19 players at his disposal for the final qualifier of the round. With injuries to Johnson, Castillo, Landon Donovan and Brek Shea and Jermaine Jones being suspended because of card accumulation, five of Klinsmann's initial 24-man roster will be unavailable.
USA captain Carlos Bocanegra slid over to left back from his more accustomed place in central defense with Johnson unavailable Friday night in Antigua and figures to be Klinsmann's top option to deploy on the left against Los Chapines. Michael Parkhurst, who starts at right back for reigning Denmark champion FC Nordsjaelland, is another candidate to swap sides and play out left.
The U.S. can cement its place in next year's CONCACAF hexagonal with a win or a draw at Livestrong Sporting Park.
Follow GOAL.COM on Twitter
- Jurgen Klinsmann
- Fabian Johnson
- Edgar Castillo