More defensive worries for U.S.A. fans heading into the World Cup qualifiers against Costa Rica and Mexico as Jurgen Klinsmann has dropped U.S. captain Carlos Bocanegra from the squad, while Timmy Chandler, Fabian Johnson and Danny Williams will miss the matches because of injuries and illness.
Besides Bocanegra there are eight players not in the squad that you would expect to see: Edgar Castillo (facial fractures), Chandler (hamstring), Steve Cherundolo (knee surgery), Tim Howard (broken bones in back), Johnson (hip), Jonathan Spector (ankle), Jose Torres (hamstring) and Williams (stomach virus).
Very few countries can overcome the loss of 8 of their best 25-players and the US is not one of them.
The injuries really hurt the US defensively Tim Howard is a big loss, but Brad Guzan has been brilliant for Aston Villa this season, so I am not too worried there.
Against Honduras in the last qualifier, Klinsmann went with the inexperienced center back pairing of Gonzalez and Cameron and he is expected to do so again on Friday. Hopefully they will play better than they did in Honduras. On the outside, surprise inclusions Beltran and Morrow must step in for the injured Timmy Chandler and Fabian Johnson.
In midfield, the US needs huge games from its European contingent; Michael, Bradley, Jermaine Jones, Maurice Edu with Beasley or Shea expected to give the team some attacking width.
Up front, the US trio of Dempsey, Altidore and Herculez Gomez is as good as anyone in CONCACAF.
Brad Guzan (Aston Villa), Sean Johnson (Chicago Fire), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake)
Tony Beltran (Real Salt Lake), Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City), Geoff Cameron (Stoke City), Omar Gonzalez (LA Galaxy), Clarence Goodson (Brondby), Justin Morrow (San Jose Earthquakes)
DaMarcus Beasley (Puebla), Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), Michael Bradley (Roma), Joe Corona (Club Tijuana), Maurice Edu (Bursaspor), Jermaine Jones (Schalke 04), Sacha Kljestan (Anderlecht), Brek Shea (Stoke City), Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City)
Jozy Altidore (AZ Alkmaar), Terrence Boyd (Rapid Vienna), Clint Dempsey (Tottenham Hotspur), Herculez Gomez (Santos), Eddie Johnson (Seattle Sounders FC)