After losing its opening game in Honduras 2-1 the American’s face Costa Roca and Mexico later this month, knowing that they need at least a split from the two games.
But that task has been made harder due to the errors that have hit the US team. Everton have announced that goalkeeper Tim Howard has two broken bones in his back and is almost certain to miss the two World Cup qualifiers.
Everton have said that Howard’s injury, sustained in an F.A. Cup game Feb. 26, was not expected to end his season.
“He has two fractures, but they are not bones that are supporting anything,” Everton Manager David Moyes said. “It is off the spine. They are not weight-bearing.”
Luckily for Klinsmann, Brad Guzan is enjoying a breakout season at Aston Villa. Guzan has spent years as Howard’s backup, and should be a capable replacement for CONCACAF’s best goalkeeper.
The back four in front of Guzan has to be a major concern for Klinsmann. Klinesmann went with a young and inexperienced back-four of Omar Gonzalez and Geoff Cameron in Honduras, but they showed that they were not up to the challenge. The problem for Klinsmann is that he doesn’t have defenders playing well and regular at the moment.
A host of American defenders are injured (Steve Cherundolo, Edgar Castillo), sitting on the bench for their clubs (Carlos Bocanegra, Eric Lichaj, Oguchi Onyewu), or just getting into playing form as Major League Soccer gets underway (Matt Besler, George John).
The other star of the U.S. side is Clint Dempsey, and Dempsey has missed the last couple of games due to a calf injury. He is due back this week against Inter Milan in the Europa League and Klinsmann has to hope that Dempsey gets some much needed playing time in the next two weeks.
Add in Landon Donovan, who has not returned to the LA Galaxy yet and Klinsmann is facing the two biggest games of his US managerial career without his three of his best players: Howard, Cherundolo, Donovan while his best player (Dempsey) is recovering from an injury.
Not exactly the preparation that Klinsmann wanted headed into some must-win games.