101212_antiguatraining_isi_usmnt1011123486_sidea John Todd/isiphotos.com
One Question, Five Answers

How Will the Four Injuries Affect the USMNT Tonight?

With Landon Donovan, Brek Shea, Fabian Johnson, and Edgar Castillo all out of the lineup due to health/injury issues, the U.S. national team must make do with a limited roster tonight.
BY John Godfrey Posted
October 12, 2012
8:55 AM
ANTIGUA—Jurgen Klinsmann knows who he will be starting at left back in Friday's World Cup qualifier against Antigua & Barbuda—he said as much last night—but he doesn't intend to share this information any earlier than necessary.

Why would he? The U.S. men's soccer team is desperate for a win, and Klinsmann and his team have been all business since arriving in this Caribbean paradise. There's no good reason to reveal whether it will be Carlos Bocanegra, Michael Parkhurst, or somebody else lining up in place of flu-ridden first-choice starter Fabian Johnson or his backup, the injured Edgar Castillo.

Given the concerns at left back and the injuries to Landon Donovan and Brek Shea, we asked Klinsmann and a few others how the injuries and health issues within the squad have affected the team. Here's what they told us.

Jurgen Klinsmann: We feel bad for whoever gets an injury—if it’s Landon, if it’s Edgar, if it’s Brek—because we want to have everybody onboard. But at the same time we need to move on. We don’t have time now to complain about anything. We are here because we want to go to the World Cup and this is about World Cup points. We wish the guys that can’t go further all the very best and a very fast recovery, but at the same time we have to move to the next training session. Within the team, within the atmosphere, it has pretty much no influence. Because we know why we’re here and why we’re moving to Kansas.

Carlos Bocanegra: This stuff happens in qualifying. You have injuries and suspensions. We’d love to have a full complement of players every time but unfortunately this is how it is. The guys that we have in here have earned their shot. It’s just the way it is and we have to get on with it. There’s no excuses in qualifying.

Sacha Kljestan: I don’t think the mood of the team has changed at all. If anything, we’re ready. We all know what’s at stake in this type of game and the game on Tuesday. We have a lot to play for. We weren’t faced with this type of game during the last qualification. It’s a little bit of a do or die and I don’t think losing players has changed our attitude.

Graham Zusi: Those guys play big roles on this team, but there are a number of guys here who can fill in very well. Whether that’s a starting role or coming off the bench, there’s a great amount of depth on this team and we shouldn’t miss a beat.

Geoff Cameron: I think guys are just going to step up. Guys have opportunities now and they just have to take advantage of it. Guys are fired up and we’re ready mentally and physically. I think we’ll be ready.

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