World Cup Hopefuls Returning from Injury
Aron Johannsson is back. So is Omar Gonzalez. Now, can they make the World Cup squad? And what about the rest of the United States walking wounded. Nick Kariuki has your update.
BY Nick Kariuki PostedOn Sunday Omar Gonzalez participated in his first full training session at the U.S. camp. The LA Galaxy defender went into the camp nursing a knee injury and was limited to fitness and ball work aside from the team in order to fully recover. Aron Johannsson returned from his ankle injury to play in both legs of AZ Alkmaar’s playoff against Gronigen. Johannsson came on for the last 27 minutes of Thursday’s 0-0 home draw and then played the full 90 minutes of Sunday’s 3-0 away leg. The loss keeps the Cheese Farmers out of next season’s Europa League. Johannsson finished the season with 26 goals and joins the rest of the 30-man provisional squad this week. On Thursday Josh Gatt talked with Rbnett about the major setback to his recovery in the mid-March preseason. At the end of a training session during a day of bad weather that left heavy snow on the track, Gatt was returning with a ball when his left foot slipped and reinjured the same left knee he had spent eight months recovering. This rotten luck was made slightly brighter by the fact that Gatt only damaged a forward ligament and not the meniscus or other ligaments, meaning his new injury wasn’t as bad as the one he picked up last June. The fast winger underwent surgery on May 14 and has been given a cautious return date of February 2015. Last week the Nottingham Post reported that Nottingham Forest’s Eric Lichaj spent the last two weeks of the season trying to regain match fitness in a bid to make the World Cup squad. The right back, who spent a large majority of the year out with groin and hernia issues, attempted to join the club’s last few training sessions while intensively working with the team’s medical staff. Unfortunately, Lichaj’s efforts didn’t result in playing time by the end of the season. With the post-season underway, Lichaj has still been at Forest’s training grounds regaining his fitness and should be ready for the new season. Reading midfielder Danny Williams, another player whose World Cup hopes were hampered by injury, is set for surgery on his nagging knee injury this summer. The midfielder already had a minor procedure in March and played hurt for the rest of his club’s failed attempt at Premier League promotion. He had this to say to the Reading Chronicle on Saturday: “I tried my best to help us get promoted, but I couldn’t do much because of my knee. The first thing I must do is get that straight because it’s important to be healthy. Then I will recover over the summer, get our minds straight again and try and have another good season.” Alan Gordon did not make the squad for the San Jose Earthquake’s 1-0 loss to the Seattle Sounders due to a left groin strain. The Quakes next face the Houston Dynamo at home this Sunday. Will Bruin returned to the Starting XI in Houston’s 1-0 victory over the LA Galaxy on Saturday, playing out the full 90 minutes. Bruin had missed the previous week’s match as a precaution because to “discomfort in his knee.” The Dynamo’s Ricardo Clark remains out of the match-day squad with a concussion. After one game out with a right hamstring injury, Nick Deleon was back in the starting XI for D.C. United’s 1-1 draw against the Montreal Impact on Saturday. United are back in action tonight <5/21> against Houston. Real Salt Lake’s Chris Schuler returned from the bone bruise on his knee for Saturday’s 2-1 victory over the Colorado Rapids. The defender played out the full game. Teammate Luis Gil was subbed on in the 89th minute of the same game. The midfielder had returned to the squad last week from his hamstring-groin injury but did not come off the bench. RSL next host Dallas this Saturday. Finally, CJ Sapong returned to the Sporting KC bench for the team’s 2-1 loss at the hands of the Chicago Fire on Sunday. His next chance to play will come this Friday when SKC take on the visiting Toronto FC. Nick Kariuki writes both the ASN Injury Report and the MLS Roundup every week. Follow him on Twitter.
May 21, 2014
May 21, 2014