The U.S. national team’s 30-man preliminary World Cup roster is just days from being announced and Jurgen Klinsmann will be closely monitoring the health status of several players during the final weekend before the U.S. pre-World Cup training camp.
On the U.S. injury front, starting central defender Omar Gonzalez has been sidelined with what is being reported as a minor knee injury. LA Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena said Gonzalez is expected to miss between 1-2 weeks with the injury, which he called a tweak of the knee. That timetable would rule Gonzalez out of the Galaxy’s upcoming match against the Portland Timbers on Saturday, and out of the first week of the U.S. training camp.
While that timetable shouldn’t be enough to cost Gonzalez his spot on the U.S. team, it could give some other central defenders, such as Clarence Goodson and potentially John Brooks or Tim Ream if they are chosen to the squad, a chance to impress at the training camp.
Another player who could miss this weekend’s MLS action is Eddie Johnson. The D.C. United forward missed his team’s match last week with a hamstring injury, but is expected to see some action in D.C. United’s match against the Philadelphia Union on Saturday.
Johnson made some waves earlier this week when he was quoted in an article making comments that could be deemed as critical of his current teammates. In drawing comparisons between his former club, the Seattle Sounders, and D.C. United, he stated that his former team “had more quality on the ball” than D.C. United.
Johnson apologized for the remarks on Thursday, and made it clear he did not intend to disparage his current club. Whether the episode is something that will factor into Jurgen Klinsmann’s decision on whether to bring Johnson to the U.S. training camp remains to be seen. At this point, Johnson’s participation on the upcoming U.S. training camp is more likely to come down to just how healthy he is heading into next week.
Aron Johannsson also missed a recent match due to an injury, with a bad ankle keeping him out of AZ Alkmaar’s recent Europa League playoff semifinal against Heerenveen. AZ won the first leg of their two-leg series, 3-0, and plays the return leg at Heerenveen on Sunday. A win in that series would mean Johannsson would be a delayed arrival in the U.S. camp, though if the ankle injury he’s dealing with doesn’t improve quickly, he may not feature for AZ on Sunday.
Another player who could wind up seeing his potential arrival at U.S. camp delayed is Timmy Chandler. His club team, German Bundesliga side Nuremberg, will be attempting to escape automatic relegation with a win this weekend against Schalke. If Nuremberg does win, the club would then play in a relegation playoff against the third-place team from Bundesliga II. Chandler has regained his starting role with the club since returning from at torn meniscus after 10 weeks out, but he will miss the Schalke match due to yellow card accumulation.