Landon Donovan and Brek Shea have been ruled out for the U.S. national team's upcoming World Cup qualifiers after having their respective injuries evaluated by U.S. Soccer medical staff.
Donovan (knee injury) and Shea (abdominal strain) were both injured in recent MLS matches but were called into camp regardless. Donovan was injured in the Los Angeles Galaxy's match on Saturday against Real Salt Lake, while Shea did not even dress for FC Dallas' crucial meeting with Chivas USA. No players will be called in to replace them, according to a U.S. Soccer press release, meaning Jurgen Klinsmann will go to battle against Antigua and Barbuda and Guatemala with limited options on the flanks.
"It's unfortunate for Landon and Brek that they won't be able to play," Klinsmann said in a U.S. Soccer statement. "Landon was very optimistic over the weekend when his knee was feeling much better, but now he needs time to recover. We knew Brek was a question mark coming in, and now we have a clear picture of where he stands. We feel confident that the group we have will get the job done."
Graham Zusi started on the right wing against Jamaica in the most recent qualifier and figures to get the nod again after his performance drew rave reviews from Klinsmann. Joe Corona and Sacha Kljestan are other wing options on the 22-man roster, while Fabian Johnson, who has emerged as Klinsmann's first-choice left back, is also capable of playing a more advanced role.
Donovan skipped Tuesday's training session to undergo an MRI on his knee, one that he was supposed to have ahead of flying to Miami but elected to skip because his knee had improved significantly, according to comments made by Klinsmann on Monday. He is slated to return to Los Angeles immediately. Shea, meanwhile, will return to Dallas to continue treatment for his injury, which he suffered on Sept. 29.