U.S. midfielder Jose Torres suffered a bone bruise but no fracture to his left ankle and will accompany the national team to Guatemala for the second World Cup qualifier Tuesday, according to the U.S. Soccer Federation.
His status for the match remains unclear. The primary issue is pain tolerance.
Torres departed in the 57th minute of a 3-1 victory over Antigua and Barbuda on Friday night in Tampa. A natural attacker, he had been summoned to play left back because of injuries to Fabian Johnson and Edgar Castillo.
Coach Juergen Klinsmann indicated Friday that Johnson is on pace to return from a calf injury and perhaps start in the second of six Group A semifinal-round matches.
Klinsmann has the flexibility to call in replacements but apparently doesn’t plan to do so. European-based players are on vacation and out of form, leaving MLS players as the only possible reinforcements.
*Why did Clint Dempsey take the first-half penalty kick instead of Landon Donovan, the U.S. team’s usual shooter? Donovan, one goal short of 50 in his sterling career, was the recipient of a hard tackle that resulted in the penalty.
“I have nothing to do with that,” Klinsmann said. “I think they are old enough to figure that out on the field. It’s an eye contact between Landon and Clint.”
*Klinsmann again mentioned a friendly between the United States and Mexico at Azteca Stadium on the FIFA fixture date August 15. “I want to win that game pretty badly,” he said. Expect a formal announcement in the coming weeks — perhaps June 17, the 10th anniversary of the Americans’ famous victory over their arch nemesis in the World Cup round of 16 in South Korea? Hmmm.....
Klinsmann has also suggested a friendly at Russia this fall, but that match isn’t as firm as the Mexico game.
*The U.S. delegation will remain in Tampa until the flight to Guatemala City on Sunday afternoon.
*Group A standings:
United States 3 points, +2 goal difference, 3 scored
Jamaica 3 points, +1 goal difference, 2 scored
Guatemala 0 points, -1 goal difference, 1 scored
Antigua 0 points, -2 goal difference, 1 scored
USA at Guatemala, 10 p.m. ET
Jamaica at Antigua, 7 p.m. ET
*TV reminder: No standard coverage of the USA-Guatemala match. Your viewing options: pay-per-view through cable and satellite provider sfor $29.95 (details here), online access for $29.95 (details here), or restaurants/bars carrying the match — cover charges may apply (details here).