Changes to the U.S. national team roster ahead of Tuesday’s showdown with Mexico here in Columbus …
Out: Michael Bradley, Geoff Cameron, Jozy Altidore, Matt Besler and John Brooks.
In: Joe Corona, Clarence Goodson, Brad Davis and Jose Torres.
Although MRI results on Bradley’s injured left ankle are pending, Juergen Klinsmann has already ruled him out of Tuesday’s game — not a surprise after Bradley required crutches to exit National Stadium in Costa Rica on Friday night.
The USSF will not release details of Bradley’s injury to the media and public until it updates his employer, AS Roma, on Sunday.
With Cameron, Altidore and Besler suspended for yellow cards accumulation, Klinsmann summoned three replacements. Goodson might end up stepping into the starting lineup in place of Besler. Davis, Corona and Torres provide fresh options on the midfield flanks.
Meantime, Brooks was released from U.S. duty in order to rejoin Hertha Berlin. He has an undisclosed minor ailment, one that would not have prevented him from playing Tuesday, but a player with one cap is not going to start — or probably even play — in a high-stakes match against Mexico. So Klinsmann felt it was in his best interests to resume training with his club and prepare for Friday’s Bundesliga match against Stuttgart.
Why bother calling in Brooks if he were not prepared to play in two difficult qualifiers? He is a young player with a bright future who lacks training and bonding time with the veteran group. Klinsmann has always placed high value on such interaction.
Brooks debuted in the Bosnia-Herzegovina friendly last month but has yet to make an appearance in an official top-tier international match. Without it, he could, theoretically, switch allegiances and commit to Germany, but from all indications, he is committed to the U.S. program and Klinsmann has penciled him into his long-term plans.
Klinsmann is expected to address personnel decisions before Sunday’s training session at Crew Stadium. The practice is closed to the public.
My Sunday print and online story looks back at the Costa Rica loss, ahead to the Mexico match and assesses the U.S. team’s bright prospects of wrapping up a World Cup berth.