Guzan off US qualifying roster; Johnson hurt
Goalkeeper Brad Guzan will miss the United States’ World Cup qualifiers against Honduras and Panama while awaiting the birth of his child.
Midfielder Fabian Johnson’s status became questionable after he injured his right leg Thursday playing for Borussia Moenchengladbach in the Europa League.
Colorado’s Tim Howard, the Americans’ No. 1 goalkeeper at the last two World Cups, becomes the likely starter for the matches at San Jose, California, on March 24 and at Panama four days later. The 38-year-old returned last weekend from surgery after he tore a leg muscle in the 2-1 qualifying loss to Mexico last November.
The U.S. Soccer Federation said Guzan and wife Breanne are expecting the birth of their second child. Guzan has mostly been on the bench for Middlesbrough this season and is transferring to Atlanta in July.
Real Salt Lake’s Nick Rimando also is on the U.S. roster, and San Jose’s David Bingham replaced Guzan.
Johnson reached for the back of his right thigh before he was replaced by Jonas Hofmann in the 16th minute of Moenchengladbach’s 2-2 draw against visiting Schalke, which eliminated the hosts on away goals following a 3-3 aggregate deadlock.
The U.S. already is missing defender Timmy Chandler and midfielder Jermaine Jones, who are suspended for the next match for yellow card accumulation, and defenders DeAndre Yedlin and Eric Lichaj, who are injured.
U.S. coach Bruce Arena said Wednesday that Johnson was likely to start in left midfield in the qualifiers. Arena replaced Jurgen Klinsmann after a 4-0 loss at Cosa Rica dropped the Americans to 0-2 in the final round of the North and Central American and Caribbean region.