WASHINGTON — The U.S. men’s national team gathered for a morning training session here in D.C. on Tuesday, running through drills and exercises on the campus of American University in preparation for their match against Peru on Friday evening (7 pm ET, Fox Sports 1, UniMás).
A handful of important players are missing, however, Houston Dynamo fullback DaMarcus Beasley among them. Beasley – who it seems would've almost certainly started Friday’s match and Tuesday’s clash with Brazil (8 pm ET, ESPN2, UniMás) – aggravated a calf injury in the Dynamo’s 2-0 home victory over the Vancouver Whitecaps last weekend. First-choice right back Fabian Johnson was also absent, recovering from a leg ailment of his own.
"We’re trying to make the best out of it,” USMNT head coach Jurgen Klinsmann told the media in attendance at AU. “Not having Fabian Johnson is really a bummer, because of the qualities he has. Also DaMarcus Beasley: we hoped, still until Saturday, that he was back on track – we talked last week on the phone.
"But then when he kind of walked off the field and said ‘no, I’m not there yet.’ [Dynamo head coach] Owen Coyle called me right after the game and said ‘No, we’re not going to risk anything right now.’”
Klinsmann’s options at outside back thinned out even more when Gold Cup starter Timmy Chandler picked up a meniscus injury last weekend. Though Greg Garza, Stoke City’s Geoff Cameron, newly-minted Sunderland loanee Yedlin, Tim Ream and Michael Orozco can all handle a wide role, Garza and Yedlin are the only true fullbacks of the group.
Beasley, however, seems likely to return to the US fold. On Tuesday, Klinsmann hinted at his eventual return to the squad, even going so far as to imply he expects the veteran to start against Mexico in the CONCACAF Cup, the Oct. 10 playoff to determine who will represent the region at the 2017 Confederations Cup.
"We need Beas against Mexico," said Klinsmann, "so that leaves kind of some fields open there [for now] and we’ll fix it as good as possible. But obviously the preferred roles would go to Fabian on the right and Beas on the left."