The United States had to play Antigua and Barbuda without a true left back, but they thought they would get Fabian Johnson back from illness for a tougher match against Guatemala on Tuesday at least. Unfortunately, they will be without a left back when they take on the Chapines, too, bcause Johnson has not recovered from the flu and will not be available to Jurgen Klinsmann.
Without Johnson against the Benna Boys, the U.S. hoped to start Edgar Castillo, but he injured his foot and was also unavailable. Without his top two options, Klinsmann turned to Carlos Bocanegra, who has plenty of experience at left back, but is much better in the center. That is especially true now that he has aged and lacking some of the pace he had in his younger days.
Bocanegra could get the start at left back again on Tuesday, but with the way that Clarence Goodson struggled some, Klinsmann may decide that he can't afford to play Guatemala without Bocanegra back in the center. That would give Michael Parkhurst a chance at left back, or Klinsmann can take the riskier option of playing Sacha Kljestan or Danny Williams there.
On Sunday in training, Parkhurst was the only player working at left back so if that is any indicator, he will get the nod.
Making matters worse for the U.S. is the suspension of Jermaine Jones. The midfielder has great range and does well to cover for exposed fullbacks, which would be helpful without a true left back, but he will not be available after accumulating too many yellow cards.