As the United States Men's National Team took the field at the Estadio Nacional Mateo Flores for their final training session ahead of Friday's World Cup Qualifier against Guatemala, the nation's current best player patrolled the sidelines. Despite Jurgen Klinsmann still publicly saying that he's "available", it appears to be nearly impossible that Fabian Johnson will make an appearance in the Guatemala City game.
One must question the wisdom of forcing a player suffering a muscle injury to fly across the world to not play in a game. By the time this break is finished, Johnson will have flown from Germany to the United States to Guatemala then back to the United States and back to Germany. Perhaps, as Klinsmann has chosen to do with Christian Pulisic, Johnson should have been left in Mönchengladbach for a few extra days of recover before joining the team in Columbus.
With Johnson unavailable, the USA loses their best attacking midfielder and their best fullback. The USA already struggles to generate a lot of quality chances on the offensive end, and missing a player with Johnson's dynamic attacking abilities will greatly hamstring the Americans going forward. If Johnson was to be deployed at right back, Klinsmann must now settle on playing Deandre Yedlin or an out-of-position centerback like Steve Birnbaum, Geoff Cameron, or Michael Orozco on the right.
Perhaps four extra days of rest will be just the thing Johnson needs in order to be ready for Guatemala in Columbus. However, if that was the case, why not just fly him straight there?