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Fabian Johnson injured; could miss March qualifers

The Gladbach midfielder came off after just 16 minutes of Europa League action on Thursday.

Manchester City FC v VfL Borussia Moenchengladbach - UEFA Champions League Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

Some of the injury concerns assuaged by Wednesday’s roster drop have flared up again in an unexpected spot. Fabian Johnson got the start for Borussia Monchengladbach in the Europa League against Schalke, but had to be substituted early in the first half.

The midfielder appeared to possibly have an issue with his hamstring. While it’s impossible to tell the severity of the injury at this point, with so little time between now and the March 24th game against Honduras, it’s most likely the U.S. will be without him.

Now we’ll see if Bruce Arena calls in a replacement for Johnson, and where on the field Arena considered Johnson’s value to lie. If Bruce was telling the truth about wanting to use Johnson primarily as a winger (and I believe he was), my best guess is Paul Arriola might be receiving a call from Arena soon enough. On the other hand, if Bruce wanted someone that could provide cover both in midfield and at outside back, he might seek other options. Either way, this opens up a big door for people like Alejandro Bedoya or Darlington Nagbe, who were most likely behind Johnson in the midfield pecking order, and were definitely behind Christian Pulisic if Arena decided to run a two-striker set, most likely putting Pulisic on the outside.