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Greg Garza leaves USMNT January camp with injury

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The national team is down a fullback.

Mexico v United States Photo by Chris Covatta/Getty Images

U.S. Soccer announced that Greg Garza has “departed training camp after being diagnosed with a low-grade quadriceps strain.” He will not be replaced on the roster, which is currently comprised of 27 players. Current fullbacks in camp include Reggie Cannon, Nick Lima, Daniel Lovitz, and Keegan Rosenberry.

Garza, 27, recently moved to MLS newcomers FC Cincinnati after two seasons with current titleholders Atlanta United. He made 11 league appearances in 2018 (after being named an All-Star in 2017), missing most of the season with a “torn labrum in his right shoulder”. This is a continuation of his troubling injury history that includes hip surgery and a sports hernia that required pain injections.

The Grapevine, Texas-native spent his youth career with São Paulo, Dallas Texans, and Sporting CP, and played professionally at Estoril Praia, Tijuana, and Atlas before eventually moving to MLS. Garza has earned 10 international caps since making his debut in 2014, and was a member of the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup roster. He has not appeared with the national team since January of 2017.

While recently hired manager Gregg Berhalter would likely appreciate a veteran presence on his back line in the lead up to the 2022 World Cup, Garza’s injury issues may prevent him from being a consistent and reliable call-up. For now, he returns to Cincinnati for rehab in advance of what should be a challenging expansion season.

The USMNT is currently in January camp and will face off against Panama on Sunday, January 27th in Glendale, Arizona and Costa Rica on Saturday, February 2nd in San Jose, California.