Fabian Johnson has been sent home and will not play for the United States in their friendly against Costa Rica on Tuesday, as originally planned. Jurgen Klinsmann said he was upset with how Johnson handled the end of Saturday's match against Mexico.
Jurgen Klinsmann: "I had a very severe word with Fabian Johnson, and I sent him home today."— Brian Sciaretta (@BrianSciaretta) October 12, 2015
Klinsmann on sending Fabian Johnson home: "He can rethink his approach about his team."— Brian Sciaretta (@BrianSciaretta) October 12, 2015
Johnson exited the CONCACAF Cup in the 111th minute. He wasn't injured, which is what bothered Klinsmann. Instead, he was just tired, which is to be expected after nearly two hours in the heat.
Maybe Klinsmann thinks Johnson quit on the team. After all, eight players were going to have to play 120 minutes and Klinsmann was planning on subbing Nick Rimando on for penalties. Johnson's decision to take himself off caused some problems, ones that Klinsmann sees as irresponsible by Johnson, or at least not showing the commitment he expects.
The problem is that more and more players seem to not be fitting into Klinsmann's vision. There are those who can't get call-ups despite tremendous club play, and now those who are on Klinsmann's bad side. Now it's happening with a player who had played a ton, was just coming off an injury and has been a dedicated member of the national team for years.
It wouldn't be wise to overreact and say Johnson is out of the picture or forever feuding with Klinsmann -- that's not true, or at least there's no reason to think so right now -- but there does appear to be more and more discontent or lack of commitment within the team, which is not unusual for second cycle managers. The question is what does Klinsmann do about it?