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Cody Cropper to miss Olympic qualifying after knee surgery

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Pete Norton/Getty Images

Cody Cropper will miss the United States' Olympic qualifying campaign after undergoing knee surgery. MK Dons confirmed that Cropper went under the knife earlier this week and would be out for 4-6 weeks, which would rule him out of the October 1-13 Olympic qualifying tournament.

Cropper is the U-23's starting goalkeeper, a job that looked more secure than ever after his move to MK Dons this summer. He immediately became first choice there, giving him playing time and sharpness that he never had before and, along with his talent, clarified his status as the Olympic team's goalkeeper.

With Cropper out, Zack Steffen or Ethan Horvath will likely step into the starter's role. Steffen is the more highly touted of the two and put on a terrific performance at the U-20 World Cup over the summer, but Horvath has played some for Molde so he has more high level experience and is a plenty good goalkeeper himself. Andi Herzog will have a tough choice between the two, but whoever he picks just has to get the Americans through a qualifying tournament that shouldn't be terribly difficult and is on home soil to boot.