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US National Team overcomes major injuries

Clint Dempsey has recovered enough from his knee injury to make second half appearances for Fulham. The cherry on top is that he made an unbelievable chip shot against Juventus to send Fulham through to the Europa League quarterfinals. This is the X-factor that Clint Dempsey brings to the US National Team. It is also the reason why he ought to be on the field even if he isn’t totally fit or in form. You never know when he is going to pull off the spectacular, but he seems to do it often and especially in clutch situations.

Like a phoenix rising from the ashes, Charlie Davies has resurrected himself to the point of training with FC Sochaux. Davies is currently training by himself with a physiotherapist, but he ought to be able to join regular training sessions in another 3 to 4 weeks. Considering the laundry list of serious injuries Davies sustained in his car crash only five months ago, this is an improbable recovery.

When originally writing about his injuries and recovery, I was concerned that Davies might reinjure himself by progressing too rapidly with his rehabilitation. I am glad to have been wrong. Here’s hoping he will see some game time to get him ready before the World Cup.

Oguchi Onyewu has also recovered from his knee injury. He is training with AC Milan, but it may be a while before he is ready to see the field. On the other hand, due to Nesta’s surgery, Onyewu may be able to break into the starting lineup. Furthermore, Onyewu’s other competition, Khaladze, has had disagreements with the coach about playing time, and is in the dog house. Hopefully, Onyewu will get some playing time in the near future.

Benny Feilhaber has also been cleared to train for AGF Aarhus after his recent ankle cartilage injury. In addition Ricardo Clark has fully recovered and is poised to start playing for Eintracht Frankfurt. Also Stuart Holden is making progress on his broken tibia, which he suffered during the US v. Holland friendly. Curses on Nigel De Jong for his reckless play. Finally, Jermaine Jones is continuing to recover from his shin injury.

Unfortunately, there is always bad news to go along with the good. Jozy Altidore and Jay DeMerit picked up injuries that kept them from playing over the last weekend. Neither of these injuries appears to be severe, so hopefully they will be back playing soon.

If both Charlie Davies and Oguchi Onyewu can start a few games before the World Cup, then they ought to be back in enough form to contribute to the team. Most likely neither of them will have had enough time to get back into top form, however, they might be able to get close. Bob Bradley will have three games before the first World Cup match to test them out. Clint Dempsey looks like he will be able to get right back into his top form. He should be back starting matches in the near future.

Having Benny Feilhaber, Stuart Holden, and Ricardo Clark back in action will also give Bob Bradley solid players to rely on in South Africa. If Jermaine Jones also gets healthy and some playing time at Schalke, then Bob Bradley will also get a chance to see if Jones can contribute at the World Cup with the 3 pre-World Cup scheduled friendlies. Because he hasn’t featured for the US before, it would most likely not be wise for Bob Bradley to start him. However, adding him to the roster and bringing him on as substitute defensive midfield specialist might help without destroying the team’s chemistry. Ok, let me know what you think.

Image from www.goal.com

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