Lichaj doubtful for Mexico game

Lichaj (ISIphotos)

Photo by John Todd/


Eric Lichaj's emergence at left back was one of the bright spots for the United States men's national team during the Gold Cup, but it doesn't look like he'll be manning that position in next week's rematch against Mexico.

Lichaj picked up a minor hip injury during Aston Villa's preseason trip to Hong Kong and is doubtful to participate in next Wednesday's friendly, a source close to Lichaj told SBI.

With the start of the Premier League season on the horizon and two more friendlies coming up in the next month — including one in Europe — it seems highly unlikely that Lichaj would be risked next week when other issues, such as cementing his place on the team or seeking a long-term loan elsewhere, are of greater importance.

What do you think of this development? Who do you see starting at left back for the United States against Mexico?

Share your thoughts below.

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88 Responses to Lichaj doubtful for Mexico game

  1. Chris A says:

    Bobby Convey returns

  2. Footballgasm says:

    I’d rather leave that flank clear then have to go back to Bornstein. Please Juergen, don’t do it. There’s gotta be another young buck to throw in there

  3. ChrisTheLSUTiger says:

    Johnny Bornstein, duh.

  4. Footballgasm says:

    Wouldn’t mind it so much.

  5. Ja Ja James says:

    Let’s see what Dunivant can do. Also, lets see if Castillo can back up his talk. Do we even take a chance on Ponce?

  6. Fifawitz1313 says:

    Agreed. Time to find someone new. Convey? Maybe? I’d like to see Lloyd back in there. Thought he looked good in his one cap.

  7. JW says:

    Wenger, is that you?

  8. big poppa pump says:

    Heath Pearce. or MLS’ best LB: Todd Dunivant.

  9. john.q says:

    is zach loyd available?

  10. john.q says:

    or castillo

  11. ChrisTheLSUTiger says:


  12. jonk says:

    A chance on Ponce? What is the risk? You invite him and he says yes or no…most likely no since he’s probably not interested in finding a new club 2 weeks into the season.

  13. ChrisTheLSUTiger says:

    Loyd not Castillo

  14. Are you talking about Miguel Ponce?

  15. Poo says:

    makes sense to leave him out. He might get loaned out anyway from AV right? Guy picked up an injury half a world away, probably ok to miss the game.

  16. hogatroge says:

    You mean the Miguel Angel Ponce who just participated in the Copa America as a member of Mexico’s team?

  17. Alex says:

    I understand your confusion, Elite. Ponce isn’t an option, guys. I mean, technically, he is, but realistically, he’s not. He played in the Copa America with Mexico’s U23’s.

  18. Realistically that might have been Mexico’s U23 team but technically that was Mexico’s full international team in a FIFA event. Ponce has made his decision.

  19. Alex says:

    I don’t know why you were mocking me, I was agreeing with you.

  20. I wasn’t mocking you at all. It sounded as though you were suggesting that he could still switch to the United States. I was simply pointing out that the option was off the table now. That’s all.

  21. Tony in Quakeland says:

    Chandler, with Cherundolo on the right.

  22. Let’s see. Castillo has been playing regularly against Mexican opposition. Let’s see him play.

  23. hogatroge says:

    Todd Dunivant Zach Loyd, Corey Ashe, and Gabriel Farfan all deserve looks.

    Dunivant and Loyd have looked strong all season with FCD. Ashe accounted for himself well in the MLS All-Star game, and Farfan impressed by shutting down Kaka when Philly played RM.

  24. hogatroge says:

    Dunivant’s kinda old, but he could be a stopgap for now.

  25. Paul C says:

    I’ve caught the last few San Jose games, and Convey has been pretty terrible. A year ago I would’ve been good with it, these days not so much.

  26. MC Pharaoh says:

    After watching the MLS All Star game I would hope you would never want to see Convey at left back for the nats. Atleast, I dont.

    I would much prefer Todd Dunivant be given a shot who has by far been the best left back in MLS this season.

  27. Dennis says:

    Bocanegra is probably the first choice at LB if he is not required at CB which he may be. Ream, Goodson, maybe Onweyu or DeMerit, but Klinsmann , I thinks wants youth so maybe some of the younger guys from the January camp like Gonzales or Wynne. Always possible to use someone like Chandler, Castilla or Bornstein as a backup.

    I am not overly fond of any of the options. It will be an interesting to see who Klinsmann picks.

  28. rob says:

    I think this is a great opportunity for all parties: the national team, Klinnman, the player pool, and us, the fans. Lichaj played well and will be back the mix as soon as he is fit. In the meantime, we get to see in the very first game against a quality opponent we get to see what Klinnsman is going to do with our most problematic position. I can’t wait.

  29. chris says:

    not the worst idea, since Lichaj was predominantly a RB and had success when moved left.

    but i dont see someone like cherundolo being useful in this friendly unless he plans on being a part of 2014, which is unlikely, right?

  30. MC Pharaoh says:

    Todd Dunivant, Miguel Angel Ponce, Fabian Johnson, Edgar Castillo, and maybe even Corey Ashe… but please no Johnny B or Heath Pearce. We have more options at left back than people think, give them a shot since we have gone 5 years experimenting with Pearce and Bornstein (who dont even play left back anymore for their clubs).

  31. chris says:

    spector needs a look somewhere on the backline too, but may be unavailable.

  32. chris says:

    consensus seems to be DUNIVANT. are you listening JUERGEN?

  33. BellusLudas says:

    Pearce, Lloyd or better Castillo. Dunivant is not the answer for the future and it’s time to look forward.

  34. Footballgasm says:

    Hmm, I honestly haven’t watched him play at all. Who else could step in?

  35. Tony in Quakeland says:

    It would be more about seeing how Chandler does on the left than counting on ‘Dolo to stop aging. If you really want to experiment, than leave Dolo off and try someone else on the right.

    I have a sneaking suspision (based on no facts whatsoever) that Chandler would do better on the left, leaving Lichaj on the right. Could be quite a book end pair in 2014

  36. AcidBurn says:

    What, no Jonny B farewell game? Can he play the first half for the US and the second half for Mexico, given that he helped them out so much in the gold cup?

  37. Chris says:

    FYI ALL!!!former US U-20 left back Gregory Garza is now on trial at Norwegian club Valerenga who currently play in Norway’s top division

  38. abc says:

    Convey, Dunivant, none of these guys are good enough to play internationally.

  39. Tim says:

    Zak Whitbread perhaps? anywhere on the back 4?

  40. John says:

    Wait, Fabian Johnson as in Hoffenheim’s Fabian Johnson? Is he actually an option?

  41. Edwin says:

    Over/Under: Mexico scores 5 goals on the USMNT

  42. Louis Z says:

    I saw Garza play in the qualifier games and he didn’t looked polished at all.

  43. Helium-3 says:

    I watched the first half of Valrenga – Liverpool and didn’t see Garza. Read that he
    played in the 2nd half. How was he?

    Castillo should be invited. Johnny B has
    had his chances and until gets back on the field for Tigres, should not be invited back.

    What about George John and Geoff Cameron in for looks at centerback? Cameron looked good against Man Utd in the All Star game. I was shocked how well he played.

  44. pgloerse says:

    Lloyd has looked good in the few Nats games he has seen the turf.

  45. mistadobolina says:

    how about playing a 3-5-2.. i don’t see to many quality LB to try out.

    Jurgen better have a plan because I don’t want to get killed by Mexico again…also id like an explanation of why the scheduled a US-Mexico game at the point of most confusion/disorganization in USSF; besides making money..

  46. EA says:

    Define “regularly.”

    He played about 20 minutes in week 1, and not at all last week, and didn’t play (anywhere) most of last season.

  47. T says:

    They did……. in the 09′ Gold Cup on our home soil. “If” we lose badly I won’t pin this on Klinsi too much because we only have a few days to train together, I predict a 2-1 win for Mexico, maybe 3……..

  48. mixmaster says:

    Fabian Johnson is an option… german mother/american serveman father I believe and is not cap-tied to Germany at the the senior team level…

    Would be a shrewd call from Klinsi…

  49. Come on with Farfan and Ashe. Are you just picking random guys and throwing their names out there? Farfan just recently has been getting on the field for the Union. And Ashe is a midget. Being a midget is fine if you are awesome technically – which he is NOT.

    Both are decent pros but Ashe is most certainly not a contender to play left back for the USMNT. And Farfan isn’t ready yet. Maybe he can develop into one.

  50. Miguel Ponce plays for Mexico. He cannot play for the USMNT. Corey Ashe is a definite NO.

    Johnson is not eligible to play for the USMNT as far as I know. Hasn’t filed the necessary paperwork to make the one-time switch.

  51. He would have to switch his affiliation as he played for German youth teams. Right now he is not eligible.

  52. Games?

    He played once. For 73 minutes.

  53. notjustcuzimfromsocal says:

    Given that call-ups from European teams will be limited for the Mexico game, play the entire Galaxy back line and see what happens.

  54. Art says:


  55. Sir Knox says:

    How about Brek Shea?
    He’s got skill and speed to attack from the back
    JK likes to attack from the wings

  56. Angel FAN of USA says:

    are u crazy Geoff Cameron Number 20 in the all Star game he was a fault in two of the goals against Man.

  57. Angel FAN of USA says:

    I really would like Klismann to start playing new blood in this new era. I don’t care if the whole entired team is play with german/American born players but I was new players, We already know what Donovan, Dempsey, Ouchie, Bocanegra, Howard and Churendolu can do. Bring guys like Holden, Adu, Edu, Bradley, Agudelo, Davis, Agudelo, Gyua, Josh, Coner, Wood, Farfan, Chandler, Herzenler, Mixx, Bedoya, Torrez, and bring guy from the U20 to fill the rest. But please we need to start looking way beyond the WC14 and look to play for WC18 and start bringing little by little our new crops of players that will take over, Dempsey, Donovan etc. etc.

  58. Poo says:

    Too bad Klinsi is cap tied…otherwise he could call his own name. he would probably be a better LB than half of the options!

  59. HoboMike says:

    I’ve advocated a 3-5-2, ever since it became apparent that we don’t have four defenders who I’d trust. The formation also allows Jones/Bradley/Edu (2 of them) to sit back and play their natural, DM positions without worrying about getting forward. Dempsey will most likely not play in this friendly, which I’m fine with – after all, the PL season starts 3 days after that. Donovan/Adu/Feilhaber/Bedoya/Torres can man the three AM positions.

    Of course, the main issue is that we don’t have 2 forwards.

  60. Tim M. says:

    Castillo’s gotten a good run of games in the preseason but has to really play for club.

    Corey Ashe would be an interesting player to call in.

    I don’t agree with most that Convey doesn’t deserve a couple shots with the nats. His been very good all season for SJ.

  61. MC Pharaoh says:

    then no MLS left back is good enough to play internationally. Im not quite sure how you get off saying that since we havent seen Dunivant in a US jersey on his recent form… Dunivant is miles over Convey at left back in my opinion. I never said Dunivant would be, when he is playing like the best left back in MLS though, he is worth calling in for sure.

  62. Chris says:

    I was thinking that during the gold cup final. Would’ve done a better job no doubt after Dolo went off.

  63. Angel FAN of USA says:

    sorry but I put Agudelo twice, and another correction. “I want new player” not “I was new players.”… Anyway I think is time for the USMNT to start looking into this new young players some of the U20 n U18 are in the aboard and some play here in the MLS. give them a chance. Lets stop been dependent of Donovan and the rest of the Veteran player remember soon they will be old for the next world cup.

  64. Peter says:

    Call up Ihemelu, John, and Loyd from FC Dallas.

  65. MC Pharaoh says:

    I dont think a one-time switch is needed with Johnson because he only played for the German youth teams. As for Ponce, I meant to say he would be better than some other options but simply forgot to add that. He played twice for mexico in the copa america so he would have to file for a 1 time switch if he decided to pull a edgar castillo which means he will not play mexico. The Copa America does not cap-tie a player so he could switch in the future regardless of how unlikely it is.

  66. MC Pharaoh says:

    He would have to file. I forgot about the Teal Bunbury case.

    It is still possible though. Very unlikely however.

  67. Good Jeremy says:

    I don’t think Boca is the first choice left back anymore. Wasn’t in the world cup, wasn’t in the gold cup. Looks like Lichaj and Spector will be battling for it, and hopefully Loyd. He has looked really good.

    Boca is just too slow for the position. No way around it really, he has pretty decent awareness and tactical knowledge, but not nearly enough to cover the gap in speed between him and whoever lines up on the right wing for any decent team.

  68. Idaho Brian says:

    I would like to see Klinsman call in Convey, Castillo, or Lloyd in and see how they do…I don’t see Dunivant as a long term option, and I agree that the Bornstein and Pearce experiment is long over. I really hope to see Chandler on the right side…

  69. Good Jeremy says:

    under. 4-2 would be my guess again, as Klinsman sends numbers forward, scoring more goals than usual, but experiments with less talented players on defense while also leaving them exposed on counterattacks when the midfield plays higher up.

  70. Good Jeremy says:

    definitely worth a shot.

  71. TomG says:

    This is a great opportunity to see Klinsy wave his magic wand and turn Patrice Evra into an American. Or maybe he can sprinkle some fairy dust over Heath Pearce and turn him into Philip Lamm. They are both German, after all.

    In all seriousness, though, look at the names we are discussing here. These are not international calibre players! Let’s not go crazy if the LB continues to be an issue as it has been since Jeff Agoos. Klinsi is a manager, not a magician.

  72. Adam says:

    Dolo isn’t fit. Ankle injury is still bothering him.

  73. ted says:

    I can almost promise you it’ll be Castillo or Lloyd on the left. We already know Bornstein can’t cut it, and there’s little upside in plugging in older MLS guys who have tried and failed at the International level before. Klinsmann may also have some other ideas in mind, guys we haven’t heard of. He was well-known for springing relative unknowns on the German national team…and this was something that made him quite unpopular in the Bayern locker room as well, because Klinsmann is utterly unafraid of replacing a vet with a younger player, even an known, if he dubs the new player of sufficient quality.

    Klinsmann will want to start bringing in his own guys as quickly as possible and it’s likely to start here.

  74. Paul says:

    It’s definitely a form issue with Convey at the moment. I think overall he has the potential to be a pretty solid left back for the nats, but unfortunately right now he’s just not doing so hot, like you said. I’d like to see him or Loyd called up for the position for the next few friendlies.

  75. Brent McD. says:

    Please let’s not mentione Corey Ashe and the USMNT in the same sentence any more. What about Brek Shea — can he play LB?

  76. K-Town says:


    Donvan plays as an inverted left mid. Having Break Shea behind him as a natural attacking left footer would be interesting to see. Donovan likes to pinch in centrally and Shea likes running down the wing. would make for some good overlapping. Don’t know how it would turn out defesively though.

  77. Primoone says:

    Ponce will not give up his Chivas dream.

  78. Primoone says:

    Dunivant is a good defender however, he is a turnover waiting to happen. Not international quality. Now your talking with the Farfan brothers. Very technical, attack-minded and an excellent first touch. The sad thing is that the farfan bro that plays left back is the better of the two and excels in the attacking third as a winger. You want a latin influence Jurgen? You cant go wrong with these two.

  79. He also played a lot in their pre-season and was getting good reviews. Let’s see what he has.

  80. Good Jeremy says:

    Bocanegra is fairly natural out there, so if he (or whoever follows him) shifts left to cover for Shea going forward it should work out fairly well since we have capable d-mids who could cover for the LCB when he shifts over. Still exposes us to the counterattack due to the lack of speed, but that is universal no matter what personnel are in.

  81. marco says:


  82. bryan says:

    no Dolo or Lichaj, this will be interesting. hopefully chandler will play though!

  83. hogatroge says:

    Certainly not picking random names. Did you even read the reasoning behind my choices?

    I’ve seen Ashe play 6 times this year live and he’s played well in all of them. Admittedly, I’ve been pretty fortunate in that all the games I’ve gone to have been wins or draws, but nonetheless.

    Rather than respond in a d*ckish fashion, why don’t you enlighten us all regarding the dozens of other candidates we have waiting to play left back?

  84. Jason says:

    Didn’t he get owned by dos Santos in the 4th goal? So much for being 6ft something.

  85. Taylor says:

    after the Generation Adidas tour in Spain, many European scouts commented on Shea’s ability at centerback and left back, not the attacking midfielder we all see him as. it’s worth a shot

  86. Ben says:

    Actually, I believe Ponce is cap tied, Copa America is a Fifa-recognized “A” competition, correct? The one time switch only applies if you’ve played unofficial games for the senior team, such as friendlies (jermaine jones, for example).