Howard, injured Donovan removed from roster before final WC qualifier

By Mike Singer |

Landon Donovan will miss Tuesday's final qualifier. (USATSI)

The USMNT dropped injured midfielders Landon Donovan and Jermaine Jones from the roster in anticipation of Tuesday's final World Cup qualifying match at Panama, the team announced on Saturday. It also allowed G Tim Howard and defender Matt Besler to return to their respective clubs.

Donovan was troubled by an ankle injury he suffered while playing with the LA Galaxy while Jones was battling an ongoing knee injury.

“Landon is still struggling with the ankle injury from a couple weeks ago, so he will go back to Los Angeles and try to get back to 100 percent,” U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann said. “Jermaine's case is more of a concern. His knee was bothering him all night but he battled through. It's clear that the issue with his knee is something that should be taken care of right away.”

Howard's backup, Brad Guzan, will take over in net for Tuesday's match.

"Brad Guzan has earned the opportunity to start against Panama," Klinsmann added. "He has been outstanding for Aston Villa all year, and he has been huge for the games he has played for us in World Cup qualifying."

The U.S., which had already sealed a ticket to Brazil last month, clinched first place in its qualifying group with their 2-0 victory over Jamaica on Friday night.

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