After returning from 12 days of training in Brazil, the U.S. soccer team will take the field in one of its final pre-World Cup matches when it hosts South Korea on Saturday.
The American squad will feature 22 players after coach Jurgen Klinsmann pared down the roster following the return from Brazil.
Saturday's exhibition in Carson, Calif., will mark one of the last opportunities for Klinsmann to watch the U.S. in game action before the players gather in mid-May ahead of the Americans' seventh straight World Cup appearance. The U.S. plays at Ukraine on March 5, a FIFA date when all players should be available, then may host Mexico in early April.
While the U.S. trains at home this week with players mostly from Major League Soccer, many of the likely starters are with their clubs in Europe and Mexico.
Here's a look at the recent activity of several U.S. hopefuls who aren't currently with the team:
JOHNSON'S SETBACK: Fabian Johnson, a starter for Hoffenheim of the German Bundesliga, broke his right hand during a 4-0 win at Nuremberg on Saturday and but could resume training this week.
The versatile Johnson, who can play either in the midfield or at defender, made his debut on the U.S. national team in 2011 — following a one-time nationality switch by FIFA. Johnson was born in Germany and is the son of a German mother and American father.
Johnson played in eight games, starting all eight, during World Cup qualifying last year and had three assists. He did, however, missed a pair of exhibitions late in the year with a persistent right ankle injury.
Johnson's played in 13 Bundesliga games, starting nine, this season for Hoffenheim, collecting one assist, and — injury permitting — is widely projected to make this summer's U.S. squad.
GOOCH'S RETURN: Oguchi Onyewu has plenty of World Cup experience on his resume, having playing in each of the last two World Cups for the U.S.
What the 31-year-old defender has lacked this season is an opportunity to showcase that he's ready for a third straight opportunity on the game's largest stage — a problem he might have recently solved.
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