No Tim Howard, no Carlos Bocanegra, no Steve Cherundolo, no Fabian Johnson, no Timmy Chandler, no Danny Williams, and, of course, no Landon Donovan.
It was the absences that were most conspicuous on the U.S. men's national team roster released by head coach Jurgen Klinsmann on Monday afternoon. The team he cobbled together for two crucial World Cup qualifiers against Costa Rica on March 22 and Mexico on March 26 is heavily diluted.
The games are important: after the dire 2-1 loss to Honduras in San Pedro Sula last month, the U.S. needs all three points against Costa Rica in Denver on Friday -- Klinsmann told FOX Soccer last week that the Denver match was a "must win." The USA could also really do with at least a point in Mexico City next Tuesday.
But a series of ill-timed injuries and illnesses have conspired to make an already daunting task a towering one, leaving Klinsmann scrambling to construct a competitive roster. An uphill battle might have become an even steeper slog.