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Injured Donovan, Jones dropped from U.S. soccer roster

Midfielders Landon Donovan and Jermaine Jones were dropped from the U.S. roster for Tuesday's final World Cup qualifier at Panama because of injuries, and goalkeeper Tim Howard and defender Matt Besler were allowed to return to their clubs.

Americans take on Panama in final World Cup qualifier Tuesday

Landon Donovan is struggling with an ankle injury, keeping him off the United States' roster for their final World Cup qualifying match. (Danny Moloshok/Reuters)

Midfielders Landon Donovan and Jermaine Jones were dropped from the U.S. roster for Tuesday's final World Cup qualifier at Panama because of injuries, and goalkeeper Tim Howard and defender Matt Besler were allowed to return to their clubs.

The U.S. clinched its seventh straight World Cup berth last month and beat Jamaica 2-0 Friday night to ensure first place in North and Central America and the Caribbean for the third straight cycle.

The Americans announced the roster moves Saturday, saying Donovan was bothered by the ankle he sprained while playing for the Los Angeles Galaxy and Jones by the knee injury that has cost him playing time with Schalke.

"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 per cent," 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 so he can be 100 per cent for Schalke and the national team as soon as possible."

Klinsmann wanted to go with his No. 2 keeper in the final qualifier.

"Brad Guzan has earned the opportunity to start against Panama," Klinsmann said. "He has been outstanding for Aston Villa all year, and he has been huge in the games he has played for us in World Cup qualifying. As I said before, we have one of the best situations in the world when it comes to our goalkeepers."

Chicago goalkeeper Sean Johnson was added to the roster as a backup in addition to Nick Rimando, giving the Americans 19 players on the trip.

Klinsmann said Clarence Goodson will start in defence.

Panama is fifth at 1-3-5 with eight points following Friday's 2-1 loss at Mexico (2-2-5), which moved into fourth. The top three nations qualify for next year's 32-nation field in Brazil, and the No. 4 team advances to a playoff against Oceania champion New Zealand.

Mexico closes at Costa Rica and third-place Honduras (4-3-2) is at last-place Jamaica (0-5-4).

The roster:

Goalkeepers: Brad Guzan (Aston Villa, England), Sean Johnson (Chicago), Nick Rimando (Salt Lake)

Defenders: DaMarcus Beasley (Puebla, Mexico), Geoff Cameron (Stoke, England), Edgar Castillo (Tijuana, Mexico), Brad Evans (Seattle), Clarence Goodson (San Jose), Michael Orozco (Puebla, Mexico)

Midfielders: Kyle Beckerman (Salt Lake), Alejandro Bedoya (Nantes, France), Brad Davis (Houston), Mix Diskerud (Rosenborg, Norway), Sacha Kljestan (Anderlecht, Belgium), Graham Zusi (Kansas City)

Forwards: Jozy Altidore (Sunderland, England), Terrence Boyd (Rapid Vienna, Austria), Aron Johannsson (AZ Alkmaar, Netherlands), Chris Wondolowski (San Jose)

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