The United States are getting thinner by the day in defense. The latest hits to the American back line are injuries to John Brooks and Matt Besler, as both have been ruled out for Friday's World Cup qualifier against Guatemala, according to Jeff Carlisle.
Brooks suffered a contusion to his left knee, forcing the U.S. to send him back to his club, Hertha Berlin. That means Brooks won't be available when the Americans play Guatemala again on Tuesday in another World Cup qualifier.
Besler is currently going through the national team's concussion protocol, and there is no timetable on his return.
Exactly how both players got hurt is still unclear. Neither Brooks nor Besler had any known injuries when they reported to the U.S. team.
Brooks appeared to be one of Jurgen Klinsmann's first-choice centerbacks, so losing him is a major blow. If Besler wasn't slated to start next to him, he was certainly in the running, so his absence will be felt as well. With those two out, Klinsmann is opting for Omar Gonzalez and Michael Orozco in the center of defense for Friday's match. Geoff Cameron is also an option in the middle, but he's being used at right back in Guatemala City.
If Belser cannot play next week, don't be surprised to see Klinsmann call up another centerback or two for depth on Tuesday.