U.S. National Team Alarm Klaxons Downgraded To Annoying

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↵Remember a few weeks ago when Clint Dempsey had just done something terrible to his knee and the USMNT was forced to seriously consider putting Eddie Johnson on a plane to South Africa? With Dempsey probably shelved, Charlie Davies laid up after a horrific car crash, and Oguchi Onyewu still recovering from a serious knee injury of his own, the dream draw the States picked up was almost mocking the team's chances. ↵

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↵Yeah, maybe a full-strength USA team could expect to go through, but if Conor Casey and Eddie Johnson are starting, all bets are off. Fate gives, and fate takes. Yours truly at the time: ↵

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↵⇥⇥Who else wants to die? The USA has lost an established Premiership forward and an emerging star who had just transferred to a solid Ligue One side. In their place are Jozy Altidore, who is promising but can't get off the bench at Hull, and… oh God… Eddie Johnson? Brian Ching? Some other MLS striker? Sweet Jesus.⇥ ↵⇥

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↵Well, forget about all that.  ↵

↵Dempsey's injury turned out to be mild enough that his World Cup won't be affected. Oguchi Onyewu is training with the national team and Charlie "Wolverine" Davies is not only walking around and stuff but has actually just returned to France to train with his club. As a bonus, the two injury-plagued Americans at Rangers are finally seeing the field. Maurice Edu went the full 90 in a recent cup match and DaMarcus Beasley started the game before that. ↵

↵In on-field news, Landon Donovan's latest European adventure is a 180 from his previous two. In eight games at Everton, Donovan's dropped in a goal and three assists, drawn a penalty, and was just named his club's player of the month by the fans. After winning five times in twenty attempts to start the season, the Toffees have five wins in Donovan's brief tenure. Jozy Altidore had some midseason issues but has returned to the field of late and played well for Hull City. Hell, even Freddy Adu is scoring. He's a consistent starter in the Greek league and has two goals in his brief time at Aris. The Greek league is a long way off from the Premiership, but when things are looking sunny for Freddy Adu, you know it's been your kind of month. ↵

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↵The last outposts of lame are Jermaine Jones's inexplicably persistent shin injury—he's doing some work with the ball but has missed eight months and is a World Cup longshot at this point—and a smattering of annoying injuries that shouldn't last long enough to affect World Cup selection. ↵

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↵Right now, it looks like it's England that will have the greater injury worry after Donovan broke Ashley Cole's ankle (accidentally, and on a fair tackle). Knock on wood. Salt and all that.  ↵

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↵If Donovan's spleen explodes, I didn't write this. ↵

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This post originally appeared on the Sporting Blog. For more, see The Sporting Blog Archives.

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