The United States men’s national team has a near-must-win World Cup qualifier against Honduras on Friday, and they’ll have to play it without a few of their best players. Striker Bobby Wood and wide utility man Fabian Johnson are both unavailable, and their absences seriously hamstring new manager Bruce Arena.
Wood and Johnson aren’t so much more talented than their peers that their output can’t be matched by someone else, but the USMNT does have a problem with replacing them directly. There’s no one else in the squad exactly like either Wood or Johnson, so taking them out of the squad limits the lineups that Arena can deploy his players in.
Without them, Arena is pretty much stuck with the flat 4-4-2 that USMNT fans have been hoping the team can move away from. Here’s why.
In New York, Green grew tired of Steinbrenner’s relentless second-guessing of the way he managed the Yankees and once referred to the Boss as “Manager George.” That clash ultimately led to Steinbrenner’s firing of Green after just four and a half months on the job.
Green later spent four relatively peaceful years as the manager of the Mets, but even there, he stirred up the tabloids by announcing that it was time for pitcher Dwight Gooden “to go elsewhere” after the ace failed his fourth drug test.
Two years after he was fired by the Mets in 1996, Green returned to Philadelphia and spent the next 19 years working in the Phillies’ front office as a special adviser to five general managers.
Green grew up in Delaware as a fan of the Phillies and was signed by the team in 1955 after being a star pitcher for the University of Delaware. He once seemed bound for stardom but hurt his arm while pitching in the minor leagues on a cold night in Buffalo, New York. Although he eventually spent parts of eight seasons pitching in the big leagues, he finished with a career record of just 20-22, with a 4.26 ERA.