The Full 90

Sporting KC’s Zusi could replace Donovan in U.S. lineup

Updated: 2013-02-06T06:37:25Z

Star news services

World Cup veteran midfielder Landon Donovan will be missing when the United States plays Honduras in the final round of qualifying today, and that could benefit Sporting Kansas City’s Graham Zusi.

Zusi might get a chance to replace Donovan on a flank.

“Landon has been such a mainstay in this team. That position has been locked up for quite some time now,” Zusi said. “Any chance that he’s not here is a chance for someone else to come in.”

Donovan, 30, is a veteran of three World Cups and the American career leader in goals and assists. He is taking a break from soccer following the Los Angeles Galaxy’s second straight Major League Soccer title. Galaxy coach Bruce Arena said last month that he expects Donovan to return to soccer at some point this year but wouldn’t identify a timetable.

The Americans practiced in Florida on Monday before traveling to San Pedro Sula for today’s match. Coach Jurgen Klinsmann maintained Donovan’s absence creates opportunity for others.

“We have plenty of options,” he said. “We have 24 players in the camp, so plenty of options obviously for the coaches. And all of them are ready, all of them are hungry, all of them want to show a good game. So, I’m very positive about that challenge.”

| Star news services

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