DAVID SMITH - Monday, June 20, 2016
In an announcement which should come as little surprise, the protest filed by US Soccer against the cards which will keep Jermaine Jones and Bobby Wood out of Tuesday's semifinal has been dismissed.
Jones received a straight red card early in the second half during a skirmish which also saw Ecuador's Antonio Valencia sent off. Moments later, Wood also received a yellow card in the confusion - his second of the tournament.
The result in both cases is that the players, each of whom have played vital roles in the recent three-game winning streak, are suspended for Tuesday's semifinal in Houston against Argentina.
US Soccer felt both cards were ultimately a misapplication of rules and decided to protest the cards in hopes of having the suspensions lifted.
However, they announced via their official Twitter feed early on Monday morning that the appeals were dismissed.
"The protest against the cards issued to Jermaine Jones & Bobby Wood has been dismissed. Neither [will be] eligible for [USA vs. Argentina]" they announced.
With midfielder Alejandro Bedoya also suspended after picking up a second yellow, Jürgen Klinsmann will have to make some major adjustments to his lineup against the currently first-ranked team in the world.
Luckily, speedy outside back DeAndre Yedlin returns from his one-game suspension, and with Matt Besler having done an outstanding job deputizing on the left side of the defense, Klinsmann will have some options for how he will move the pieces around.
The most likely scenario for replacing Jones will be a like-for-like switch with veteran Kyle Beckerman who has, at times, paired better with Bradley.
While only scoring once so far in the tournament, the relentless play and workrate of Wood in the front had been a major factor in opening up space for Clint Dempsey to be the main danger man.
This could force Klinsmann to adopt a more traditional two-man pairing of Gyasi Zardes and Dempsey atop the attack, adding extra support to the midfield in the form of Darlington Nagbe, Graham Zusi or a re-positioned Fabian Johnson.