Paperwork keeps German-born Johnson from making U.S. debut
MIAMI (Reuters) - German-born midfielder Fabian Johnson will not be able to make his debut for the United States in September friendlies against Costa Rica and Belgium as he has yet to receive clearance from FIFA.
Johnson, who represented Germany at the youth and Under-21 level, was called up for the games but a spokesman for U.S. Soccer said on Monday he would not play since the procedure for his one-time switch of allegiance was not complete.
The 23-year-old midfielder for Hoffenheim, who has joint German-U.S. citizenship, will still travel to train with his new national team and their German coach Juergen Klinsmann ahead of games against Costa Rica in Carson, California on Sept. 2 and Belgium in Brussels four days later.
Klinsmann, who replaced Bob Bradley as U.S. coach last month, will be without Fulham forward Clint Dempsey for the Costa Rica game as he deals with a back injury.
Dempsey should be fit to join the squad in Brussels for the second game but Klinsmann will be without defenders Zach Loyd and Heath Pearce who have both pulled out with injury.
Jonathan Spector, who plays for Birmingham City in the English second tier Championship, has been called in along with uncapped D.C. United midfielder Chris Pontius.
(Editing by Frank Pingue; To query or comment on this story email email@example.com)
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