The early reports are that the injury is a cruciate knee ligament injury which could keep him out for months, while the results of tests are still being waited on. The BBC website is reporting that he could be out for a long while, and that is being echoed on The Lead.
If Clint is on the shelf for an extended period of time and unable to compete for the US in South Africa it poses a real problem for the USMNT, as Clint is one of the few creative players in the midfield for the USMNT and the options aren't real appealing. If you don't believe me check out this post from Steve Davis.
To me this points out a huge issue about the lack of midfielders who can be the offensive playmakers coming from the US. Even in looking at MLS, you see that most of the creative mids are not US players. Sure there are some: Stuart Holden, Sacha Kljestan, Robbie Rogers, but they are all young and fairly not really team leaders. A guy like Steve Ralston comes to mind but at 35 he probably totally off the radar. You really are stuck looking at the names on the USMNT roster for the upcoming matches and it isn't a list that inspires great confidence, but I think that it creates a real chance for someone to step up.
Could it be a Brad Evans? I liked how he played this year for Seattle and think he might be one of the more solid options. How about Eddie Gaven, who provided 6 goals this year for the Crew? Maybe a guy like Kyle Beckerman who is known more for his holding work, gets to try being a much more creative player, it worked in the Gold Cup. If the injury news is right and it is 8-12 months without Deuce, someone or someones will need to step up in a major way. Clint provided 4 goals and two assists in 14 matches in 2009 and has a total of 60 caps and 17 national team goals.
All I know is that it will put a lot more pressure on Landon if there is no Clint in the lineup and this could require a lot of attention before the team heads down to South Africa in just over 140 days.
OFF MY SOAPBOX