Donald O’Mahony, Staff Writer

With the World Cup fast approaching, the United States continues to have injury problems. Charlie Davies, Clint Dempsey and Oguchi Onyewu are all currently injured and questionable for this summer.

There is still hope that they will be on the field to face England on June 12, but a backup plan needs to be in place. Although Head Coach Bob Bradley is not required to announce his team anytime soon, here are a few players who might be called on to make a difference.

Jay DeMerit – The Wisconsin native has built a good reputation in the national team over the last year and might be in consideration for a starting spot even if Onyewu is healthy. He debuted for the national team in 2007 and started all five matches in the run to the Confederations Cup Final in 2009. If Onyewu is fit, DeMerit will battle with team captain Carlos Bocanegra for the other spot at center defense. However, if Onyewu cannot go, he could be lining up against Wayne Rooney in a few months. It is a difficult task for any defender, but he will need to be ready.

Stuart Holden – The fate of the Americans might depend on whether or not Clint Dempsey is healthy. He is responsible for creating a lot of chances and would be sorely missed if he cannot come back in time. That being said, Holden has the potential if it comes down to him. He has two goals and three assists in his first 11 appearances for the national team. He has shown the ability to create chances from nothing in clutch situations. If you need proof, just check out his game-tying goal against Haiti during second half stoppage time. Having recently moved to England to join Bolton Wanderers, his confidence must be at an all-time high.

That could be useful if the Americans are missing Dempsey’s swagger this summer.

Robbie Rogers – Rogers is another option for Bradley if he needs someone to fill in for Dempsey. He has nine appearances with one goal and three assists for the national team, most memorably assisting on Jonathan Bornstein’s goal that gave the U.S. the top spot in their region during the World Cup qualifying period. He is a speedy player with the ability to use both feet well, which could make him a valuable player to have on the field for set pieces. Even if Rogers is not starting, he is the type of player that could come off the bench and make an impact on the game.

Conor Casey – Ever since Charlie Davies’ tragic car accident, Bradley has often chosen Casey to partner Jozy Altidore in the attack. A big target at over six feet, he has the strength to hold the ball with a defender on his back. Casey made his first appearance for the national team in 2004 and has two goals in nine total matches.

He also scored 16 goals in 24 games for the Colorado Rapids of Major League Soccer in 2009, good for second in the league. Although he has a different style than Davies, he can be just as effective in front of the goal.

These are just a few of the players who might need to step forward if the regular starters do not recover in time. Even if they do not earn a starting spot, there is still the possibility of making the team that goes to South Africa. The competition for one of the final roster spots will push these players to be at their best when June comes around.