American goalkeeper Zack Steffen missed his third straight game for Middlesbrough, a 1-0 win over visiting Sunderland on Monday night in England's second-tier League Championship.
The 27-year-old, on loan from Manchester City, has not played since Aug. 20 in Middlesbrough's fifth match of the season. Manager Chris Wilder has said Steffen was bothered by a knee injury.
Steffen is competing for a spot on the U.S. World Cup roster with Matt Turner, who is Aaron Ramsdale's backup at Arsenal; Ethan Horvath, who was loaned from Nottingham Forest to second-tier Luton for this season; and New York City's Sean Johnson.
American midfielder Lynden Gooch started for Sunderland. American forward Matthew Hoppe was dressed for Middlesbrough but did not enter and has not played since Aug. 20.
The last two World Cup prep matches for the Americans are against Japan on Sept. 23 at Düsseldorf, Germany, and vs. Saudi Arabia four days later at Murcia, Spain.
American coach Gregg Berhalter plans to announce his 26-man World Cup roster on Nov. 9.
The U.S. opens the World Cup in Qatar against Wales on Nov. 21, plays England in a Black Friday matchup four days later and closes group play on Nov. 29 against Iran.
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The Associated Press