Hot List: The return of Fabian Johnson 

February, 4, 2013

MIAMI -- With just two days to go before the national team's Hexagonal opener in Honduras, the Hot List takes on a greater significance this week. As it happens, though, who has been playing well isn't as important as who has been playing, period, given the recent injury scares on the back line.

But now that the Yanks' roster has been announced and the squad has assembled here in South Florida ahead of Monday night's flight to San Pedro Sula, let's take a look at which key players have been getting crucial minutes leading up to the Yanks' first World Cup qualifier of 2013, and why two of the bigger names left behind didn't make the cut this time around.

Warming up

Fabian Johnson, LB, Hoffenheim (Germany)

Why he's here: Johnson returned to action for his Bundesliga team Saturday -- helping relegation-threatened Hoffenheim earn a much-needed win -- after sitting out the team's previous game with a sore knee.

Doug McIntyre is a staff writer for ESPN The Magazine. He has covered American and international soccer since 2002.