NEW YORK (AP) — Jozy Altidore was dropped Monday from the U.S. roster for critical World Cup qualifiers, and Landon Donovan was among the 24 players selected despite injuring his left knee last weekend.
Altidore has nine goals in 10 games this season for AZ Alkmaar in the Netherlands and is tied for the Dutch league lead with eight goals, but had little impact during two qualifiers against Jamaica last month.
“I communicated with Jozy that I was not happy about his latest performances with us, maybe even over the last 14 months,” Klinsmann said during a conference call. “I think Jozy can do much, much better and the reason why he’s not coming in is mainly about the performances in Jamaica and at home, also in training. Also certain things that went on through the May-June camp.”
Earlier, Klinsmann was critical of Altidore in an espn.com interview that ran Sept. 28. Altidore, according to multiple reports, responded with a tweet, which since has been removed: “Love when people try to blame others for their own short comings and incompetence.”
Klinsmann said he didn’t know whether that was directed to him.
The 22-year-old Altidore has 13 goals in 51 international appearances but none since November’s exhibition at Slovenia. He arrived late at the May-June camp when his club cited FIFA regulations and blocked him from reporting on time.
The Americans are training in Miami this week, play at Antigua and Barbuda on Friday and then host Guatemala on Oct. 16 at Kansas City, Kan. The U.S. figures to need a win and a tie to advance to next year’s six-nation regional finals, which will produce three qualifiers for the 2014 tournament in Brazil.
Donovan was injured Saturday night, leaving the Los Angeles Galaxy’s game with 10 minutes remaining. Klinsmann said Donovan told him the knee felt better and he was reporting to the national team Monday.
Klinsmann also bypassed Rapid Vienna’s Terrence Boyd, who has seven goals for his club this season, and San Jose’s Chris Wondolowski, who leads Major League Soccer with 25 goals, in favor of Seattle’s Eddie Johnson and the Earthquakes’ Alan Gordon. Johnson has not played for the national team since May 2010, just before he was cut from the World Cup roster, and Gordon has yet to make his national team debut.
Anderlecht midfielder Sacha Kljestan returns to the roster for the first time since February. Roma’s Michael Bradley is back after recovering from a thigh injury, which had sidelined him since August, and scoring his first Serie A goal Sunday.
Jose Torres, who started in the 1-0 home win over Jamaica last month, was dropped because of an injury.
Goalkeepers: Brad Guzan (Aston Villa, England), Tim Howard (Everton, England), Nick Rimando (Salt Lake).
Defenders: Carlos Bocanegra (Racing Santander, Spain), Geoff Cameron (Stoke, England), Edgar Castillo (Tijuana, Mexico), Steve Cherundolo (Hannover, Germany), Maurice Edu (Stoke, England), Clarence Goodson (Brondby, Denmark), Fabian Johnson (Hoffenheim, Germany), Michael Parkhurst (Nordsjaelland, Denmark).
Midfielders: Kyle Beckerman (Salt Lake), Michael Bradley (Roma, Italy), Joe Corona (Tijuana, Mexico), Jermaine Jones (Schalke, Germany), Sacha Kljestan (Anderlecht, Belgium), Brek Shea (Dallas), Danny Williams (Hoffenheim, Germany), Graham Zusi (Kansas City).
Forwards: Clint Dempsey (Tottenham, England), Landon Donovan (Los Angeles), Herculez Gomez (Santos Laguna, Mexico), Alan Gordon (San Jose), Eddie Johnson (Seattle).
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