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Jozy Altidore, Chris Wondolowski left off U.S. national team roster

Coach Juergen Klinsmann says the reason Altidore wasn't chosen in advance of two crucial World Cup qualifiers is recent performance. Galaxy captain Landon Donovan is named to the team.

October 09, 2012|By Kevin Baxter, Los Angeles Times
  • Jozy Altidore has been left off of the U.S. national team's roster because of recent performance.
Jozy Altidore has been left off of the U.S. national team's roster… (Elise Amendola / Getty Images )

Galaxy captain Landon Donovan was named to the U.S. national team Monday in advance of two crucial World Cup qualifiers over the next week. But the bigger news was the names left off the 24-man roster.

U.S. Coach Juergen Klinsmann did not call up forwards Jozy Altidore and Chris Wondolowski. Altidore is tied for the scoring lead in the Dutch Eredivisie with eight goals in as many games. Wondolowski is on pace to tie Major League Soccer's single-season scoring record.

The U.S. needs a win and a draw in its next two matches to be certain of advancing to the final stage of regional qualifying for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. The Americans play Antigua & Barbuda on Friday in Antigua and host Guatemala on Oct. 16 in Kansas City, Kan.

Altidore, 22, is a World Cup veteran who has played in a team-high 17 consecutive qualifying matches. But Klinsmann said Altidore's recent performances with the national team had been subpar.

"Jozy can do much, much better," Klinsmann said during a conference call. "The reason why he's not coming in is mainly about performances."

The absence of Wondolowski, who has 25 goals this season, wasn't as surprising since he wasn't called up for last month's qualifiers either. Klinsmann said he chose Seattle's Eddie Johnson and San Jose's Alan Gordon instead because "both are really strong in the air. We expect the opponent will probably play more defensively and get a lot of numbers in the box, so we need to force things with crosses and get really strong in the air."

Donovan, who missed last month's qualifiers against Jamaica because of a hamstring injury, sustained a knee injury late in the Galaxy's game against Real Salt Lake on Saturday. But Klinsmann said Donovan, the national team's all-time leading scorer, improved so quickly over the weekend that he canceled an MRI exam scheduled for Monday and instead flew to Miami to join a three-day training camp.

The team, with club affiliations in parentheses:

Goalkeepers: Brad Guzan (Aston Villa), Tim Howard (Everton), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake).

Defenders: Carlos Bocanegra (Racing Santander), Geoff Cameron (Stoke City), Edgar Castillo (Club Tijuana), Steven Cherundolo (Hannover), Maurice Edu (Stoke City), Clarence Goodson (Brondby), Fabian Johnson (Hoffenheim), Michael Parkhurst (Nordsjaelland).

Midfielders: Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), Michael Bradley (Roma), Joe Corona (Club Tijuana), Jermaine Jones (Schalke 04), Sacha Kljestan (Anderlecht), Brek Shea (FC Dallas), Danny Williams (Hoffenheim), Graham Zusi (Sporting KC).

Forwards: Clint Dempsey (Tottenham Hotspur), Donovan, Herculez Gomez (Santos), Gordon, Eddie Johnson.

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