NEW YORK: Jozy Altidore was dropped on Monday from the US squad for a pair of critical World Cup qualifiers after disappointing US coach Jurgen Klinsmann in games and practice over the last year.
Klinsmann instead selected Seattle’s Eddie Johnson and San Jose’s Alan Gordon to join Clint Dempsey, Herculez Gomez and Landon Donovan as attacking players on his 24-man roster for games at Antigua and Barbuda on Friday and home against Guatemala on October 16.
Seeking their seventh straight World Cup appearance, the Americans face likely elimination unless they get at least four points. The US, Guatemala and Jamaica all have 2-1-1 records with seven points, and only the top two teams in the group advance to next year’s regional finals.
“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 from Miami. “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.”
Klinsmann also said Donovan’s left knee injury sustained on Saturday while playing for the Los Angeles Galaxy did not appear to be serious and that midfielder Jermaine Jones’ left ankle injury was minor.