Juergen Klinsmann has set his roster for the U.S. national team’s World Cup qualifiers at Antigua & Barbuda on Friday (7 p.m. ET, beIN Sport‘s English channel only) and next Tuesday vs. Guatemala in Kansas City, Kan. (7 p.m. ET, ESPN2):
Goalkeepers: Brad Guzan (Aston Villa), Tim Howard (Everton), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake).
Defenders: Carlos Bocanegra (Racing Santander), Geoff Cameron (Stoke City), Edgar Castillo (Tijuana), Steve Cherundolo (Hanover), Maurice Edu (Stoke City), Clarence Goodson (Brondby), Fabian Johnson (Hoffenheim), Michael Parkhurst (Nordsjaelland).
Midfielders: Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), Michael Bradley (Roma), Joe Corona (Tijuana), Jermaine Jones (Schalke), Sacha Kljestan (Anderlecht), Brek Shea (FC Dallas), Danny Williams (Hoffenheim), Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City).
Forwards: Clint Dempsey (Tottenham Hotspur), Landon Donovan (L.A. Galaxy), Herculez Gomez (Santos Laguna), Alan Gordon (San Jose Earthquakes), Eddie Johnson (Seattle Sounders).
Omissions: Jozy Altidore, Jose Torres, Terrence Boyd, Chris Wondolowski.
On Alitdore’s absence despite quality scoring form in the Dutch league: “I communicated with Jozy that I was not happy about his performances with us, maybe even over the last 14 months. Jozy can do much, much better. The reason he is not coming in is mainly about performances in Jamaica and at home, and also in training. Also some certain things that went on in the May-June camp.”
On Altidore’s future: “The door is always open and we hope to see a positive reaction from his end and put more effort and more commitment into this whole approach. And then it will be the next call-up coming up.”
More on Altidore’s absence: “The decision not to call in Jozy is based on what we recently saw with him, what we experienced with him.”
On Gordon and Johnson ahead of Boyd and Wondolowski: “That is more tactical related. I spoke to both Wondo and Terrence. We wanted to bring in Eddie and Alan 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. … Wondo is on a roll. It’s fantastic to watch him. Both are on stand-by, so if anything happens in camp, they are both ready to come in right away.”
On Donovan, who injured a knee Saturday: “He was supposed to do the MRI this morning, but he skipped it because it improved yesterday. He is on his flight” to Miami.
On Jones coming in, despite missing Schalke’s weekend match: “Jermaine was out for a precaution. He should be totally fine.”
On weighing club performance differently with Altidore and, for example, Gomez, who hasn’t played regularly but was called up: “It’s absolutely important. It looks a little bit different in Jozy’s case because he’s doing well and scoring goals [with Alkmaar] but he isn’t doing well with us the last couple of games. I have much trust in these upcoming two games in Eddie Johnson and Alan Gordon coming in. It’s important [players] have their club rhythm. It’s important they play well there. It’s important they have their starting spot. But it doesn’t mean coming back into the national team things are for granted. That’s as simple as it is.”
On Wondolowski, a 25-goal scorer in MLS: “Watching him score all of those goals and be at the right spot at the right time is great to see. Wondo is always with us in a certain way because we have an extended roster we deal with the whole time and he will get more chances to prove his qualities. We really know him quite well and when I talked to him, he sees the international level is just a different air than where he plays with his club team. It’s just normal. It’s just more difficult to prove yourself in an international environment than your club environment. … He always responds the same way on the phone, saying: ‘Coach, I keep pushing, no matter what.’ Which is positive for a coach — it’s a great response.”
Contrast that last comment with what Klinsmann had to say about Altidore. I’m guessing we see Wondolowski back in the fold before Altidore…..