I’m back in town after a weekend away. I’ll get to some MLS items later on but just a quick note about this week, posts will be few and far between. I’ll be tucked away at a conference the next two days, plus I have family in. Oh fun.
Yesterday Jurgen Klinsmann released his 24-man roster for the upcoming World Cup qualifies. He made a few surprises in the process that left many scratching their heads.
GOALKEEPERS (3) : Brad Guzan (Aston Villa), Tim Howard (Everton), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake)
DEFENDERS (8) : Carlos Bocanegra (Racing Santander), Geoff Cameron (Stoke City), Edgar Castillo (Club Tijuana), Steve Cherundolo (Hannover), Maurice Edu (Stoke City), Clarence Goodson (Brondby), Fabian Johnson (Hoffenheim), Michael Parkhurst (Nordsjaelland)
MIDFIELDERS (8) : 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 Kansas City)
FORWARDS (5): Clint Dempsey (Tottenham Hotspur), Landon Donovan (LA Galaxy), Herculez Gomez (Santos), Alan Gordon (San Jose Earthquakes), Eddie Johnson (Seattle Sounders)
As you see, no Chris Wondolowski or Jozy Altidore up front. Both are leading scorers in their respective leagues at the moment. Instead he opted for Eddie Johnson and Alan Gordon. Yes you are reading that correctly. Eddie Johnson and Alan Gordon.
In a teleconference on Monday afternoon, Klinsmann said the decision to drop Altidore was based on his recent outings with the national team.
“I communicated with Jozy that I was not happy about his latest performances with us, I mean maybe even over the last 14 months,” Klinsmann said. “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 and also in training.”
“We want to bring in Eddie and Alan because both are really strong in the air,” explained Klinsmann. “We expect two difficult games where the opponent will probably play more defensive and kind of get a lot of numbers in the box, or in front of their box, to play more defensively against us. So we need here and there to force things with crosses from the wings. I had more trust in Eddie Johnson and Alan Gordon.”
Landon Donovan, Jermaine Jones and Brek Shea were all called in despite recent injury concerns. Sacha Kljestan got his first call-up since the Italy friendly in February. Also back is Edgar Castilloof Mexican leader Tijuana.
The US will play Antigua & Barbuda in North Sound, Antigua on Friday with the final game of the group stage on Tuesday in Kansas City against Guatemala.