U.S. Men's National Team

Is Altidore missing the USMNT qualifiers? (and if so, why?)

JozyAltidoreUSMNTHand (ISIPhotos.com)

Jozy Altidore set off a rash of speculation this morning when he tweeted about attending an event with AZ teammates on Tuesday, a tweet that would suggest he is not joining the U.S. Men's national team for its training camp ahead of two crucial World Cup qualifiers.

Why would Altidore, currently enjoying the best run of form on the club level of his career, be left out for two all-important qualifiers? It is tough to find a legitimate explanation or reason for it. There are plenty of potential theories, but none that ring true as passable.

Could Klinsmann really be trying something new because of unhappiness with Altidore's play with the national team? Might there have been a falling out between Klinsmann and Altidore? Did Altidore's red card for AZ over the weekend lead Klinsmann to want to send a message? Does Klinsmann possibly think there are four other American forwards who are currently better USMNT options than Altidore? Is Klinsmann trying to light a fire under a player who has yet to really get going for the national team since he took over as manager?

None of those explanations make much sense, not with Altidore clearly in great form on the club side, and not with the U.S. still trying to qualify for the next round of qualifying.

If Altidore is being snubbed it would make more sense out of Eddie Johnson's selection for these qualifiers (Johnson leaked news of his own call-up on Friday). Johnson has enjoyed an outstanding season for Seattle, but had not been with the national team this year.

Remember, an Altidore snub is not yet official, and for all we know Altidore and Klinsmann could be conspiring to pull off a prank on Twitter in the wake of Johnson's Twitter leak last Friday (when asked about a U.S. national team call-up on Sunday night Johnson avoided all conversation about it). We will find out the real story in a matter of hours.

What do you think about a potential Altidore snub? Why do you think Klinsmann might leave him home? See the remaining U.S. forwards being able to get the job done?

Share your thoughts below.

  • THomas

    This looks tantalizing. But JK himself said, maybe in the interview Jozy responded to, that he wouldn’t move Johnson from LB. We’ve got options wide left in midfield and to move our long awaited savior of left back there would be counter productive.

    He could move Deuce out wide left and pair up Johnson & Gomez. Assuming Johnson does end up in camp.


  • MidWest Ref

    That was my point when I brought up Charlie Davies.

    To be a better team, we need to have scoring threats – whether they score or not – but someone who can threaten the opposition. Jozy is a bigger threat, in my opinion, than others – including Gomez, but I am not the coach.

    I am not saying right or wrong, but if Jozy is not called in (or refused the call in), someone better explain what is going on – and that lands in Klinsmann’s lap.


  • The Imperative Voice

    Just a thought: since he deleted the tweet he clearly already “gets it” that he shouldn’t have said what he did. There is no lesson other than impulse control to teach here. Face-saving suspension for A&B, who we will beat anyway, road game or not; then have him on the bench for the Guate home game we will have to win. The moralizers get their scalp, Klinsi gets his message sent, but the grander goals of the team aren’t undercut.


  • Bob

    Sounds like what Bill Belichick was trying to do with Wes Welker. And we all know that, in the end, Welker got the last laugh!


  • Matt

    This is my concern as well. I worry that Klinsmann is pulling a Samson; he has had a rocky relationship with Donovan, Bradley, Jozy… and those are some of our most talented players. I just worry that the players will be upset that he isn’t called in. I sure hope this doesn’t go bad and we get out of these two games qualifeid for teh hex, so we they can be addressed. Klinsmann definitely isn’t a man manager.


  • CplDaniel

    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)


  • biff

    That is a very interesting comment, jb. I never thought of Jozy like that before, you have definitely given me food for thought. And if Jamica would have come back and scored an equalizer in the final five minutes in Columbus, qualifying hopes would be in grave danger and Klinsmann’s future as a coach would be in deep, deep stuff and it is possible that a player or two might have enjoyed seeing Klinsmann sweat and he most definitely was sweating in Kingston and Columbus. Klinsmann needs to watch his back. No doubt about it.

    I think Klinsmann’s biggest mistake from the very beginning was trying too hard to be Mr. Nice Guy to everybody. There were obviously some players who identified with the previous coach and might not have agreed with Klinsmann’s appointment and a lot of new coaches coming into that situation would have cleared those guys out first thing for a total clean slate and to ensure no leakage of information to your biggest enemy to be used against you. I do think now, though, that Klinsmann has learned his lesson and he has simply gotta do what a man has to do to ensure survival. yep, Klinsmann needs to watch his back.


  • Anonymous Coward

    Jeopardize the team’s chances of qualifying because of a personal feud…yeah, that’s exactly the sort of thing that inspires a team!


  • mike

    as a big altidore fan, as well as a big U.S MNT fan, i fully support the decision not to bring jozy. jozy is off to a fantastic league start and playing in every crucial match there. why disturb that for a couple of important, yet winnable games without him ? so many players in europe seasons are ruined by the interval perios. its not worth the risk in my opinion. he needs to establish himself club first. quite frankly if we cant beat antigua and guatemala without jozy then were not going anywhere anyways.


  • BK

    I’ve been saying this here for years. Altidore is not international material and never will be. Klinsmann has given him a shot and knows this as well.


  • Mark

    I’ve never been a fan of “Lazy Out-da-door.”

    He’s a flopper and never fights hard for the ball.

    I’m happy he was left off.


  • abc

    If Klinsy wasn’t going to call in Altidore while he is playing great in Holland and leading the league in scoring, he is a complete f’ing idiot.

    If Klinsy didn’t call in Altidore because Altidore correctly identified that the problem with the lack of goals for the USMNT was Klinsmann’s seventeen crappy defensive midfielders being unable to link up with the forwards meaning Jozy doesn’t have the same quality service he gets in Holland, he is petty.

    Pick your poison I guess. Either way, Klinsmann looks quite bad and we’re one step closer to “I guess Lahm was right about him.”


  • abc

    Hey let’s not be too hard on the guy, after all he is the one who brought Aron Winter to Toronto and should get credit for their success!


  • abc

    Okay, so can we call Klinsmann a petty incompetent fool now that we know for sure?

    He has a deeper US team than we’ve ever had IMO, and we can barely score one goal per game. And he blames Altidore while starting 3-4 defensive midfielders every time!


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