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Klinsmann to bring in injured Altidore to USMNT camp ahead of qualifiers

Photo by Kim Klement/USA Today Sports
Photo by Kim Klement/USA Today Sports

He has missed the first two weeks of MLS due to an injury, but Jozy Altidore will be joining the U.S. Men’s National Team ahead of two World Cup qualifiers against Guatemala.

The Toronto FC striker suffered a hamstring injury in training weeks before the club’s opening game on March 6, and so he has yet to play a single minute for the Canadian club this season. Yet, head coach Jurgen Klinsmann is calling him into the USMNT camp ahead of the team’s two important qualifiers against Guatemala on March 25 and 29.

“Jozy is coming back from a hamstring injury – he’s not 100 percent yet, but we’ll build him,” Klinsmann said. “He’s already almost getting on the field with Toronto, so we’ll take it from there and bring him with us and see every day in training how much he’s able to contribute.”

The USMNT is set to convene for training camp starting on Sunday in Miami, though the roster has yet to be formally announced.

What do you think of Klinsmann’s decision to call in Altidore? Think he will play in either game?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. Delicate balance – need both squads to be excellent –

    Here are my picks:

    Brad Evans D
    Matt Besler D
    Steve Birnbaum D
    Tim Ream D
    Omar Gonzales D
    Michael Orozco D
    Geoff Cameron D
    Brek Shea D

    Jozy Altidore F
    Gyasi Zardes F
    Bobby Wood F
    Clint Dempsey F

    David Bingham GK
    Brad Guzan GK
    Tim Howard GK

    Fabian Johnson M
    Lee Nguyen M
    Michael Bradley M
    Darlington Nagbe M
    Mix Diskerud M
    Perry Kitchen M
    Danny Williams M
    Alejandro Bedoya M

    U-23 Olympics:
    DeAndre Yedlin D
    John Brooks D
    Matt Miazga D
    Brandon Vincent D
    Cameron Carter-Vickers D
    Tim Parker D
    Kellyn Acosta D
    Eric Miller D

    Jordan Morris F
    Khiry Shelton F
    Jerome Kiessewetter F

    Ethan Horvath GK
    Zack Steffen GK

    Paul Arriola M
    Wil Trapp M
    Gedion Zelalem M
    Julian Green M
    Dillon Serna M
    Matt Polster M
    Fatai Alashe M

    • Looks good to me and close to what I would probably select. However, JK has said that the national team has priority over the U-23 team, so Brooks and Yedlin may be with the full national team instead of the U-23. I agree that we can do well enough against Guatemala that we don’t need them and they should be with the U-23. Let’s hope JK agrees since getting a result in Colombia will be so important and that means holding them or no more than one goal and 0 goals would be ideal even if we don’t score.

  2. From my perspective there’s nothing weird here. He’s going to join the NT. they’ll see how fit he is. He might make an appearance but if not it wouldn’t be a waste. Does every player that gets called up play in a qualifier? No. Also, this ‘injury’ is far from the WC injury. He felt tightness after a preseason game and since it’s a long season all parties felt it was best to not rush him into he first few games. It’s merely coincidence that his first minutes might be for the NT but that doesn’t mean he is taking someone’s spot. He’s. Just now uninjured. How is that hard to get for some? Lol

  3. If Jody is being called in to just be around the team and as a means to assess his injury progression I don’t see a big deal here. However, if JK is taking up a roster spot that can be used on a healthy, more fit and in rythym player than he would be doing the group a disservice in my opinion. I heard rumblings that Clint will be called back in for these qualifiers and it makes a ton of sense especially considering the injury issue with JA.

  4. Of course you bring him. A player with that much experience brings a lot to the locker room and could be very useful in a pinch. It would be stupid to leave him behind.
    Of course I’m talking about Landon Donovan. Altidore is slightly more useles on the bench than he is on the field.

  5. The article did not say he is taking up a roster spot. It said he would train with them and then they would see if they would use him.

  6. I think Rubio might get a call up, with jozy prolly not going to start that leaves Wood, Dempsey and zardes. The u23S have Morris, kieswitter, Shelton, Green, and probably arriola. They might not release him for the Olympic qualifier but would have to for the wc qualifier

    • Why would Rubio get a callup? Morris should be with the senior team, those games are far more important. People are taking Guatemala for granted. Yes, we should win both of these games but have you seen the way JK has this team playing since last summer (really since Brazil except for those two friendly wins)?

      • Why would Rubio get a call up? Indeed. No reason to reward a guy just because he dropped out of the presidential race and has no other job prospects ?

    • 4 forwards i would pick for this camp: Dempsey, Wood, Wondo and Amarikwa. Or maybe Zardes and Magee. If Jozy wants to travel with and be the 24th guy on the team..sure

      • Yeah the strikers currently in the best form would be Wood, Magee, and Wondo. Might not sound sexy but there it is. Bringing Dempsey and even starting him I get, he at least is match fit, and he’s Dempsey. Bringing an recently injured Altidore who hasn’t even got back on the field yet doesn’t make much sense to me. Or at least, I would think the travel and disruption caused by the callup would interfere with his rehabilitation more than help it.

      • It is interesting that Magee is scoring again with a change of teammates. Wondo has been a fixture at San Jose and has been a consistent scorer with different teammates (from the Bash Brothers to Amarikwa he continues to find ways to score goals). It is a bit of a mystery why he can’t click for the US. He is not slow (despite some claims to the contrary), he is fearless, and he works tirelessly.

        Neither Bradley nor Klinsmann saw fit to use Wondo for 90 minutes except in very rare cases, despite reports from various US camps that he just wouldn’t stop scoring goals in training. Ah well, they get the big bucks to make those decisions.

  7. How many here have seen Jozy train or have talked to him? We just don’t know. To me the bigger question is whether or not he brings in Dempsey. Does he bring in Wood or Morris, or both? I think this headline and article were written specifically to get people riled up so they will pay attention on a slow news day. We are playing two games against Guatemala, so it may not matter much whether or not Jozy is ready or not or if he is there or not as long as we have Dempsey and another reliable striker.

    • Morris? What has he done since joining MLS to even get a call? If anything, he’s showed that he is nothing special and almost any MLS forward is as good.

      Leave Jozy home until he is playing for club. Wood is more than an adequate replacement and doesnt get hurt all the time

      • You must be right. In two entire MLS games Morris has failed to score. He obviously is washed up, let’s forget him.

      • “Since joining MLS”……? LOL…..

        So your sample size of two games (with new–professional–teammates) is enough to throw him away? Lol. So you probably wanted him while he was still in college but because of two games you think he’s not good enough. Lol. I’m not saying he should or shouldnt be there but the reasoning you’re using seems odd

    • “I think this headline and article were written specifically to get people riled up so they will pay attention on a slow news day.”

      i don’t know, i think it’s newsworthy:

      (1) an injured player *might* be taking up a roster spot for qualifiers
      (2) the implication is that klinsmann thinks tfc’s trainers are incompetent or duplicitous

      • Can someone confirm whether is a limit on roster size for these games? I don’t think there is. You can only name 18 for the game but I think you could bring in as many as you want.

      • after skimming the fifa regs, i don’t see a roster limit for qualifiers, and looks like teams are actually allowed to dress 23 players for each game. both of those seem weird to me, though; maybe those are recent changes?

  8. I don’t understand this. Toronto must be pretty mad at JK.

    Those of you who are claiming that this is because Jozy is an undroppable Klinsmann favorite though are forgetting about the time when Klinsmann actually did drop him.

    • i’m not one who thinks klinsmann calls up jozy just because he likes him so much, but just wanted to point out that he dropped jozy for *two* games (against antigua and guatemala, which we didn’t need him for anyway), and promptly called him back when he wanted a result against russia. if klinsmann was trying to make a statement, it wasn’t much of one.

      bottom line is klinsmann will drop players until he needs them for a result. nothing wrong with that (in my opinion, obvs), and–as old school said above–jozy is still clearly our top striker at the moment, for better or worse, but i think there’s a legitimate argument that klinsmann hasn’t given enough minutes to other forwards so far.

      • You can argue that, sure. But I think you’re understating what happened when he dropped Jozy. This was viewed as a pretty big deal at the time. The qualifiers were certainly more important games than the friendly against Russia. He also, of course, sent Jozy home during the Gold Cup last year. You can certainly argue that other forwards should get more chances, but Jozy’s relationship with JK has been less than perfect for years now, so the idea that he’s an undroppable Klinsmann favorite simply isn’t true.

      • one of the reasons it was viewed as a big deal *at the time* was that jozy’s (allegedly i guess, since he denied it) critical tweet was echoing what fans were saying, and it was klinsmann’s first real political test. that jozy was on a great scoring run at az only increased the drama. i don’t think anyone–at the time–thought klinsmann would just bring him back after two games.

        however, while the qualifiers against antigua and guatemala were objectively more important, klinsmann needed *jozy* more for a result against russia than he did in those qualifiers. results in friendlies have always been a big deal for klinsmann, and he (rightly) decided he could have his cake and eat it too: make a statement in dropping jozy for matches that he really didn’t need him for, and bring him back in time for a match that he did need him for.

        as for the gold cup last year, i thought it was obvious that jozy was not 100%.

  9. Wood has earned the start over him based on form alone not even taking into account that Jozy probably won’t be fit and rusty as hell.

  10. Nobody else wants to say it, but Wando is solid right now.

    Even beyond that, there are plenty of options for JK right now. There is no reason for Jozy to be brought in. Jurgen’s camp is not what Altidore’s hamstring needs right now.

  11. Sincere question: who among the forwards has taken their opportunties given to supplant him in the starting XI?

    Not too many have been more critical of Altidore on this board than I, but it’s hard to make an argument against him. Even when he’s been dreadful for club, he still comes through for the national team.

    Providing him with the national team personal training staff isn’t unreasonable when they can access his status, monitor his progress and assist in his recovery to get him back on the pitch (for club and country). I see nothing wrong with this.

    • Do you really think the US training staff is so much better then TFCs? It’s just 2 matches, he’s either fit to play them or he’s not. If he was healthy then sure, he’d probably still start. However why use a roster spot on a player that’s not fit.

      • Do you really think the US training staff is so much better then TFCs?

        Who said better? I certainly didn’t. However, there’s a huge distinction of your own staff working directly with a vital player over entrusting the responsibility to a non-affliated staff.

        In layman’s terms: I’d want my guys working on Altidore over their guys 7 days a week and twice on Sunday. It’s not a matter ofquality, it’s a matter of preference.

        Do you really not understand that?

      • Fine, as long we blow out Guatemala in both matches it’s not really an issue. However if somehow we don’t get 6 points and an attacking option is being taken up by an unfit Jozy, then I think we’ll see some questions raised.

      • I don’t see the point of bringing him in but I don’t think there are limitations on roster size for these games so I don’t think he’ll be preventing anyone from being there. If he’s not fit then he won’t be in the 18. Maybe I’m wrong though – is there a limit on roster size?

    • i wouldn’t say there’s anything “wrong” with it, but it seems a little odd, like klinsmann just doesn’t trust the opinions of tfc’s trainers (which is his prerogative). (see guardado and psv for recent comparison.)

    • Agreed and good question. Has Bobby Wood not proven himself to seriously challenge for it?

      For the past year or so, it is hard to argue against the fact that he has been the most lethal, in form, US striker. Bundasliga 2, I understand. But the guy has the striker quality that we need, for sure. Has not had the chance yet to prove in meaningful US games.

      PS – I do not argue at all with Jozy being called in.

      • Agreed and good question. Has Bobby Wood not proven himself to seriously challenge for it?

        This was the first name to come to mind for me as well.

    • Easy answer, none.

      In a single striker formation, a strikers first priority is to score goals. Altidore does that. All other responsibilities and intangibles are secondary to scoring goals. Until another striker develops that scores at a better rate and/or fits Klinsmann’s direct style of play better, Altidore is the guy.

    • hey Old school… I’ll take the bait and say that Wood has supplanted Altidore already. I would also say that there are a couple younger guys who you might be willing to start in front of Altidore to give them the chance to not tear another hamstring… morris, pulisic, kieswetter, etc.

      I feel bad for the dude, but he needs to figure out his whole hamstring issues… take yoga, do somethinng, but until he figures it out, we have to be moving on.


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