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Altidore to miss USMNT friendly vs. T&T, Turner and Robinson to start


Jozy Altidore took part in his first U.S. Men’s National Team camp since 2019 in January, but he will be waiting a while longer to make his first actual USMNT appearance since the 2019 Gold Cup final.

Altidore won’t play in the USMNT’s friendly against Trinidad & Tobago on Sunday (7p.m., FS1), USMNT coach Gregg Berhalter confirmed on Saturday. Berhalter cited a minor injury Altidore picked up during camp as the reason, but also clarified that Altidore could have played if the team needed him to play.

Altidore’s absence means most likely that Orlando City striker Daryl Dike will get the nod up top for the USMNT, though FC Dallas forward Jesus Ferreira is another option for Berhalter.

Berhalter also confirmed that Atlanta United centerback Miles Robinson will get the start in central defense alongside Aaron Long. Berhalter cited the desire to give Robinson some experience ahead of Olympic qualifying, which Robinson is expected to play a key part in as one of the leading players in the U.S. Under-23 national team setup.

Berhalter didn’t reveal his full starting lineup, but the USMNT squad that faces T&T should have several U-23 eligible players, including Jackson Yueill, either Kyle Duncan or Aaron Herrera and Sam Vines leading candidates to start.

Long’s inclusion comes amid rampant transfer rumors linking him with multiple English clubs, including Liverpool. Long and Paul Arriola, who is also the subject of transfer rumors, both sided-stepped questions about potential transfers when they addressed the media on Saturday.

In less surprising lineup news, Berhalter confirmed that New England Revolution goalkeeper Matt Turner will start in what will be his USMNT debut.

LA Galaxy fullback Julian Araujo will also miss Sunday’s match after having arrived in camp late due to an unidentified illness.

What do you think of the news? Excited to see what Daryl Dike can do? See Miles Robinson being a competitor for a starting role in World Cup qualifying?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. Well the prediction of Dike getting the start proved to be incorrect. In fact, after watching him in his cameo appearance I saw little that would make me consider him for the gold cup spot at this point. To me he appeared to be a younger version of Jozy. Big body, a little slow for this team, nothing special at all. We have a lot of strikers available and I cant see him beating out any of the others in the pool. He is young and that could change but not yet. BTW, we really dont need Jozy anymore… go to Europe…. again…enjoy

  2. If Dike starts, and Mueller is playing of his left shoulder, T&T’s backline is in for a long night. In Dike’s interview, he spoke on Jozy being in camp as motivation. The veterans being in camp for leadership purposes will always be debatable among us the fans, but Dike thinks he can learn from Jozy because they have similar frame. In a GB interview, he see’s Perea as a 6! I hope this match features a predominant Olympic squad like last year!

  3. While the dearth of international matches in 2020 did not stress any USMNT players with over work, that will not be the case in 2021. Participation in the USMNT in a major way for Jozy would simply serve to reduce his recovery time and increase the chance for injury. –

    At his age, every knock takes longer to recover from than it did 5 or 6 years ago. Even without USMNT duty, it is a valid question if Jozy can stay healthy enough to be anything but a part time player for Toronto.

    • That question was answered last season. In a shortened season (23 matches) Jozy made 13 appearances, 10 starts, for a whopping 56% participation. During that span he scored 2 goals and registered 1 assist. At this point the best Jozy can offer is being a part time player for Toronto.
      He should be done as a USMNT consideration, as he can’t seem to tie his boots on without injuring himself.

  4. Interestingly Gregg said “with the transfer window closing looming we didn’t want to risk him”, a move in the works?????

  5. I suspect JA was brought in as a veteran presence. I can’t imagine GB has him in his long-term plans other than as an emergency stop-gap. The minor knock happened early in camp and Berhalter said he is back to full fitness but they didn’t want to take a chance. Seems, quite rightly- playing him was never a priority. As I’ve said before- lets get the guys we’ll need when it counts settled.

  6. Trinidad’s league hasn’t played since the start of Covid. Teams have agreed to water breaks in each half. This could be uglier than El Salvador.

      • Looks like 7, 8 from US mostly USL, 2 from Northern Ireland, 3 unattached, 1 Argentina, 1 Guatemala, 1 Canada (Canadian Premier League).

  7. Jozy continues with his injury woes. Will he ever be healthy enough to play for the USMNT again? You can put me in the doubtful category.

    • I don’t know that he was ever intended to play in the match. They kept Dike and Ferreira. Although like you I’m not sure he’ll make thru most of an MLS season to be ready for Qualifying.

    • Jozy’s latest injury re-enforces my belief that Gregg should move on from him, regardless of “Altidore could have played if the team needed him to play”. The continued injuries confirms that he cannot be relied on to be healthy enough to be a part of the USMNT going forwards. Time for Jozy to call it quits at the international level, and time for Gregg to focus on players who will actually be able to accept call-ups.


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