BRIAN SCIARETTA - Tuesday, October 9, 2012
So the USMNT roster is now out and the big story of course is the absence of Jozy Altidore.

Speaking to the media after the roster announcement US head coach Jurgen Klinsmann expressed frustration with Altidore over his performance the past 14 months with the US national team and also in the team's practices.

Here's the problem. Altidore is leading the Eredivisie in scoring and (not counting Clint Dempsey or Landon Donovan who are midfield/forward hybrids) the US does not have any other forward who is close to Altidore's ability.

Altidore is not just scoring goals for AZ Aklmaar but he's also scoring goals of immense quality too. The talent is obviously there and the US team needs that talent

Now I'm not going excuse Altidore in all of this. His infamous deleted tweet was immature. Perhaps he does deserve to be sent a message from the US head coach. But that punishment should be delivered in person and not through isolation from the team.

There is always the option of having Altidore in camp but benching him for the games to send the message. At least Klinsmann could keep the communications going that way.

By not calling Altidore and keeping him in Holland, the controversy continues. The US team has scored multiple goals just three times out of 18 games under Klinsmann. The team needs goals not distractions. By not calling in the top Eredivisie scorer at this important time will shift a great deal of attention to his absence, not the important games.

Also, it's important to take into consideration the situation Altidore is in this year and how he got there. AZ Alkmaar's head coach Gertjan Verbeek is a known as being a no-nonsense disciplinarian. Yet under Verbeek's approach, Altidore has thrived. This further adds evidence that Klinsmann should at least bring Altidore into camp even just to bring discipline. It's an approach that works.

The current strikers called into the US team were the big topic of discussion. Alan Gordon, Eddie Johnson, Herculez Gomez, Clint Dempsey, and Landon Donovan are all aging. They should be more than enough to get the necessary points to advance to next year's Hex but players like Gordon, Johnson, and maybe even Gomez are not likely to play a role in the World Cup. There needs to be some focus on the future and Altidore does offer that.

It's clear that Altidore's performance with his club and whether or not he is with the national team are not related. It's a matter of their relationship and Klinsmann's relationship with Altidore needs to be fixed and fixed quickly. Omitting him doesn't solve anything. It just puts it off until a later date.
Thursday October 11, 2012 12:35 pm
@ muchado - I think there's a petition going around regarding your shortsided posts. Regarding, Gomez not being up to par at international level. If you mean that he won't make any FIFA all-star teams, then you're right. However, his contstant running, checking back, harrying of defenders and the fact that he's scored in home/away WC qualifiers proves he's very adequet for what JK needs him for.

Wondo an MLS hack? Did you watch the documentary where John Terry said that his movement was "brilliant" and was having a "nightmare" trying to defend him?

Charlie Davies hasn't been relevent for sometime now, sadly; and you must think that every single professional coach Adu can't judge potential when they see one. He's just not that good. Educate yourself.
Tuesday October 9, 2012 8:47 pm
Ruud Van Nistelrooy: Boatloads of important goals for Man U. Not so many important goals for the Dutch. There are tons of successful club strikers that don't succeed internationally.

In my opinion, Altidore sucks on both levels. Outside of the standard 2 heavy, etc....But there's always room for Freddy Adu! He's the answer to all hitters in Holland, the Dutch league sucks. Too many geniuses on here that post about players they have never seen train on a day-to-day basis, unaware of club availability situations, injuries that fly under the radar our prayers! Anyone here who thinks they have some piece of insight about player selection that the coaching staff hasn't considered is an arrogant moron. Of course those posters that this certainly wouldn't apply to are probably privy to advanced knowledge gained by coaching their youth club team on Tuesdays and Thursdays and placing 2nd in the State Cup, right? Or maybe they've played college soccer, or even better, Semi-Pro soccer in Egypt....or Wichita. Take a second and compare your own credentials to the USMNT coaching staff & scouts and reconsider what your opinion actually means.
Tuesday October 9, 2012 8:10 pm
Fraser 31, LD now dropped. Tend to agree generally but this makes me a little more nervous. maybe jozy could still be called in for tuesday as an injury replacement depending on how it's looking?
Tuesday October 9, 2012 3:59 pm
There is nothing curious about it. He challenged authority in a childish manner and on top of that has failed to produce under Klinsmann. Any who are surprised, I don't see why. Club performance is good, but damn if you don't do well on the international level you could score 40 goals for your club and I wouldn't play you, let alone start you. Give him the qualifiers off to rethink his actions, and if he has proved himself by November, call him back up. EJ fits in this one. It's just Antigua, and remember that both Donovan AND Dempsey are forwards. We have depth, and we can afford to not have Jozy.
Tuesday October 9, 2012 1:45 pm
I think the feeling is that it shouldnt be be Jozy and EJ fighting over a roster spot, but it should be them two fighting for the starting spot. Gordon shouldnt even be getting a sniff of the USMNT.
voiceof reason
Tuesday October 9, 2012 12:54 pm
if USMNT performance is key to current call-ups then plenty more players should be left at home (Beckerman?)

if playing for your club is important then what are Edu and Gomez doing here?

bottom-line this is personal... and quite petty... congrats Klinsi, you're the king, your word is final, you can call in whoever you want whenever you want.. now are you giving the USMNT the best possible chance to succeed on the field? that would require fielding the best players at their positions... what you say? you have a system? then what is that system? a posession-oriented, free-flwoing attack? or is it a empty-bucket, bunker down and look to counter?

even the best of the best of the best have struggled for their national teams....when Messi struggled for Argentina, he wasn't benched for some domestic, aging players, nor was Ronaldo for portugal, they eventually broke through and succeeded.... Jozy will too, with time, and the reward will be immensely greater than what will be provided by clearly inferior, aging, less-skilled forwards
Tuesday October 9, 2012 12:44 pm
It would be great for EJ to do well here, but c'mon he went awol/washed up years ago?
It's really a stretch to bring him back up. Allan Gordon MLS hack. Gomez simply not good enough at the international level. Wondolowski (see Gordon). Altidore scored against Spain once upon a time in a big tourney, now he is scoring in bunches in a respectable league not the ho hum MLS. He is "in form" now and its exactly the right time to call him up. I very much like the potential of Boyd and Agudelo but they may need more time. I think you must give more chances to Charlie Davies and Freddy Adu. Both players that have proven they can make big plays in big games. I'm scared that if Demps or Bradley doesnt score we could be in big trouble. LD doesnt play and or play well when injured.
Tuesday October 9, 2012 11:27 am
Eddie Johnson is 28. Which means he will only be 30 by 2014. Allan Gordon and Gomez yes may not play a role for the WC, but you are telling me a 30 year old won't be?

You say the USMNT needs goals, but fail to state that Altidore has scored 1 goal in the past 11 months for the USMNT and that came on a PK.

Am I surprised Altidore is not in camp, yes. But c'mon it's not like Altidore was lighting it up for the USMNT in the past two WC camps in May-June and then in September. Lets see what a Eddie Johnson can do since his return and subsequent maturing with Seattle. If Eddie Johnson play's well wouldn't it be nice to have a striker corps of EJ, Altidore, Gomes, Boyd, and possibly Aron Johannsson going into the Hex. I for one would welcome EJ back. He has the talent to still be a very solid striker for the USMNT.

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