CHICAGO - Dutch first division co-leading scorer Jozy Altidore was not called into the U.S. national team for its upcoming World Cup qualifiers against Antigua & Barbuda and Guatemala, replaced by Seattle Sounders forward Eddie Johnson.
Johnson, who has not played for the United States in nearly two years, returned to Major League Soccer this season and is tied for fifth in scoring with 14 goals. Alan Gordon also was summoned by U.S. manager Juergen Klinsmann, but not his teammate Chris Wondolowski, who leads MLS with 25 goals.
The two were part of a 24-man roster announced Monday. The squad was assembling Monday in Miami for training until its departure for the Caribbean on Thursday.
"My comment to Jozy was that we were not very happy about his latest performances, maybe the last 14 months or so," Klinsmann said on a conference call with reporters. "He can do much better. The reason he is not coming in was his performances in Jamaica and in training, the May-June camp.
"We decided to bring in Eddie Johnson and Alan Gordon, see how much they've improved. They're doing really well in MLS."
Altidore has eight goals in the Dutch Eredivisie for AZ Alklmaar, tying him with Wilfried Bony of Vitesse for the league lead.
Klinsmann explained that Gordon and Johnson were called due to their size and ability to win headers, something the United States expects to need against Antigua and Guatemala.
The Americans face Antigua on Friday in North Sound, before returning home to Kansas City, Kansas, to host Guatemala.
The United States, Guatemala and Jamaica lead Group A in the semifinal round of CONCACAF World Cup qualifying with seven points each. Only two teams will advance to the final round - also known as the "hexagonal".
Goalkeepers: Brad Guzan (Aston Villa, ENG), Tim Howard (Everton, ENG), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake).
Defenders: Carlos Bocanegra (Racing Santander, ESP), Geoff Cameron (Stoke City, ENG), Edgar Castillo (Club Tijuana, MEX), Steve Cherundolo (Hannover, GER), Maurice Edu (Stoke City, ENG), Clarence Goodson (Brondby, DEN), Fabian Johnson (Hoffenheim, GER), Michael Parkhurst (Nordsjaelland, NOR).
Midfielders: Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), Michael Bradley (Roma, ITA), Joe Corona (Club Tijuana, MEX), Jermaine Jones (Schalke 04, GER), Sacha Kljestan (Anderlecht, BEL), Brek Shea (FC Dallas), Danny Williams (Hoffenheim, GER), Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City).
Forwards: Clint Dempsey (Tottenham Hotspur, ENG), Landon Donovan (LA Galaxy), Herculez Gomez (Santos, MEX), Alan Gordon (San Jose Earthquakes), Eddie Johnson (Seattle Sounders).