USA forward Jozy Altidore (white jersey) has 13 career World Cup Qualifying goals. (Photo: Mexsport)
CHICAGO -- Forward Jozy Altidore, who missed the Copa America Centenario with a hamstring injury, was among 26 players named Sunday to the United States’ roster for two fourth-round FIFA World Cup qualifiers in September.
The 26-year-old’s recent form of five goals in six matches for Toronto FC will be a boost to the Americans, who will be without a pair of regular attackers due to injury -- Clint Dempsey and Gyasi Zardes.
Dempsey has been sidelined due to an irregular heartbeat that was announced Friday by his club, the Seattle Sounders. Zardes was left off the roster due to an undisclosed injury he suffered in the LA Galaxy's scoreless draw with the Vancouver Whitecaps on Saturday.
The U.S. selection is similar to the one that reached the Copa’s semifinals, with 19 of those 23 players getting called in again.
"We definitely think that the group that got fourth in the Copa America deserves a certainpriority going on to the next World Cup qualifiers because they did tremendously well in the Copa America," U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann said. "This is a big stage, and they deserve to come back and confirm what they did in the tournament in these upcoming, very important World Cup qualifiers."
The second-place Americans (2W-1D-1L, 7 points) will play at last-place St. Vincent & the Grenadines (0-0-4, 0) on Friday and host table-topping Trinidad & Tobago (3-1-0, 10) in Jacksonville, Florida, on September 6. The top two Group C teams will advance to the CONCACAF hexagonal.
GOALKEEPERS: Brad Guzan (Middlesbrough/England), Ethan Horvath (Molde FC/Norway), Tim Howard (Colorado Rapids)
DEFENDERS: Kellyn Acosta (FC Dallas), Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City), Steve Birnbaum (D.C. United), John Brooks (Hertha BSC/Germany), Geoff Cameron (Stoke City/England), Omar Gonzalez (Pachuca/mexico), Fabian Johnson (Borussia Monchengladbach/Germany), Michael Orozco (Club Tijuana/Mexico), DeAndre Yedlin (Newcastle United/England)
MIDFIELDERS: Paul Arriola (Club Tijuana/mexico), Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), Alejandro Bedoya (Philadelphia Union), Michael Bradley (Toronto FC/Canada), Jermaine Jones (Colorado Rapids), Darlington Nagbe (Portland Timbers), Christian Pulisic (Borussia Dortmund/Germany), Caleb Stanko (FC Vaduz/Liechtenstein), Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City)
FORWARDS: Jozy Altidore (Toronto FC/Canada), Jordan Morris (Seattle Sounders FC), Rubio Rubin (FC Utrecht/Netherlands), Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes), Bobby Wood (Hamburg/Germany)