Jozy Altidore out of squad, will not play for USMNT in Gold Cup knockout stage
Jozy Altidore will not play any part in the USMNT’s run to the 2015 Gold Cup final.
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Altidore, 25, sent out the following message after the U.S. national team’s group stage campaign came to a close in Kansas City on Monday with the U.S. settling for a 1-1 with Panama.
“Always a pleasure to be a part of U.S. Soccer all the best to the boys the rest of the way!” Altidore wrote on his Twitter account on Tuesday morning.
The Toronto FC forward failed to score in the two games he played in against Honduras and Haiti. He was replaced at half time against Haiti by Gyasi Zardes and was an unused substitute in the draw with Panama. Altidore suffered a hamstring injury in May but made a speedy recovery to be fit in time for the Gold Cup campaign, however he is lacking match fitness and that was a big reason why he has been released.
Head coach of the U.S. national team Jurgen Klinsmann revealed his decision on Tuesday.
“We believe that Jozy’s just not there yet. Jozy never really got into this tournament and never really picked up the rhythm,” Klinsmann said. “He’s just simply not in the shape right now to help us. For Jozy it’s just simply going back to Toronto, picking up his rhythm, getting in shape, working on his fitness and then he will start scoring goals again. That’s why Alan Gordon was on the standby roster from the beginning and that’s why we brought him in.”
As for the U.S., losing the second-biggest goal threat available to you and the fifth highest scorer in USMNT history -- with 27 goals in 83 outings -- will no doubt be a blow for the knockout rounds.
Klinsmann announced his new squad in full for the knockout stages of the Gold Cup, as any team reaching the last eight can replace up to six players on their roster for the group stages with members of their provisional roster.
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In total there were there changes with Gordon coming in for Altidore, DaMarcus Beasley for Greg Garza and Joe Corona replaces Alfredo Morales in midfield.
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