Altidore returns to U.S. national soccer team roster after 18-month absence
Jozy Altidore is back with the U.S. national team for the first time in 1 1/2 years.
The 31-year-old Toronto forward is among 12 players invited Tuesday to a training camp starting Jan. 9 in Bradenton, Fla., ahead of a contemplated exhibition against Serbia in late January at Orlando. At 115 international appearances, Altidore is the senior player on the roster ahead of Seattle forward Jordan Morris, second with 39.
Altidore is a veteran of the 2010 and 2014 World Cups. He has 42 international goals and last played for the U.S. at the 2019 CONCACAF Gold Cup.
Morris and Seattle midfielder Cristian Roldan also are on the roster. They have not played for the national team since a 4-0 win over Cuba in the CONCACAF Nations League on Nov. 19, 2019 but were part of last January’s camp.
Tristan Blackmon, a 24-year-old Los Angeles defender, is the only player in the group selected by coach Gregg Berhalter with no previous national team camp experience. New England goalkeeper Matt Turner has attended camp but not played in a national team match.
Toronto midfielder Michael Bradley, 33, and Atlanta goalkeeper Brad Guzan, 36, were not selected.
World Cup qualifying set to begin in September
The dozen senior players will be joined for the match by American under-23 team players training with coach Jason Kreis ahead of the delayed Olympic qualifiers for the North and Central American and Caribbean region, which are expected to be played in March.
Because the match is not on a FIFA international match date, Europe-based players will not be at the national camp. The full roster is expected to be available for a pair of March exhibitions and the CONCACAF Nations League semifinal against Honduras in June, followed by a game against Mexico or Costa Rico in either the championship or third-place match.
Qualifying for the 2022 World Cup is scheduled to start in September.
Orlando midfielder Andres Perea was invited to train with the under-23 team after practicing with the national team in December. Perea has played for Colombia’s under-17 and under-20 teams and could switch to the U.S. national team program, but he is not currently eligible to appear in a match.
PSV Eindhoven and Wolfsburg midfielder Bryang Kayo were asked to train with the U-23s.
Because of the delay in the Tokyo Games caused by the novel coronavirus, the eligibility of the under-23 player pool was extended by a year by FIFA.
National team roster
Goalkeepers: Sean Johnson (New York City), Matt Turner (New England)
Defenders: Tristan Blackmon (Los Angeles), Aaron Long (New York Red Bulls), Walker Zimmerman (Nashville)
Midfielders: Kellyn Acosta (Colorado), Sebastian Lletget (LA Galaxy), Cristian Roldan (Seattle)
Forwards: Jozy Altidore (Toronto), Paul Arriola (D.C.), Jordan Morris (Seattle), Chris Mueller (Orlando)