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Sunderland's Altidore continuing to mature - USA's Klinsmann

Jozy Altidore is set for yet another learning curve with the USA national team according to manager Juergen Klinsmann.

The 24-year old striker had a difficult debut season with Sunderland , scoring just one goal in 31 Premier League appearances, but is set to play a key role for the US at this summer's World Cup in Brazil.

Former AZ Alkmaar ace Altidore has been named in Klinsmann's preliminary 30-man squad ahead of next month's tournament and the German tactician is expecting the talented attacker to mature even further as the group stage games with Germany, Portugal and Ghana loom closer.

"I think it's very important that you understand the phase a player is in right now, as of today," Klinsmann told reporters in relation to Altidore.

"What phase of his career he's in, what he's learned so far throughout his career, and what he's able then to do in the future time.

"Jozy is still a very young player and he is going into his learning curve. We have worked with him now over the last three years, and he's gone from a much younger player into a more mature player, playing very good games for us and scoring important goals for us.

"I think the next two months will be a big part of that next learning curve for Jozy Altidore. I've always said that he has upside; he hasn't shown it yet in different places maybe.

"Obviously he has to work the next couple of weeks to confirm our trust, which we think he will absolutely do. But I think he is still a player to be developed; he is not there yet."

Despite his shortcomings at Sunderland, Altidore was in fine form at international level in 2013 with eight goals for the US, including four in World Cup qualification.

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Andrew Slevison
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Andrew Slevison

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