Jozy Altidore is back in the USA squad and manager Jurgen Klinsmann is delighted to be able to select him without hesitation.
The 23-year old AZ Alkmaar striker has been in great form at club level in Holland this season, scoring 12 goals in all competitions, prompting Klinsmann to bring him back into the national setup following his mediocre performance against Jamaica in September.
Altidore has been included in the group to take on Russia in a friendly in Krasnodar on Wednesday and Klinsmann is looking forward to again seeing him firsthand.
“We are happy having Jozy back in the group. Obviously, he was left out of the last games against Antigua & Barbuda and Guatemala because of the way he played in Jamaica and maybe a couple other things from the previous months that I wasn’t so happy about,” Klinsann told ussoccer.com.
“I mentioned it to him, and now having him back in the group gives us an opportunity to talk through that stuff and also to see his total commitment on the field. He’s an important player for us. He’s fighting his way through the Dutch league and doing well there, and we hope he brings the same energy into our group.
“We often forget that Jozy is not a 30-year-old player that you already expect to be kind of perfect and mature. He’s still going through ups and downs, which is totally normal.
“So when a down period comes and I leave him out of the roster, that’s not the end of the world. But it’s also a little signal to say ‘Hey Jozy, maybe there were things we didn’t like before.’ Now we can catch up and see how it goes.”