Despite a need for goal-scoring, United State national team coach Jurgen Klinsmann left Jozy Altidore and Chris Wondolowski off the roster for the team's upcoming World Cup qualifying matches.
With two matches remaining in the semifinal round of qualifying for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, the U.S. needs a win and a tie when it plays at Antigua and Barbuda on Friday and Guatemala on Oct. 16 in Kansas City.
The Americans are in a three-way tie for first place in their group with Guatemala and Jamaica, and only two teams advance.
The U.S. has failed to score more than one goal in 15 of its 18 games under Klinsmann.
Klinsmann said in a teleconference on Monday that Altidore's exclusion is a result of his disappointing showings with the national team in recent qualifying games.
"I communicated with Jozy that I was not happy about his latest performances with us, maybe even over the last 14 months," Klinsmann said. "Jozy can do much, much better. The reason why he is not coming in is mainly about his performances at Jamaica and at home (in last month's qualifying games) also in training."
Klinsmann added that the snub may motivate Altidore.
"The door is always open and we hope to see a positive reaction from his end and put more effort and more commitment into this whole approach," he said.
Klinsmann also did not select Wondolowski, who leads Major League Soccer with 25 goals.
Klinsmann instead selected Eddie Johnson and Alan Gordon to join Clint Dempsey, Herculez Gomez and Landon Donovan as attacking players on his 24-man roster for games at
Dempsey and Gomez are expected to start at forward.