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Altidore rejoins U.S. team for Russia game

The SportsXchange

Jozy Altidore, left off the roster of the United States men's soccer team for the two most recent matches, is back on the national team's squad for Wednesday's friendly game at Russia.

Altidore is one of 20 players selected by coach Jurgen Klinsmann for the trip to Krasnodar, Russia.

The 23-year-old striker has been in fine form this season for his club team, AZ Alkmaar. His total of nine goals is tied for second in the Netherlands' Eredivisie.

"We are happy having Jozy back in the group," Klinsmann said, according to USSoccer.com. "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. 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."

The U.S. team defeated both Antigua & Barbuda (2-1) and Guatemala (3-1) to secure a spot in next year's final round of CONCACAF World Cup qualifying. Three of the remaining six nations from North America, Central America and the Caribbean will earn automatic spots in the 2014 World Cup, which will be played in Brazil. The fourth-place team will play the top team from the Oceania region in a playoff for another World Cup slot.

Also returning to the 27th-ranked U.S. team for the game against the ninth-ranked Russians will be defender Timmy Chandler. A German-American who plays for Nuremberg in his native Germany, Chandler has yet to determine which of the two countries will be his permanent international squad.

"With his dual citizenship situation and having a choice, it's a big, big decision," Klinsmann said. "Timmy is maturing now. He's becoming a better pro and a more mature player, and he knows now that once he makes the final decision, that's going to be his life, so I don't want to put any pressure in a situation like that."

Two players could make their debuts for the U.S. team on Wednesday, midfielders Joshua Gatt and Joe Gyau. Gatt plays for Molde FK in Norway, and Gyau's club team is TSG Hoffenheim in Germany.
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