NEW YORK (AP) -Jozy Altidore was dropped Monday from the U.S. squad for critical World Cup qualifiers with Landon Donovan among the 24 players picked despite injuring his left knee last weekend.
Altidore has nine goals in 10 games this season for AZ Alkmaar in the Netherlands but had little impact during two qualifiers last month.
U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann was reportedly critical in an interview last month, saying, "I think Jozy can do a lot better, and he knows that."
Altidore, according to multiple reports, responded with a tweet, which since has been removed, saying: "Love when people try to blame others for their own shortcomings and incompetence."
Klinsmann also bypassed Rapid Vienna's Terrence Boyd, who has seven goals for his club this season, and San Jose's Chris Wondolowski, who is the leading scorer in Major League Soccer with 25 goals, in favor of Seattle's Eddie Johnson and the Earthquakes' Alan Gordon. Johnson has not played for the national team since May 2010, just before he was cut from the World Cup squad, and Gordon has yet to make his national team debut.
Donovan was picked despite getting hurt Saturday night and leaving the Los Angeles Galaxy's game with 10 minutes remaining.
Anderlecht midfielder Sacha Kljestan returns for the first time since February. Roma's Michael Bradley is back after recovering from a thigh injury, which had sidelined him since August, and having scored his first Serie A goal Sunday.
The Americans play at Antigua and Barbuda on Friday, then host Guatemala on Oct. 16 at Kansas City, Kansas. A win and a draw is likely to be enough for them to advance to next year's regional finals.
Goalkeepers: Brad Guzan (Aston Villa), Tim Howard (Everton), Nick Rimando (Salt Lake)
Defenders: Carlos Bocanegra (Racing Santander), Geoff Cameron (Stoke), Edgar Castillo (Tijuana), Steve Cherundolo (Hannover), Maurice Edu (Stoke), Clarence Goodson (Brondby), Fabian Johnson (Hoffenheim), Michael Parkhurst (Nordsjaelland)
Midfielders: Kyle Beckerman (Salt Lake), Michael Bradley (Roma), Joe Corona (Tijuana), Jermaine Jones (Schalke), Sacha Kljestan (Anderlecht), Brek Shea (Dallas), Danny Williams (Hoffenheim), Graham Zusi (Kansas City)
Forwards: Clint Dempsey (Tottenham), Landon Donovan (Los Angeles), Herculez Gomez (Santos Laguna), Alan Gordon (San Jose), Eddie Johnson (Seattle)