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World Cup Insider: Altidore confirmed in USA squad
Updated 6:33pm Friday 23rd May 2014 in Sport
SUNDERLAND striker Jozy Altidore has been confirmed in the United States’ final World Cup squad, but there is no place for former Everton forward Landon Donovan.
Altidore has retained his place despite an extremely disappointing club season with the Black Cats, but Jurgen Klinsmann has axed Donovan, who has scored 57 goals in his 156 caps for the US.
Everton goalkeeper Tim Howard, Aston Villa’s Brad Guzan and Stoke defender Geoff Cameron join Altidore as the other English-based players in the squad.
Donovan was one of seven players cut from Klinsmann’s provisional squad along with goalkeeper Michael Parkhurst, defenders Brad Evans and Clarence Goodson, midfielders Joe Corona and Maurice Edu and striker Terrence Boyd.
USA squad: Guzan, Howard, Rimando; Beasley, Besler, Brooks, Cameron, Chandler, Gonzalez, Johnson, Yedlin; Beckerman, Bedoya, Bradley, Davis, Diskerud, Green, Jones, Zusi; Altidore, Dempsey, Johannsson, Wondolowski.
GERMANY midfielder Lars Bender will miss the World Cup after sustaining a thigh injury in training.
Bayer Leverkusen’s Bender, who has won 17 international caps, has not been replaced in Joachim Low’s squad.
Low has a number of other injury worries to contend with, with veteran striker Miroslav Klose and Real Madrid midfielder Sami Khedira struggling for fitness.
“I feel personally very sorry for Lars because I know how much he wanted to be in Brazil,” said Low.
BRAZILIAN legend Pele is worried that Neymar will have to shoulder too much attacking responsibility during the World Cup.
Neymar is the figurehead of a Brazilian side that will start the tournament on home soil as favourites, but Pele feels it is important other players take some pressure off the 21-year-old.
Pele made his World Cup debut as a youngster in 1958, but claims he was able to rely on better support than Neymar is likely to receive this summer.
“In attack, we still have some questions. It's not only Neymar,” said the 73-year-old. “We need good attackers, wingers, People talk about Hulk, and he has power and strength. But we need more talented players to play with him.
“That's the big difference for me (to 1958). I think I didn't have that responsibility that Neymar has today. It's too much for him."
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