Sunderland’s Altidore out of USA World Cup clash with Mexico

Sunderlands Jozy Altidore
Sunderlands Jozy Altidore

JOZY Altidore is out of America’s World Cup qualifier against Mexico tomorrow night.

But the good news for Sunderland is that the striker will miss the game through suspension rather than injury and should therefore be fit and available for Sunderland’s game against Arsenal at the Stadium of Light this Saturday.

The 23-year-old received a yelow card in the dying stages of the USA’s 3-1 defeat to Costa Rica on Friday and that was enough to rule him out of the game against Mexico in Columbus, Ohio on Tuesday.

The booking was a massive disappointment for USA coach Jurgen Klinsmann, who also lost Geoff Cameron and Matt Besler to suspension as well as potentially being without Michael Bradley after the Roma midfielder injured an ankle in the warm-up to the Costa Rica game.

Klinsmann though was particularly angered about Altidore’s card: “It was absolutely not necessary,” he commented. “But it is what it is.”

What was bad news for Klinsmann however will be no disappointment to Paolo Di Canio who admitted at the weekend that he was worried about his players picking up knocks on international duty.

Altidore had travelled to America with a tight hamstring which had ruled him out of Sunderland’s 3-1 defeat at Crystal Palace.

But the injury did not prove to be too serious and he was able to train with the national squad and even play in the Costa Rica game.

Di Canio though is likely to be relieved that the striker will not be asked to get through his second game in five days tomorrow night.

Instead he will be able to return to the Academy of Light this week to work on his fitness and the prospect of a first outing in a Sunderland shirt this Saturday as Steven Fletcher’s strike partner.

The Fletcher-Altidore partnership was always goingo to be the Sunderland head coach’s first choice strike force this season and there is now every chance the Black Cats supporters will see it in action this weekend when Arsenal come to the Stadium of Light.