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U.S. Men's National Team

Alan Gordon Gets Nod as U.S. Replaces Injured Morris

The Los Angeles Galaxy forward will take Jordan Morris' spot on the U.S. men's national team roster as Jurgen Klinsmann's men prepare to face Mexico and Costa Rica in World Cup qualifiers. 
BY Brian Sciaretta Posted
November 08, 2016
11:00 PM

JURGEN KLINSMANN on Tuesday was forced to make one significant change to the United States national team roster for the upcoming qualifiers as Jordan Morris was ruled out due to an injury and was replaced by Alan Gordon.

Morris left Seattle’s playoff game against Dallas after picking up a hamstring injury and Sounders boss Bryan Schmetzer sounded skeptical over Morris’ ability to play for the U.S. team in the upcoming international break. The striker's status for the MLS Western Conference Final against Colorado is also in jeopardy.

Klinsmann’s decision to replace Morris with Gordon is surprising. Long-time veteran Chris Wondolowski likely would have received the nod as Morris' replacement, but is injured. The biggest surprise is that Gordon made the team over Juan Agudelo who is both younger and finished the season well for the New England Revolution. For a long time, it appeared as if Agudelo was going to break into the U.S. squad but after taking most of 2014 off after a failed transfer to Stoke City (including a short loan to Utrecht), Agudelo has been mostly absent from the U.S. team.

Other players, like Terrence Boyd and Rubio Rubin, have been called up recently but are not playing for their clubs at the moment. Other regulars, like Clint Dempsey and Gyasi Zardes, have long-term injuries.

Gordon is a locker-room guy who is very likeable and will approach the game with emotion. That is important for the final roster spot because the chances of him playing are very small. The most likely options up top are Jozy Altidore and Bobby Wood, who will share most of the duties. Plus, there is a good chance the U.S. team goes with a one-forward formation thereby limiting the need.

In the unlikely scenario that Gordon does get into a game, he will probably have the service of players like Christian Pulisic, Alejandro Bedoya, Julian Green, Sacha Kljestan, and Michael Bradley. Gordon is far from perfect but he has made a nice career playing with a solid supporting cast. If the U.S. needs a goal and has good players who can whip in dangerous balls into the box, the team could do worse than have Gordon on the receiving end.

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