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Sunderland Struggler Given World Cup Assurances

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One less thing for Jozy to worry about, I guess...

Mark Runnacles

Sunderland's Jozy Altidore will lead the line for the USA in Brazil this summer, national team boss Jurgen Klinsmann has confirmed.

The striker has endured a barren run in front of goal this season, looking bereft of confidence as the campaign has worn on. That form has led to some questioning whether or not his World Cup place would be in jeopardy, but that doesn't appear to be the case.

Klinsmann told

To be clear,I think Jozy [Altidore], once he's keeping his playing rhythm and the quality he has, is our number one center forward that we have, and Clint [Dempsey] is the player behind him [as the second forward].

You know, we often talk about the spine of our team, which starts with Timmy [Howard] and then goes through midfield with Jermaine Jones and Michael Bradley, and then Clint and Jozy. I think this is something to build around.

It's probably good news for us, really. One less thing for Altidore to worry about means one less barrier to overcome to get him scoring again.

Given his performances in the last couple of games, he may well just be coming into some good form.