The US national team will probably have to handle the upcoming friendlies against Belgium and Germany without the services of Jozy Altidore. That's the story told by the player himself on ESPN Radio's Soccer Today podcast.
"I won’t be part in any of the [two friendlies] … I would be released three or four days before the first [qualifier] game against Jamaica, away. That would be the earliest AZ would release me," Altidore told host Steve Davis, who also reported the story on NBC's ProSoccerTalk.
The Jamaica qualifier is June 7, which puts Altidore's earliest release date at June 3. The Germany game is set for June 2, and the Belgium game on May 29.
Both friendlies are to follow a two-week US national team camp, which head coach Jurgen Klinsmann has said is vital to preparing his squad. Altidore missed the camp last year for the same reasons – AZ refused to release him until the specifically mandated FIFA deadline – and when he finally arrived, struggled to win his way into the regular rotation.
AZ's season finale is on May 12. Altidore leads the team with 23 league goals, and 30 across all competitions.