In an up-and-down week for national-teamers with their clubs, the player whose stock dropped the most didn't even see the field. Three days after U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann made it crystal clear that Landon Donovan has plenty left to do before he earns a recall to the national team, the Yanks' all-time leading scorer missed the Los Angeles Galaxy's visit to Real Salt Lake on Saturday due to a strain in his right leg. So Donovan has just four games left to show that he deserves an invite to next month's U.S. training camp, and that's assuming he recovers in time to face the Houston Dynamo on Sunday.
Six thousand miles to the east, AZ Alkmaar's Jozy Altidore continued tearing apart the Dutch league -- not that that figures to have much bearing on Altidore's status with the U.S. What could, though, is AZ's willingness to release Altidore immediately after the Eredivisie season ends on May 12. Last year, the club prevented Altidore from reporting for international duty on time, affecting his fitness and his standing within Klinsmann's pecking order.
Tottenham's Clint Dempsey could find himself in a similar club versus country battle this year. Spurs have scheduled a friendly against Jamaica's national team in the Bahamas on May 23, and if Dempsey is required to participate (the contracts touring teams sign often stipulate that all fit first-teamers see some time on the field), not only would Dempsey be forced report to U.S. camp late, he'd be an obvious target for the Reggae Boyz, who will host the Americans in World Cup qualifying just 15 days later.
But that's a topic for another day. Bringing things back to right now, here's a look at five players who helped (or hurt) their national team stock during the last week.
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