U.S. Hot List: Altidore and Bradley shine, Wood sees red

The U.S. roster for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers against Mexico (Nov. 11th) and Costa Rica (Nov. 15th) will be released on Sunday afternoon. At this late stage, you can be sure that coach Jurgen Klinsmann knows exactly who he wants on his 23-man squad, and also on the field. But like life, international soccer has a pesky habit of not always going to plan. Things can change quickly, and they usually do. So with several potential starters nursing injuries that may or may not impact their availability for next Friday's meeting with arch rival El Tri in Columbus, Ohio, it's safe to say that spots on Klinsmann's roster and in his starting lineup remain up for grabs.

Who is in a race against time to be healthy or positioning themselves to take advantage if an opportunity suddenly opens up? Check out the 11 guys hot-listed below.

Warming up

Jozy Altidore, F, Toronto FC (MLS)

Why he's here: Altidore scored the eventual game-winner in TFC's rousing 2-0 victory over New York City FC Sunday in the first leg of the Eastern Conference semifinals. It was his 12th in all competitions this season and fourth in his past five games.

What this means: The series will conclude a day before Altidore - a surefire starter if healthy - reports to Columbus. If the big striker can get on the score sheet again and help the Reds advance to MLS's final four, he'll arrive in Ohio riding high. That would be good news for the U.S.

Michael Bradley, M, Toronto FC (MLS)

Why he's here: Bradley had perhaps his best game Sunday since returning to North America in 2014. He was everywhere in midfield, logging a season-best nine tackles.

What this means: Simply put, this is the Bradley the U.S. needs against Mexico and Costa Rica later this month.

Julian Green, F, Bayern Munich (Bundesliga)

Why he's here: Green got a goal in his first competitive start for Bayern, heading home a Thomas Muller cross in last week's German Cup victory against Augsburg.

What this means: Despite the well-taken strike, the odds of Green making the roster are probably as good as his chances of being left out. The Tampa-born, Germany-raised striker is doing all he can, but he wasn't even on the bench for Bayern for Saturday's league match or Tuesday's Champions League tilt at PSV.

Jordan Morris, F, Seattle Sounders (MLS)

Why he's here: The Seattle native is coming off three of his best games as a professional. He helped the Sounders clinch a playoff berth on Oct. 23, dispatch Sporting Kansas City in the knockout round midweek and then added an assist in Sunday's shocking 3-0 win over Supporters Shield-winners FC Dallas.

What this means: Morris has come into his own since being left off the U.S. squad for June's Copa America Centenario. He probably won't start against El Tri - although you never know with Klinsmann - but he's a lock to make the 23.

Christian Pulisic, M, Borussia Dortmund (Bundesliga)

Why he's here: The 18-year-old might not have been overjoyed by his performance against Schalke on Saturday in Germany's fierce Revierderby, but he still made his fifth league start of the season and set up Dortmund's best chance in the scoreless draw.

What this means: At this point, it would almost be surprising if Pulisic isn't in the U.S. lineup against Mexico. Much will depend on how Klinsmann configures his side for the match. But if the coach wants to trot out an aggressive lineup, Pulisic would slot in nicely as a wide forward in a 4-3-3, especially with Gyasi Zardes (foot) ruled out.

Michael Orozco, D, Tijuana (Liga MX)

Why he's here: The versatile Californian has been a mainstay in the league-leading Xolos starting lineup under ex-El Tri boss Miguel Herrera, starting 12 of 15 games, mostly in central defense.

What this means: The 30-year-old Orozco provides depth across the backline, especially at fullback. And given his strong club season, there's no reason to think the Klinsmann favorite won't be on the coach's roster.

Cooling down

Geoff Cameron, D/M, Stoke City (Premier League)

Why he's here: The big center back had started 11 consecutive games - most recently as a defensive midfielder - before a knee problem ruled him out of Monday's 3-1 win against Swansea City and Bob Bradley.

What this means: Cameron, 31, might not be ready to play for the Potters in next week's match against West Ham. But the ailment - a hyperextension suffered late in last week's win against Hull - isn't expected to prevent him from playing against Mexico.

Jermaine Jones, M, Colorado Rapids (MLS)

Why he's here: Rapids boss Pablo Mastroeni determined that the veteran enforcer wasn't fit enough to start in Sunday's 1-0 playoff loss to the LA Galaxy, and used him off the bench for the second straight game instead.

What this means: Even if Jones, who turns 35 on Thursday, gets himself into Mastroeni's lineup in this weekend's second leg against LA, it's hard to see the German-American stepping into high-stakes international games within the next two weeks.

Bobby Wood, F, Hamburg (Bundesliga)

Why he's here: The 23-year-old was hit with a three-match suspension for the silly elbow that earned him a red card in last weekend's 3-0 loss to Cologne.

What this means: Wood, who scored two goals midweek in German Cup play, should still be in the U.S. lineup in Columbus but his bosses at HSV were not impressed by his lack of discipline, a cardinal sin in Germany that could impact his playing time and reputation down the road.

Omar Gonzalez, D, Pachuca (Liga MX)

Why he's here: Gonzalez didn't dress for the Tuzos 3-2 win over Atlas because of what the club described to ESPN's Tom Marshall as "muscular overload."

What this means: Basically, Gonzalez was rested and should be good to go for next week, if he's selected. But if Klinsmann is at all on the fence about the ex-Galaxy man - he wasn't on the Copa roster or when the U.S. last faced El Tri, in October of 2015 - it might not bode well for the big center back.

Aron Johannsson, F, Werder Bremen (Bundesliga)

Why he's here: Johannsson was hoping to be back in new coach (and former Seattle Sounder) Alexander Nouri's XI last weekend against Freiburg, but was not even picked for the 18.

What this means: The Alabama-born striker has been a long shot to make this American squad since picking up a September red card that effectively cost him his place in Bremen's lineup