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Most recent cap: Oct. 12 at Antigua and Barbuda, World Cup qualifier (2-1 win)
Club: San Jose Earthquakes (MLS)
Alan Gordon, a 31-year-old San Jose Earthquakes forward, is another heart-warming story. The veteran earned his first senior cap in October after years of largely anonymous toil in Major League Soccer.
In this case, "earned" is the correct word. At 6'3", Gordon serves as a big, strong target man, and he has good ball skills for a man of his size.
But that doesn't mean he'll go to the World Cup.
Jurgen Klinsmann dropped Jozy Altidore for the most recent round of World Cup qualifiers, but it's highly unlikely that the 22-year-old AZ Alkmaar striker will remain away from the team for long.
Altidore is Gordon's most direct competition for a spot on the team, but the rest of the forward line is crowded as well.
Eddie Johnson, another player with an inspirational story, returned to the team recently after a long hiatus and contributed significantly in two appearances. Herculez Gomez and Terrence Boyd also have at least decent chances to make the roster.
And we haven't mentioned Landon Donovan and Clint Dempsey, both of whom could be considered either forwards or midfielders on the roster.
For Gordon, it all adds up to a decidedly long shot at a World Cup spot.