KELLER TURNS DOWN USA TRIP

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AMERICAN goalkeeper Kasey Keller says that he will not now play for his country in the Concacaf Gold Cup, but will stay and try and retain his place in goal for Tottenham.

The 32-year-old was planning to travel with the USA squad to face teams from North and South America, along with the Caribbean teams competing for The Gold Cup.

Keller could miss up to seven games for Spurs if he took part in the competition but has now said that he is staying at White Hart Lane to challenge Neil Sullivan for the number one jersey.

The former Leicester City and Rayo Vallecano shot-stopper has played the last two games in favour of Sullivan, and has told his national team coach Bruce Arena that he will stay in North London in search of regular football.

Keller is battling with Blackburn's Brad Friedel to be first choice for the USA World Cup squad, and Arena has agreed that regular football with Spurs is the best way for Keller to challenge for the final squad.

"I was going to possibly go with the States for a tournament, but he (Arena) gave me permission that if I was playing I could stay here," said Keller. "If I did go and I was needed to come back and play I would have been released.

"He wanted me to play here. He knew that the best thing for the national team was me playing for Spurs for as long as possible.

"It's only two games, we've got a lot of games this month, I'm just going to keep working hard every day and make as difficult for the manager here and the national team manager not to pick me as I can.

"It would have been difficult to challenge for a World Cup place if I had gone the whole season without playing for Spurs."

Keller had played most of the World Cup qualifying matches for the USA before Arena replaced him with Friedel after Keller failed to earn a first team spot at Tottenham.