United States men’s national team striker Jozy Altidore will miss his second consecutive World Cup game on Thursday when the USA faces Germany in its final group stage game.
Altidore was injured early in the Americans’ win in their tournament opener against Ghana on June 16, straining his left hamstring and leaving the game on a stretcher. He missed the draw with Portugal on Sunday and will now be out at least one more game.
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“Jozy is recovering really well,” USA head coach Jurgen Klinsmann said during his press conference on Tuesday. “He’s doing a tremendous job there. Our medical staff is on top of it. This game comes still too early for him.”
“But we’re working on him, we’ll get him back in this tournament as we said,” Klinsmann added. “So once this game hopefully is done successfully, we’ll have a good chance to have him back there in the team.”
The USA has no other fitness issues, with Matt Besler fully recovered from the hamstring issue that plagued him in both games. But Altidore’s continued absence is a true complication. Fellow striker Clint Dempsey played forward by himself against Portugal, and while he scored and was generally successful, he was isolated at times. Altidore not only reinforces the front line but does much of the physical hold-up play, freeing Dempsey to roam and maximize his creative strengths.
Against Germany, Dempsey will likely have to face Die Mannschaft’s physical defenders by himself again. The United States needs another tie from that game to advance to the knockout stages without needing help from the match-up between Portugal and Ghana, which will take place at the same time.