Updates from Thursday, July 3
Jozy Altidore has revealed the serious nature of the injury he picked up early in the tournament during the USA's thrilling World Cup campaign.
ESPN's Mike and Mike tweeted:
"I had a grade 2 tear in the Ghana game. The timetable to come back was realistically very late in the tourney" @JozyAltidore on hamstring— Mike & Mike (@MikeAndMike) July 3, 2014
Updates from Tuesday, July 1
ESPN's Jeremy Schaap provides an update on Jozy Altidore's status heading into the USA's match against Belgium:
Jurgen Klinsmann says Jozy Altidore won't start. Not a surprise.— Jeremy Schaap (@JeremySchaap) July 1, 2014
Updates from Monday, June 30
The U.S. Soccer Twitter account updated Jozy Altidore's status before Tuesday's match against Belgium:
Updates from Sunday, June 29
Major League Soccer's official Twitter account reports that Jozy Altidore has made a pivotal step in his recovery:
Updates from Friday, June 27
Grant Wahl of Sports Illustrated has good news regarding Altidore's status:
Jozy Altidore jogging at training now pic.twitter.com/ZnNaiblosk— Grant Wahl (@GrantWahl) June 27, 2014
Jermaine Jones has broken nose, able to play Tue. Altidore: improving but status uncertain for Belgium.— Grant Wahl (@GrantWahl) June 27, 2014
This is 3rd day Altidore has done running on the side.— Grant Wahl (@GrantWahl) June 27, 2014
Manager Jurgen Klinsmann talked about Altidore after training Friday, according to Franco Panizo of Soccer By Ives:
We are very optimistic. Every day is a big step forward with Jozy. It’s 11 days now (since the injury happened) and it’s looking better every day. We are optimistic to have him being part of the Belgium game.
Updates from Tuesday, June 24
Jozy Altidore will not return for the USA's crucial clash with Germany, which could decide if their World Cup adventure continues, depending on the result of the Portugal-Ghana match.
Jurgen Klinsmann delivered the update, via Sports Illustrated's Grant Wahl, and he noted that Altidore is doing well with his recovery:
Klinsmann: No Altidore for Germany game. Says he's recovering well though.— Grant Wahl (@GrantWahl) June 24, 2014
Updates from Sunday, June 22
U.S. Soccer confirmed that Altidore is out for today's match versus Portugal:
Updates from Thursday, June 19
Grant Wahl of Sports Illustrated provides a synopsis of Team USA's statement on Jozy Altidore's status for the upcoming match against Portugal:
US Soccer: Jozy Altidore has strained left hamstring, not available Sunday, hopeful will be back during WC. Besler OK.— Grant Wahl (@GrantWahl) June 19, 2014
Yahoo! Sports' Dan Wetzel previously offered this from unnamed members of the U.S. team:
According to his teammates, Jozy Altidore will not play against Portugal. No official word though.— Dan Wetzel (@DanWetzel) June 19, 2014
Brian Straus of Sports Illustrated noted:
Jermaine Jones says Jozy Altidore won't play vs Portugal.— Brian Straus (@BrianStraus) June 19, 2014
Updates from Tuesday, June 17
The United States have an update on Altidore after his exit from Monday's match against Ghana, via Evan Doherty of Yahoo! Sports:
Wetzel also shared the mood inside the United States' camp:
US Soccer is "full of hope" Joey Altidore will return in this tournament. No word on when. Still uncertain about Portugal game— Dan Wetzel (@DanWetzel) June 17, 2014
Head coach Jurgen Klinsmann spoke about Altidore's possible return, per Grant Wahl of Sports Illustrated:
Klinsmann: Besler is "no problem" for Portugal. On Altidore: we'll see how he reacts over next couple days to hamstring.— Grant Wahl (@GrantWahl) June 17, 2014
The United States were dealt a potentially massive blow during their World Cup opener against Ghana on Monday, as striker Jozy Altidore was forced from the match early in the first half after pulling up lame with a hamstring injury.
The team's official Twitter feed provided the news, while Yahoo! Sports' Martin Rogers noted the former AZ Alkmaar star was replaced by current AZ Alkmaar star Aron Johannsson:
Altidore down holding his hamstring. He's motioning like he felt it go & now the physios are on the field. You can tell Jozy is feeling it.— U.S. Soccer (@ussoccer) June 16, 2014
Johannsson to come on to replace Altidore, huge moment for the Iceman— Martin Rogers (@mrogersyahoo) June 16, 2014
Sports Illustrated's Grant Wahl had the official diagnosis:
Altidore: strained left hamstring— Grant Wahl (@GrantWahl) June 16, 2014
Jeremy Schaap of ESPN later provided another update on Altidore:
A real Jozy update: tests tomorrow in São Paulo. he's in lockerroom.— Jeremy Schaap (@JeremySchaap) June 16, 2014
Altidore crumbled during a run down the left sideline, and it immediately looked very serious. Clint Dempsey's first-minute strike made the injury a little easier to swallow for the Yanks, but this is a tough break.
Following a frustrating goal drought, Altidore netted a brace in a recent friendly against Nigeria, and expectations for him were high in Brazil.
"[Altidore's] sharp, he's hungry," head coach Jurgen Klinsmann told reporters before the start of the tournament, via the Tampa Bay Times. "So we build on that. … Go out there and be hungry, and once you get an opportunity, you've got to put the ball in the net. I think he's on a really good path."
Klinsmann can be certain that criticism of his decision to leave Landon Donovan off the roster will only get louder, and as Wahl noted, that's now a permanent move with the tournament underway:
US isn't allowed to call in a replacement if Altidore is out of the tournament.— Grant Wahl (@GrantWahl) June 16, 2014
Either way, it doesn't matter at this point. It's now up to Johannsson, and potentially Chris Wondolowski, to help shoulder the scoring load, while Dempsey becomes even more important up front in helping the Americans advance out of a difficult group.