The United States were dealt a huge blow in the first half against Belgium in the round of 16, as right-back Fabian Johnson had to leave the match with a hamstring injury.
U.S. Soccer on Twitter provided the news:
As Grant Wahl noted, 20-year-old DeAndre Yedlin has a big task on his hands:
Huge moment for 20-year-old DeAndre Yedlin. Has to contain Hazard now. Johnson might have been most important US player this game.— Grant Wahl (@GrantWahl) July 1, 2014
Indeed, Johnson's loss was huge. The right-back had been one of the United States' brightest players going forward and gave the team width on the right, as his blazing runs forward gave opposing defenders headaches. While Yedlin no doubt can match him in the pace department, he doesn't offer the consistency or guile of Johnson.
Should the U.S. beat Belgium, this injury could potentially prevent Johnson from playing against Argentina. That game would already be a tall task at full strength, but without Johnson the odds would stack even further toward the South Americans.
The hope will be that Johnson's injury is nothing too serious.