U.S. striker Jozy Altidore out against Portugal

As expected, the Sunderland man will miss Sunday's match against Portugal after suffering a left hamstring injury in the U.S. team's World Cup opener.
SAO PAULO – Injured forward Jozy Altidore, who started the first game of the past two World Cups for the United States, has been ruled out of Sunday’s second Group G game against Portugal in Manaus.

Altidore will miss the game because of the strained left hamstring that hit him 20 minutes into Monday’s opening victory over Ghana. U.S. Soccer made the announcement Thursday morning at its Sao Paulo FC training camp, where Altidore was on site to receive treatment for his injury. It has not been determined whether he will make the long trip to Manaus for the game or remain here to continue treatment.

Altidore’s absence creates a significant void in the U.S. lineup. The national team does not have other forwards who fit his target-man prototype. The most similar, perhaps, Terrance Boyd, did not make the final cut for the 23-man roster.

Coach Jurgen Klinsmann will have to decide how he wants to handle that position. He has multiple options, all of which force a change in the U.S. style. He could deploy Clint Dempsey in a more advanced position than is customary for him. He has scored 38 goals in 106 caps, although he began his U.S. career as a winger and lately has played as a withdrawn forward.

Klinsmann could send in either MLS veteran Chris Wondolowski or young Aron Johannsson. The latter took Altidore’s place for the remainder of the Ghana game and was unable to have much impact, largely due to a lack of service.

Dempsey will play despite the broken nose he received in the Ghana game. It has not been established whether he will wear a protective mask to protect him. Center back Matt Besler, who left the opener at halftime with tightness in his hamstring, is considered to be cleared to play.