SAO PAULO – United States national team striker Jozy Altidore will miss a second consecutive World Cup game with his injured left hamstring, coach Jurgen Klinsmann said Tuesday morning.
Having blown a chance to clinch a place in the knockout round by allowing Portugal to earn a draw late in their game Sunday, the U.S. also missed a chance to play a rather meaningless game Thursday against Germany without Altidore.
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As it is, the Americans again will have to face a top-5 world opponent in an effort to qualify for the round of 16 without their best target forward, although they did score twice for a second consecutive game essentially without him. The United States needs either a win or a draw to be assured of advancement.
Altidore played only 20 minutes of this World Cup to date before pulling up with the hamstring strain while trying to sprint to chase down a long forward ball.
“Jozy is recovering really well. He’s doing a tremendous job; our medical staff is on top of it; this game comes still too early for him,” Klinsmann said. “We’re working on him, getting him back in this tournament.
“Once this game, hopefully is done successfully, we’ll have a good chance to get him back in the team.”
Klinsmann said center back Matt Besler, who has shown some leg discomfort in each of the first two games, has no problems ahead of Germany.