World Cup: Jozy Altidore Ruled Out Against Portugal, Clint Dempsey And Besler Will Be Eligible

Jozy Altidore
Winslow Townson USA TODAY Sports

According to the U.S. Mens National Team, Jozy Altidore will not be playing in Sunday’s matchup against Portugal due to a strained left hamstring. The severity of the strain is undisclosed and the team is hopeful to have Jozy back for the match against Germany. US officials are still deciding whether to allow Altidore to travel with the team to Manaus or have him remain Sao Paolo for further treatment.

“He’s a big player for us and I think we all came into this World Cup thinking, ‘This is going to be a huge World Cup (for him),’” said midfielder Kyle Beckerman. “He got two goals before we took off, so we’re extremely bummed for him and for the team. But we bring 23 players and so this is just the chance for somebody to step up and hopefully the injury is not too bad and we can see Jozy later in the tournament.”

With Altidore out, Jurgen Klinsmann has to choose between either putting in MLS veteran Chris Wondolowski, young stud Aron Johannsson, or push Clint Dempsey up and possibly play a form of false-9.

“I think they just want to try to help the team, offensively and defensively” said right back Fabian Johnson. “I think they’re both great strikers. I don’t know who’s going to play, so I think they’re just trying to do their best.”

Clint Dempsey suffered a nasal fracture on Monday night against Ghana. Klinsmann told reporters and Clint Dempsey himself that he will have to play through it if the USMNT want a shot at beating an already beaten up Portuguese side.

Dempsey has not decided yet if he will wear a protective mask for his nose.

Matt Besler will be available for selection despite also suffering a hamstring injury in Monday’s match against Ghana.

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