U.S. striker Jozy Altidore is healthy and available for Tuesday’s Round of 16 game against Belgium, U.S. Soccer has announced.
He went down with a strained hamstring 23 minutes into the team’s first game against Ghana, and hasn’t played since.
If he plays (a big if), it’d be a huge boost for the USMNT.
Jurgen Klinsmann has played a 4-5-1 with Clint Dempsey as a lone striker in Altidore’s absence. As ESPN’s Adrian Melville notes, that has had a domino effect on the rest of the team. Dempsey is playing out of position. Michael Bradley, the U.S. team’s best player, has been thrust into a more advanced role in support of Dempsey and hasn’t been as good as he normally is.
The U.S. struggled to possess the ball and create chances against both Ghana and Germany.
It’s still unclear of Altidore will actually play, or if he’ll be close to full-strength. But the news at least gives Belgium something to think about, and Klinsmann an option if he needs a goal late.
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