Jozy Altidore won't play on Sunday against Portugal after straining his left hamstring against Ghana, the team confirmed. Also center back Matt Besler, who left the Ghana match at halftime with soreness in his hamstring, is healthy and should start against Portugal.
News first leaked Thursday morning as a few players confirmed suspicions that Altidore's injury would indeed keep him out.
Jermaine Jones says Jozy Altidore won't play vs Portugal.— Brian Straus (@BrianStraus) June 19, 2014
According to his teammates, Jozy Altidore will not play against Portugal. No official word though.— Dan Wetzel (@DanWetzel) June 19, 2014
Altidore injured his left hamstring chasing down a pass from Michael Bradley just 20 minutes into the US's opening-match win over Ghana. He laid on the field in obvious pain before he was stretchered off. Aron Johannsson replaced him at striker and barring a formation change, he figures to see significant time against Portugal's shorthanded defense.
On Tuesday, Jurgen Klinsmann said he was "full of hope" that the US would get Altidore back. He went so far as to say the US would get him "back in this tournament" but there were no specifics.
Now we have one, and Altidore won't be healthy by Sunday, meaning that the US heads into its (at minimum) must-draw match without its primary striker.