Jun 16, 2014, 9:40 PM EDT
The US experienced an emotional roller coaster in Natal tonight, but now the focus will be to look forward to a quick turnaround against Portugal on Sunday.
Something that will be a big concern for the US is their injuries they suffered during their match against Ghana.
We should start by saying nobody is fully fit in Group G. The Germans were without Bastian Schweinsteiger in their match against Portugal, and saw Mats Hummels helped off with a leg injury in the second half.
The Portuguese needed to sub off both Fabio Coentrao and Hugo Almeida with injuries, and had Pepe suspended thanks to his moronic red card. Finally, we saw Kevin-Prince Boateng come on in the second half for Ghana, which was more than originally expected, considering reports said he was out of the starting eleven thanks to an injury.
The United States came into Ghana at full strength, one of the only teams to enter the World Cup without any injuries, but they suffered a number of knocks against Ghana – some more serious than others.
The first and most obvious is Jozy Altidore, who caught the crosshairs of the proverbial sniper in the 21st minute against Ghana. He went down clutching his left leg, and was crying (according to teammates and coach) as he left the pitch on a stretcher.
His outlook is bleak. There is no official word from US Soccer yet other than it’s a “strain” and not a straight-up tear, but it’s likely that at this point, best case scenario for Altidore is that he maybe could return for any potential knockout round matches.
As ESPN’s medical analyst team pointed out after the game, a hamstring strain still involves a tear, but it’s not a tear of the muscle from the bone – thankfully – just a tear of the muscle itself. Therefore, it’s difficult to speculate how long he’ll be out. However, there will certainly be a lot of swelling, pain, and discoloration for Jozy, and he almost certainly won’t be back for the match against Portugal.
Another player removed due to injury is central defender Matt Besler. John Brooks replaced him and played incredibly well, defending well and scoring the game-winner, but having Besler back will be crucial going forward.
He was clearly hampered at the end of the first half with a hamstring injury of his own, and Klinsmann removed him at the break. The only news we’ve seen is the original diagnosis from US Soccer, which was “tightness” of the hamstring. They called the substitution “precautionary” but it’s hard to see how Klinsmann would be “precautionary” in the biggest match in four years.
[ RELATED: World Cup news, analysis from Soccerly ]
Either way, that’s quite a bit better than Jozy’s situation, and depending on how he heals up in the coming days, it’s still very possible we could have Besler back for Portugal on Sunday.
According to MLSSoccer.com writer Franco Panizo, both Altidore and Besler were walking with noticable limps after the match, but that’s to be expected, as hamstring injuries can be incredibly painful.
Clint Dempsey took a John Boye shin to the face towards the end of the first half
as retribution for schooling the Ghanian defender 32 seconds into the game, and confirmed after the game that he likely has a broken nose.
But we already knew that from the images we saw:
And the one we all reacted to on the ESPN broadcast when it first happened:
Don’t try to tell me you didn’t turn to your buddy, cringing, and say “yea, that’s broken.” I did.
He carried on and played the rest of the game, and in the postmatch presser, he sounded like he both inhaled helium and held his nose closed. If he can heal properly, there’s no reason why he couldn’t play in the ensuing games left on the US schedule, but he’ll likely wear a mask to prevent any further trauma to the nose.
[ RELATED: World Cup news, analysis from Soccerly ]
Finally, one that hasn’t been mentioned much is Geoff Cameron. Nobody’s updated his status or even talked about him, and while the other CB played the full 90 minutes, he seemed to be cringing a bit and stretching his legs just before halftime.
It’s very likely he was just suffering from cramps, but definitely will be in the back of people’s minds as we await updates from US Soccer over the coming week.
One more note: not injury-related, but after the match, both John Brooks and Jermaine Jones were randomly selected for doping tests by FIFA.
Jul 28, 2014, 8:22 PM EDT
Colombian international expected to play Saturday against Valencia.
Jul 28, 2014, 7:37 PM EDT
Time in the NASL will give the 24-year-old needed minutes.
Jul 28, 2014, 6:48 PM EDT
Brazilian’s injury testing United’s depth on the right side.
Jul 28, 2014, 5:54 PM EDT
U.S. international’s knee surgery will sideline him for “several weeks.”
Jul 28, 2014, 4:57 PM EDT
Two Saints look to follow their former manager to North London.
Jul 28, 2014, 4:03 PM EDT
Timber’s game-winning goal in Montréal separated him from a tight field.
Jul 28, 2014, 3:20 PM EDT
After two on-pitch selfie’s occur with players over the weekend, security needs to be stepped up.
Jul 28, 2014, 2:50 PM EDT
Could Neymar represent Brazil at the 2016 Olympics in Rio?
Jul 28, 2014, 2:20 PM EDT
Besic, 21, has signed a five-year deal with the Toffees.
Jul 28, 2014, 1:43 PM EDT
Bale smashes in an absolute beauty from distance. Check it out, here.
Jul 28, 2014, 12:58 PM EDT
After selling over $170 million of talent so far this summer, what are Saints playing at?
Jul 28, 2014, 11:52 AM EDT
Boyd out after injury in Queens Park Rangers friendly.
Jul 28, 2014, 11:25 AM EDT
He may be one of the best soccer players the planet has ever seen, but Messi is not above the law.
Jul 28, 2014, 10:51 AM EDT
Arsenal splash the cash to sign 19-year-old Southampton academy graduate.
Jul 28, 2014, 10:25 AM EDT
Did Remy fail a medical at Liverpool? ‘Arry isn’t buying it.
Jul 28, 2014, 9:20 AM EDT
Clegg, Downing Street, discuss Russia hosting the 2018 World Cup.
Jul 28, 2014, 8:44 AM EDT
If you use the hashtag #AskJesus, expect to get results like this.
Jul 28, 2014, 8:04 AM EDT
Atletico add Griezmann to partner Mandzukic in new-look attack.
Jul 28, 2014, 7:38 AM EDT
Arsenal may be taking a “gamble” but it certainly paid off the last two times they bought teenagers from Southampton.
Jul 27, 2014, 11:08 PM EDT
Liverpool looks focused on improving its shape heading into the upcoming Premier League season.
- Radamel Falcao on track to return at weekend’s Emirates Cup 0
- PST’s Major League Soccer Player of the Week: Portland’s Diego Valeri 0
- The great Southampton exodus continues. Why is this happening? 6
- Arsenal confirm $27 million signing of Calum Chambers 1
- Manchester City host #AskJesus (Navas) Twitter chat, hilarious comments ensue 1
- VIDEO: Mario Balotelli takes amazing selfie with two pitch invaders 1