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.
Sep 23, 2014, 12:14 AM EDT
Newly-promoted Paderborn is shocking the Bundesliga and providing quite the show in the process.
Sep 22, 2014, 11:28 PM EDT
It was a rough weekend for Americans in England, but outside the country things a little more enjoyable.
Sep 22, 2014, 10:51 PM EDT
The full debut of Men In Blazers graced NBC Sports Network tonight with an assist from Adam Richman.
Sep 22, 2014, 10:04 PM EDT
Despite making just sixteen league appearances the last three years, the Gunners manager says Diaby should be commended for his perseverance.
Sep 22, 2014, 8:41 PM EDT
Seattle’s lethal striker is set to cap the best year of his career with a new deal and a raise.
Sep 22, 2014, 7:59 PM EDT
The 30-year-old hasn’t been in the Argentinian side since 2011 when he missed a crucial penalty in a shootout with Uruguay.
Sep 22, 2014, 7:07 PM EDT
A dive to end all dives gave the German third division some notoriety.
Sep 22, 2014, 6:26 PM EDT
Things have gone horribly wrong for storied Brazilian club Palmeiras this year, and fans are making their feelings known.
Sep 22, 2014, 5:54 PM EDT
The two sides agreed on a multi-year deal as Olsen calls DC United “my family and identity.”
Sep 22, 2014, 5:15 PM EDT
Which 11 players stood out above the rest in Week 5? Find out, here.
Sep 22, 2014, 4:36 PM EDT
According to a pair of former players, the old Fulham manager told Brede Hangeland to rub his knee with cheese to reduce inflammation.
Sep 22, 2014, 3:56 PM EDT
What are Leicester City, Burnley and Queens Park Rangers all about? Our analysts break it down.
Sep 22, 2014, 3:22 PM EDT
Who was crowned the best player of the week in the PL?
Sep 22, 2014, 2:48 PM EDT
Which five goals were the best? Pick your best from two chips, a scissor kick, a belter and a curler.
Sep 22, 2014, 2:15 PM EDT
Gunners and Saints clash, as the third round of the League Cup takes place this week.
Sep 22, 2014, 1:38 PM EDT
Zwanziger: “Medics say they cannot accept responsibility with a World Cup taking place under these conditions.”
Sep 22, 2014, 1:10 PM EDT
Joining the NBC Sports crew from the crap part of SoHo, the MiB break down van Gaal’s topsy-turvy day.
Sep 22, 2014, 12:30 PM EDT
A report documenting FIFA’s internal investigation into alleged World Cup bidding corruption will not be published.
Sep 22, 2014, 11:28 AM EDT
Gunners defensive woes compounded as Debuchy will be out for over three months.
Sep 22, 2014, 10:30 AM EDT
PST’s Lead Writer and Editor takes an in-depth look at the incredible storylines from the PL during Week 5.
- WATCH: Men in Blazers show debuts on NBCSN 0
- Report: Obafemi Martins close to Seattle extension and raise 0
- DC United extends Ben Olsen’s contract after bounceback season 1
- Premier League Download: Tale of the newly-promoted teams 0
- FIFA Executive: “The 2022 World Cup in Qatar will not happen” 7
- Premier League Playback: Legendary Lampard strikes, United’s shambolic implosion 2