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Jozy Altidore hands US huge boost, fit to face Belgium

Jun 30, 2014, 1:30 PM EDT

On Monday the news most U.S. soccer fans had been waiting for arrived, as Jozy Altidore was declared fit to play against Belgium.

In a Tweet sent out by U.S. Soccer, see below, they said “ for ? is Ready and available for and the tomorrow!”

Good news all round for the U.S., as Jurgen Klinsmann now has a fully-fit squad to choose from and his attacking options suddenly look a lot more varied.

Pictures from ESPN showed Altidore laughing and practicing with the team on Monday, as it looked as though he had successfully recovered from his hamstring injury he suffered agianst Ghana in the USA’s opening World Cup match.

The big question that now remains is whether Altidore starts vs. Belgium, with Clint Dempsey dropping deeper in a supporting role, or if the Sunderland striker is only fit enough to make the bench and provide the U.S. with a real threat late in the game.

Update: Klinsmann is keeping his cards close to his chest and has stated that “we don’t know how long he can play… but he’s available.”

The 24-year-old American forward pulled up in agony midway through the first half of the USA’s 2-1 win over Ghana on June 16. Since then Clint Dempsey has started both the Portugal and Germany games up top on his own, plus the U.S. have also brought on Aron Johannsson and Chris Wondolowski up top. However without Altidore presence as the lone man the USA have struggled to create in the final third and have certainly missed the Sunderland striker.

Earlier this week Klinsmann declared that he was “very optimistic” that Altidore could return but since then other reports have suggested that Altidore would not be ready.

Now we know he is, can the New Jersey native return to the lineup and cause havoc in and amongst the Belgian defense?

  1. thereep - Jun 30, 2014 at 1:46 PM

    I hope he starts, but I don’t think there’s a chance he will. I don’t even believe he plays. He’s too much of a liability to waste an early sub.

    • lyleoross - Jun 30, 2014 at 2:03 PM

      I have to concur, but as a late addition when Belgium is tired…

      • mlsconvert88888 - Jun 30, 2014 at 2:29 PM

        This. If we trying to chase the game and needing goals, or if we’re trying to protect a lead a need a big body to clear the ball to and hold it up, either way he should be a good super sub,

  2. mikeevergreen - Jun 30, 2014 at 2:29 PM

    Who you guys crappin’? Dempsey’s goal against Ghana was a give-and-go with Altidore. Without Jozy, we aren’t even in the second round, Portugal’s there.

    • thereep - Jun 30, 2014 at 3:08 PM

      False. Beasley to Dempsey to Jones to Dempsey (Goal).

  3. renhoekk2 - Jun 30, 2014 at 3:18 PM

    Why were Johannsson and Wondolowski brought along if Klinsmann had no confidence in playing either player. Even when the starting striker went down with an injury his alternative plan was to move his CAM to striker. If that was plan B all along then why not bring along an extra mid-fielder? I don’t know maybe some guy named Landon Donovan. Apparently it’s a non-issue because they got through the group stage anyway. But you would have thought one of the questions he asked himself when selecting the team was “If push comes to shove and I have to play this guy a lot, am I comfortable with that?” Apparently that question never came up. Maybe he just picked names from a hat.

    • tridecagon - Jun 30, 2014 at 3:45 PM

      Those are “bring on at 70 minutes when we need a goal” type guys, and the situation hasn’t arisen yet. We’ve been playing tied or with the lead, with the exception of the Germany game where our defensive soundness was still job one. Those guys may still have something to say in this tournament.

  4. aldavis4president - Jun 30, 2014 at 6:06 PM

    Haha. He scored his first goal in a year in group stage. He isn’t anything like a super sub. Lazy altidore is a scrub. Should’ve brought donavonn off the bench as a true super sub.

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