The U.S. National Team will not have the services of forward Jozy Altidore for a second straight match due to injury, the federation announced on Tuesday.
Altidore has been sidelined with a left hamstring injury since the early stages of the USMNT's 2-1 victory over Ghana last Monday. The 24-year-old target striker missed the U.S.' dramatic 2-2 draw with Portugal last weekend as Clint Dempsey started as a lone forward for the Americans. Although Altidore will be unable to take the field for the Americans against Germany, U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann is confident that he can see the field at some point soon should the Americans advance to the knockout stage.
“Jozy is recovering really well. He’s doing a tremendous job there,” Klinsmann said to reporters in Sao Paulo. “Our medical staff is on top of it. This game comes still too early for him. But we're working on him."
KLINSMANN DENYS ANY CLAIMS OF COLLUSION AHEAD OF GERMANY MATCH
Jurgen Klinsmann squashed any claims of collusion between the United States and his home nation of Germany ahead of their decisive Group G match on Thursday.
An accomplished international with Germany, Klinsmann coached Germany during the 2006 FIFA World Cup where his assistant was current German boss "Jogi" Löw which leads to calls that Klinsmann may dail up his old assistant since a draw would see both nations through to the second round.
“There’s no such call,” Klinsmann told reporters. “Jogi is doing his job, we’re good friends and I do my job. My job is to get everything done to make us into the round of 16, and that’s what I’m going to do. There’s no time right now for personal calls. It’s about business now.”
Klinsmann's fierce denial is no surprise due to the stigma that such collusion holds in German soccer culture as the German national team once famously reached an agreement with Austria to earn a 1-0 victory which allowed both teams to advance in the 1982 FIFA World Cup.
"You’re talking about a game that is decades away in its own part of German history and is not part of the United States,” Klinsmann said, showing remarkable restraint as the point was, indeed, belabored. “The United States is known for giving everything they have in every single game. If you look in the past, we make things happen. Otherwise Mexico wouldn’t be here.”
The LA Galaxy are on the ground in the Research Triangle.
LA will take on the Carolina RailHawks at 4:00 p.m. PT at Koka Booth Field in Cary, North Carolina in Tuesday's U.S. Open Cup fifth round match up. The Galaxy have been bounced from the competition for the last two years by the RailHawks, but LA are confident that this particular match will be a different story as stars Landon Donovan and Robbie Keane have all revealed that they will travel for the fixture.
If LA win, they'll host the winner of the Houston Dynamo and FC Dallas match on either July 8 or July 9 at StubHub Center.
After two years of being hassled about poor showings in the Open Cup, the Galaxy insist that they're ready for a title challenge.
"This is the short way to get back to CONCACAF," said Marcelo Sarvas last week. " If we beat them than we are in the quarterfinal, so we want to go there and get a win."
In addition to the "rivalry" that the two teams have developed over the past two years, another interesting subplot is developing as the RailHawks announced via Twitter on Monday evening that former MLS goalkeeper William Hesmer will "un-retire" to suit up for the club against the Galaxy. Hesmer was selected by LA in the 2013 MLS Re-Entry Draft, but was not signed by the club.
— Hipólito Gamboa (@poligol21) June 23, 2014
Defeat the Carolina RailHawks on Tuesday and the LA Galaxy will host a U.S. Open Cup match at StubHub Center for the first time since 2011.
If the Galaxy reach the quarterfinals, they'll face the winner of Tuesday's FC Dallas match against the Houston Dynamo at BBVA Compass Stadium. The Galaxy's potential quarterfinal match will take place on either July 8 or July 9.
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The United States had their hearts broken with a crushing last-minute 2-2 draw against Portugal on Sunday, but hopes are still alive for the U.S. to advance to the Round of 16.
Below are the scenarios for the U.S. to advance.
1) The U.S. advance with a win or a draw against Germany
2) The U.S. advance with a loss to Germany and a draw between Portugal and Ghana.
3) The U.S. advance with a loss to Germany and by winning a tiebreaker against the winner of Portugal and Ghana.
Should the U.S. fall to Germany, Ghana would qualify in their place if they win by two goals or more. If the U.S. loses by one goal, the Black Stars need two goals or a high-scoring one goal victory. Meanwhile, Portugal must erase a goal-difference of five to bypass the Americans.
Omar Gonzalez made his World Cup debut, but he could not help the U.S. preserve the victory needed to put themselves through to the Round of 16 after two matches as the U.S. drew Portugal 2-2.
Gonzalez entered the match for Graham Zusi in the first minute of second half stoppage time with the U.S. ahead 2-1, but the Portuguese leveled four minutes later. The decisive goal came in the fifth minute of stoppage when Cristiano Ronaldo found Silvestre Varela who beat U.S. goalkeeper Tim Howard for the game-tying strike.
The fact that Gonzalez came into the match could bode well for his prospects heading into the decisive group stage match against Germany as center back Geoff Cameron was beat on both Portuguese goals. With Germany expected to press the Americans early and often, head coach Jurgen Klinsmann may opt for a change of pace heading into the final group stage match.
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Jermaine Jones' equalizer to pull the U.S. level a 1-1 against Portugal.
The day is finally here.
The U.S. will take on Portugal in a match that will decide if they advance to the knockout round with a victory. Check out the latest edition of LAGalaxy.com "By the Numbers" below.
CARSON, Calif. – The U.S. National Team will need to make do without target striker Jozy Altidore for their “win and you’re in” group stage match against Portugal on Sunday.
Just how head coach Jurgen Klinsmann replaces the physical forward who is out with a hamstring injury remains to be seen and Galaxy forward Landon Donovan is among those wondering just how he’ll go about it against the Portuguese in Manaus.
“I don’t know. I wish I knew the answer to [how to replace Jozy]. It’s going to be interesting to see how the coaches adjust," Donovan said. "Whether you leave[Clint Dempsey] up there by himself or you play another forward with him. I’m sure they’ve watched the Portugal tape over and over and they’ll have an idea how to beat them. At the end of the day, it’s still 11 v. 11 but there’s no question that the team will miss Jozy.”
But no matter who fills in for Altidore, Donovan is confident that the U.S. can earn the win needed to get through to the knockout round for the second consecutive tournament.
“It’s amazing how results change things and even one goal changes things,” said Donovan. “That goal by John Anthony Brooks coupled with Portugal losing, now you look at a scenario where you win the game then you’re through against a somewhat beaten up Portuguese team. It’s amazing how it is coming together, but it can go the other way too. You have to be prepared and it’s going to be a fascinating match.”