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
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.
Think Omar Gonzalez starts against Germany?
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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.”
CARSON, Calif. – England and Spain eliminated while Italy and other global powers find themselves on the ropes? Not many foresaw that heading into the 2014 FIFA World Cup, but LA Galaxy forward Landon Donovan gave his explanation for the failings of the European giants in Brazil.
Speaking to reporters on Friday after LA Galaxy training, Donovan said that the poor showing of the European powers may be due to the rigors of the club season.
“I have a theory on that and it doesn't always hold true, but I think that it’s very difficult for teams with players playing in England or Spain that are playing 50 or 60 high-level games a year,” said Donovan. “They just get worn down throughout the year and then they travel to South America where it’s hot and difficult. I think that players are just getting worn out. There’s a lot of thought that more is better as far as training, but I think the opposite. I think that less is more and the teams that got the training right before the World Cup are the ones that are excelling right now.”
Even though several notable European sides are struggling, Donovan believes that the 2014 FIFA World Cup is showcasing the newfound parity of global soccer.
“The soccer world is smaller than ever. There’s more players playing everywhere around the world. They understand how to get results and they're not intimidated anymore. It used to be different in the past,” said Donovan. “There is no more of that anymore. You see that with a lot of little teams doing well. You're seeing teams that are organized and the teams that are fit are succeeding.”
If the LA Galaxy are going to get past the Carolina RailHawks, they’ll need to beat the NASL side in a different venue than past years.
The RailHawks will be unable to host the U.S. Open Cup fifth round match between the two clubs scheduled for June 26 at their home ground of WakeMed Soccer Park due to scheduled field resurfacing. With WakeMed unavailable, the match will be held at Koka Booth Stadium, which is known locally as Field 2, a practice pitch that is adjacent to main stadium. The surface will not be unfamiliar to the Galaxy as the club trained on the pitch during both of their previous trips to Carolina.
The timing of the resurfacing process made by both the RailHawks' and the Town of Cary,which manages and maintains the facilities at WakeMed Soccer Park. According to Indy Week reporter Neil Morris, the club weighed the option of hosting the match at nearby universities like Duke and North Carolina before ultimately settling on the Koka Booth Stadium.
"It'll be a very good field, I'm sure," said Arena during Friday's training session. "Our objective is to go there and play well. We have to worry about ourselves because if we play well then we'll be able to win."
To accommodate the demand that the Galaxy game will bring, the RailHawks are attempting to install temporary stands that should raise capacity to near 3,000 while also expanding press box facilities.
Thoughts on the RailHawks hosting the game on a practice field?
Landon Donovan and Robbie Keane expecting to be available for U.S. Open Cup match against Carolina RailHawks
CARSON, Calif. – There’s going to be no reserve teams this time around for the LA Galaxy’s seemingly annual U.S. Open Cup trip to North Carolina.
This time, they’ll be bringing the big guns.
Following the team’s first training session after their 2-1 victory over Arizona United SC, both Galaxy forwards Robbie Keane and Landon Donovan told reporters that they believe they’ll be available for selection in Tuesday’s match against the Carolina RailHawks in the fifth round of the U.S. Open Cup.
“We’re all expecting to play in this game. We’re sick of losing to Carolina and we’re sick of going out of the Open Cup early," said Donovan on Friday. "Also we don’t have any MLS games during this break so we need it for fitness. We’re excited for it and I’ve said to Bruce early on that I want to play as much as possible in this tournament; we’re hoping to get a result."
While Donovan hopes to be in the lineup from the outset, Keane may be utilized in a substitute’s role as the team’s Irish captain recently returned from Ireland where he served as the best man at a best friend’s wedding.
“I’ll have to speak to Bruce, but I imagine that we’ll take a full team. It’s a competition that we certainly need to win,” said Keane. “If I start though is another thing, it’s a question that I’ll have with Bruce.”
Expect Donovan and Keane to play against the RailHawks? Can the Galaxy get through in the U.S. Open Cup?
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Gyasi Zardes put the LA Galaxy through to the fifth round of the U.S. Open Cup with two goals in their 2-1 victory over Arizona United SC.
With the victory, they will now play against at Carolina RailHawks at 4:00 p.m. PT on June 24 at the WakeMed Stadium Field 2.
Highlights of the victory are below.
PEORIA, Ariz. -- Bruce Arena addressed the media following the LA Galaxy's 2-1 victory over Arizona United on Wednesday.
(On the team’s second half performance...)
ARENA: “It’s difficult getting behind on the road but our guys came out in the second half and got the job done and did a good job. We had a few hectic moments but I think overall we had a good attitude and we played well.”
(On Gyasi Zardes’ brace...)
ARENA: “Two good goals, good service that we had been lacking for a while so it’s good to see.”
(On the struggles with the heat...)
ARENA: “The heat wasn’t bad. We were very fortunate, we got lucky with the weather tonight. I know it’s going to be a lot more humid and probably a little bit warmer in Raleigh next week. We got a little bit of conditioning on that but it won’t quite be what it is like on the East Coast.”
(On the Galaxy next U.S. Open Cup rival, the Carolina RailHawks...)
ARENA “We are looking forward to it.”
(On the game...)
ARENA: “It was a difficult game. I think our guys did well given the circumstances, going behind a goal so we can’t complain, it’s a good one.”
(On the team’s improvements in the second half...)
ARENA: “We just got our service a little bit better to help create two goals. Our guys had a good healthy attitude, they came out in an aggressive fashion.”