US National Team

21 June 3:11 pm

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.” 

19 June 7:20 am

The U.S. National Team will take on Portugal without the services of Jozy Altidore due to a left hamstring injury, the federation announced on Thursday.

Altidore injured his left hamstring midway through the first half of the Americans 2-1 victory over Ghana on Monday and was stretchered off the field. U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann told reporters on Tuesday that he was optimistic about Altidore’s ability to return from the injury at some point during the 2014 World Cup, but was awaiting the results of an MRI of the striker’s hamstring.

With Altidore unavailable, Klinsmann may be forced to tinker with his formation as neither of his two remaining strikers Aron Johannsson or Chris Wondolowski are as capable at holding possession as the injured Altidore.  

The injury news wasn’t all negative for the U.S., however, as Matt Besler and Clint Dempsey were each given a clean bill of health for Sunday’s game in the Amazonian city of Manaus.

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Who do you believe should replace Altidore in the starting XI? Vote in the poll below.'

17 June 2:42 pm

The U.S. National Team received mixed news about the injury status of starters Jozy Altidore, Matt Besler Clint Dempsey ahead of Sunday’s Group G match against Portugal.

In a press conference just a day after the team’s dramatic 2-1 victory over Ghana, head coach Jurgen Klinsmann revealed that Dempsey suffered a fractured nose after a clattering challenge in the first half while both Altidore (hamstring injury) and Besler (hamstring tightness) have undergone MRIs to determine the severity of injuries that they also endured in the opening 45 minutes. During his briefing with the press, Klinsmann said that Besler and Dempsey will likely be available for the Portugal match, but Altidore’s injury may require a bit more time.

 “With Jozy, we’ve got to see now how he reacts the next couple of days with his hamstring and we are full of hope that he comes back still in this tournament,” said Klinsmann. “That’s what we kind of work on every day; the medical staff is doing a tremendous job. We still have the hope that Jozy will be back. How quickly? That is down to his healing process.”

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Think Altidore will come back in time? Who will start if Altidore can not play against Portugal?

Share thoughts below.

17 June 11:12 am

The excitement was high after the U.S. National Team's 2-1 victory over Ghana, but LA Galaxy striker Landon Donovan issued a note of caution in a interview on the Dan Patrick Show on Tuesday. 

Donovan, who was controversially left off U.S. National Team head coach Jurgen Klinsmann's roster for the 2014 FIFA World Cup, spoke about the injury to Jozy Altidore and his impression of the team's mood heading into their second group stage match against Portugal. However, his most telling comment was regarding the allegations that Klinsmann had overtrained the team resutling in injuries to Altidore and center back Matt Besler. 

“My guess is if you’ve having a bunch of muscle injuries and cramping and stuff like that, there was some factor involved, whether it was overtraining, whether [they] weren’t prepared for the heat," he said.  "There was something that went on there, so you could be a little critical.”

Watch the complete interview below. 

16 June 8:07 am

On Monday, LA Galaxy center back Omar Gonzalez will develop a lasting memory of his very first World Cup match when the U.S. takes on Ghana in their Group G opener.

But what about Gonzalez's first World Cup memory?

That goes back to the 1994 FIFA World Cup when Gonzalez was just a child living outside of Dallas. 

"My first World Cup memory as a kid was at the Cotton Bowl, I got a chance to go to a few games as a volunteer," Gonzalez recently told LAGalaxy.com. "When I was there, my mom tells me that I used to mimic Bebeto's celebration." 

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Think Gonzalez will mimic that celebration if he scores? 

16 June 7:05 am

The day is here.

It'll be impossible for you not to get pumped up for U.S. vs. Ghana after watching this video for tonight's match. 

Check it out below. 

14 June 8:55 am

LA Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena provided a preview of the 2014 FIFA World Cup in a special column in the Los Angeles Times earlier this week.

Arena offered his analysis of the tournament stating that a number of the traditional powers will compete for the trophy. In addition to providing his selections for the group stage, the Galaxy boss declared that the host nation Brazil will lift the trophy in July. 

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Think Brazil will take it as Arena says? Believe that Uruguay has a chance as I mentioned? Going with another team?

Share your thoughts below.

 

12 June 10:05 am

In just a few hours, the globe’s most important sporting event will be underway.

The 2014 FIFA World Cup begins on Thursday when the host nation Brazil will take on European upstarts Croatia at Sao Paulo’s Arena Corinthians at 1:00 p.m. PT.  For a month, the world’s eyes will be focused on Brazil as 32 nations compete for the honor of hoisting the trophy aloft at the final at the iconic Estadio Maracana in Rio de Janeiro on July 13.

Throughout the tournament, we’ll be providing analysis and daily coverage of the tournament from Los Angeles and in Brazil on LAGalaxy.com/WorldCup. I’ll be covering the tournament locally from Southern California while LAGalaxy.com digital’s Chris Thomas will be on location in Brazil.

To date, there is already extensive coverage on the website including a World Cup restaurant guide of each of the nations that will be competing, a list of Galaxy watch parties including the U.S. viewing party for the Portugal match, and coverage of the United States’ run through the tournament especially given LA Galaxy center back Omar Gonzalez's participation

12 June 10:02 am

The World Cup is finally here.

Ahead of the tournament, I decided to give the readers of LA Galaxy Insider a look of how I believe that the tournament will turn out. Earlier in the season, I stated that Germany was my favorite to take the title in Brazil. While I later bandied the idea of the host nation lifting the trophy at the Marcanana in mid-July, however, I’ve finally decided who I’m going with and the answer just may surprise you.

Uruguay.

That’s right, the famed deliverers of the Maracanazo, who now boast a team brimming with the attacking talent of Luis Suarez, Edison Cavani and even Diego Forlan. I believe that not only with the South American national triumph in their Group of death alongside Italy, England and Costa Rica, but they will also march to the title by defeating the likes of Spain and Argentina before knocking off Brazil in the final.

Uruguay defeats Brazil 2-1 in the Maracanazo Part II.

A few thoughts and notes

* LA Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena and forward Landon Donovan backed Brazil to win the 2014 FIFA World Cup. 

*The Galaxy's resident Swede Stefan Ishizaki picked the country of his father's birth to enjoy a deep run that will end in the second round

*Former Galaxy star Hyung-Mung Bo will lead Korea Republic in the tournament as their head coach. 

Take a look at my bracket below.