August 15, 2014

Jozy Altidore out for Sunday’s World Cup game against Portugal

US Men's National Team vs Germany

Sure, the USMNT was able to defeat Ghana in their opener without much playing time from Jozy Altidore who pulled his hammy pretty early in the contest, but that’s not ideal. If the team wants to keep their positive momentum on Sunday against Portugal, they’ll have to do it again without their first string striker.

When Altidore went down in the last game, Jurgen Klinsmann went to Aron Johannsson to replace him. Johannsson seemed relatively quiet just based off my general recollections. We’ll have to see if that’s the same direction that Klinsmann decides to go on Sunday with more time to prepare any number of other options on his bench. He’s got Johannsson, Chris Wondolowski, and Clint Dempsey as listed forwards on his bench, but that doesn’t mean they couldn’t do any number of things.

It might even be most exciting if this somehow lands 18-year-old Julian Green in the lineup.

(Photo by Simon Bruty /Sports Illustrated)

  • eldaveablo

    Jurgen is dying to use Julian Green in this game. Maybe not to start, but he’ll be used. I’ve convinced myself that the only reason they brought Green was to draw a PK against Portugal.

  • Pat Leonard

    Bruno Alves is just the right guy to give it up, too. As much as I think Julian Green didn’t earn his spot in this roster, I can see why Klinsmann likes him. He can’t control the ball in tight spaces and score a goal. What Green can do is use his speed to slip past Alves and force a foul.

  • Pat Leonard

    I figured as much. That was a nasty muscle pull, and it seemed to be at least as bad as Coentrao’s. I don’t think we’ll be seeing Jozy again in this World Cup, unfortunately.

  • RGB

    I say let him have a go.
    We already know what we have in Johannsson and Wondolowski. Not much.

  • Pat Leonard

    I disagree with that… I think both Johannsson and Wondo can be useful coming off the bench. I might even be in favor of Wondo starting… the guy averages a goal per game for the USMNT and is one of those forwards who just finds a way to put the ball in the net. I don’t want Green to start. His only advantage at this point is his speed, and that advantage is lessened when he’s forced to start the game and play big minutes.

  • RGB

    I’m not totally opposed to starting Wondo in the first half, and bringing in the fresh faster legs of Green or Johannsson in the second half.

  • saggy

    not really sure how that’s “Breaking News,” as pretty much everyone on earth can tell from the replay that this kid ain’t playing this weekend.

  • eldaveablo

    Agreed on Wondo. The guy isn’t the most well-rounded player on the roster, but the ball finds him in front of the goal and he does a great job of finishing.
    Man, I am so freaking excited to watch this on Sunday.

  • Steve

    I’d say if there was only one reason, it was to ensure he doesn’t play for Germany in 2018.

  • Steve

    I’ll guess it’s going to be Zusi, with Dempsey playing alone up top in more of a 4-2-3-1 shape.

    Jones pretty much had to play that role to help Beasley time and time again against Ghana, and Portugal, even with Ronaldo at less than 100%, will provide much more of a threat to our fullbacks.

    I think you have to play Zusi because of just how awful the team looked trying to retain possession in the middle of the field. They need another body there (partly because Jones has to help Beasley so much), and Johannsson showed he isn’t likely to track back enough to help out, and he’s not going to be useful trying to contain long balls. Bring him on in the final 30 when you need a goal like the plan probably was from the beginning. That’s the role he can succeed in. I don’t want to see Wondo at all.

  • vespo09

    Agree. As long as Bedoya’s hip is ok, it will probably be:

    ——————–Howard——————–
    Johnson—Cameron—Besler—Beasley
    ———-Beckerman—–Jones————-
    —Zusi———-Bradley———Bedoya—
    ——————Dempsey——————–

  • vespo09

    Agree. As long as Bedoya’s hip is ok, it will probably be:

    ——————–Howard——————–
    Johnson—Cameron—Besler—Beasley
    ———-Beckerman—–Jones————-
    —Zusi———-Bradley———Bedoya—
    ——————Dempsey——————–

  • Pat Leonard

    Couldn’t agree more… there are certain players who I like as starters and certain players I like as subs. Johannsson is definitely a sub for me at this point in his career. Zusi definitely a starter. I’ve seen enough of Ale Bedoya as a starter. He may get back and defend, but so does Zusi and Bedoya gives you next to nothing going forward. His first touch looks like he is playing the ball with an iron foot. That role is already filled by Beasley, so there’s no room for Iron-foot Bedoya.

  • Pat Leonard

    This is my best guess as well. I could also see a version of this lineup with Wondo up top and Dempsey sliding into Bedoya’s spot, but definitely thinking this would be less likely.

  • saggy

    I think Bradley will be deployed deeper for extra cover, but he’ll be given the freedom to go forward. .