By IVES GALARCEP
Jozy Altidore was left out of Sunderland’s match vs. Crystal Palace with a hamstring injury that could jeopardize his participation in the U.S. Men’s National Team’s upcoming World Cup qualifiers vs. Costa Rica and Mexico.
There is no detailed word on the severity of Altidore’s injury just yet, but if the injury was significant enough to keep him out of Saturday’s Sunderland match, it isn’t a stretch to assume it puts his participation in Friday’s World Cup qualifier vs. Costa Rica in doubt.
Altidore has been on fire for the USMNT, scoring in five straight matches, including his hat-trick performance in the U.S. team’s 4-3 win vs. Bosnia and Herzegovina.
If Altidore can’t play in the upcoming qualifiers, Jurgen Klinsmann will have a variety of options to replace him, though replacing Altidore’s recent outstanding form won’t be quite as easy. Klinsmann could partner Landon Donovan with Clint Dempsey in a 4-4-2, or start Eddie Johnson as the target forward in a 4-2-3-1, which we saw in the Gold Cup. Aron Johannsson is a popular pick among U.S. fans, but with just one national team cap under his belt, and no experience in World Cup qualifying, it’s difficult to see him starting just yet.
What do you think of this development? Who would you start up top for the USMNT if Altidore can’t go?
Share your thoughts below.