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Altidore returns to USMNT training

Jozy Altidore

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The U.S. Men’s National Team received great news after forward Jozy Altidore had been evaluated by the team’s medical staff on Monday.

U.S. Soccer announced on Tuesday morning that Altidore had been cleared to resume team workouts after an MRI on his right hamstring was declared normal, raising his chances of playing against Costa Rica and Mexico in the next two World Cup qualifiers. USMNT head coach Jurgen Klinsmann is reportedly optimistic that Altidore will be ready for the Costa Rica match.

Altidore was left off Sunderland’s game day squad for their 3-1 defeat to Crystal Palace Saturday with what the club said was a hamstring injury. The USMNT is currently in Florida in preparation for the match on Friday in San Jose, Costa Rica, against the Ticos.

What do you think of this news? Do you see Jozy starting on Friday? Do you see Klinsmann resting Altidore in case of injury?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. looking forward to a replay of the goal EJ scored assisted by Donovan against Honduras in the goal cup. I believe EJ works very well with both Deuce and Donovan. While I would be delighted for Jozy to start, I would hate to see him risk an injury and have to sit out for an extended period of time. I think we score three goals in Costa Rica on Friday. They have to play to win, which leaves them vulnerable to our offense.

  2. phewwwwwwwwwwwww


  3. Good. I was getting worried with that primadonna of Eddie Johnson (Eddie does deserve to be a DP). Altidore could give a good 50-60 minutes.

  4. Fighting with the wife now and we have a Sounder’s home games Wednesday and Saturday with the Nat team playing Friday.

    I wonder if I am still sleeping on the couch when I get home Saturday night ?

    • owww…sorry man, been there!

      reminds of what my friend’s dad said when I was younger regarding a happy marriage: “50% of arguments your wife is going to win, the other 50% you think you win, but she really wins”

  5. Di Canio played Altidore Saturday then Tuesday against a league 2 side (where he scored a goal.) This past Saturday was shaping up to be Jozy’s third game in 8 days after by all accounts a very tough preseason. I immediately wondered about the injury news and thought it might be minor, Jozy just protecting himself in front of the qualifiers.

    Di Canio shouldn’t have played him mid week. Di Canio also made some cryptic comments on MOTD after the loss against Crystal Palace a couple days ago about players being too concerned with international duty. Not sure they have many other internationals other than Jozy.

    The above is nowhere near evidence of anything, but I’m a touch worried that Altidore is starting to be in conflict with the coach. I guess I can’t blame him, Di Canio is a menace and should be replaced. I would vote for Bolton’s former coach, Owen Coyle.

    • Um, that’s just life in an EPL club. I don’t think Di Canio is over-playing him. Over playing him would have been playing him Saturday. Instead, they let him rest fully (not even traveling with the team) and he seems to be good to go. I know people don’t like Di Canio for his idiotic political statements, but as a manager, he’s not Satan, you know.

    • Altidore’s money is paid by Sunderland. He is Sunderland’s player the US just borrows him.

      EPL managers always whine about international duty. They only tolerate it because they are forced to and because players are an asset and being an international adds value to the asset. But mostly because they are forced to.

      Di Canio does not give a rats +++ about the USMNT and he shouldn’t. His job is to worry about Sunderland and you should remember that he’s the guy who believed in Jozy enough to buy him and try to build a team around him.

      So, at the very least Jozy owes him a little something.

  6. ‘USMNT head coach Jurgen Klinsmann is reportedly optimistic that Altidore will be ready for the Costa Rica match.’

    that’s kind of hard to believe. i mean, when’s the last time klinsmann was optimistic about anything? 🙂

    • I first thought you were thinking of a different coach and then I caught the sarcastic humor.

      On a serious note though; how optimistic would klinsmann be coaching the Egyptian NT right now. Bob Bradley said it would be a unfortunate not to get it it done on the field but a big shame to not qualify if the country is in disarray (just paraphrasing). It looks like that seems to be the case right now in Egypt.

  7. Would suck to burn a sub early on the road in WC qualifying. I doubt Klinsmann would take a chance on a player who’s not fully fit. He’s expressed a lot of faith in the 2nd string, and I think EJ would do a good job if Jozy’s not 100%.

  8. You got E.J. for this very scenario. Plus the guy scored this past weekend in MLS. Don’t risk Jozy for Costa Rica game unless he is fully healthy. Taking 1 point away in Costa Rica would be another major step for the program and Klinsmann. Don’t need to go for broke in this game, when a tie could still be a great result.

  9. If you had hamstring cramps late in a game I think you could play shortly after, but then why not just say he was pulled for cramping. If it was a pull there’s no way he’s recovered and no way he should be playing. Someone’s overstating or overselling.

  10. I was at Giants Stadium for the 5-0 loss to Mexico in the 2009 GC final and remotely suffered through the horror of having Mexico stage a comeback win in the 2011 GC final. There is no way I or, I suspect anyone loyal to the USA, wants to see Mexico win another game on US soil! I’m not sure if that means holding back on the CR game, but I really want a big win for the US vs Mexico.

    • I too would prefer a home win over Mexico. And for precautions, I hope we don’t start Jozy on Friday unless he’s 150%. No use in risking not only these two national games, but the start of his new club career. Especially since Sunderland loaded up on strikers.

  11. EJ is in fine form as is Ajo. Still Jozy is a league above both.. Tough call-really dependant on what Jurgen and the med staff think. This is the hardest XI to pick… Waiting for insider scoop on the SBI show!

  12. Why even risk him against Costa Rica? With Dempsey, LD, Johannsson, and EJ available, it doesn’t seem worth it. JK should keep him in pristine condition for Mexico.

      • To most fans the Costa Rica game is both a qualifier and a warm up for Mexico, but in reality it counts just as much as anyother hex game

      • hear hear

        Yes, it would SUCK to lose to mexico in columbus. However, there should be no holden 😉 back in Costa Rica. Go for the 3 points in San Jose.

        Keep your eyes on the prize folks! Brazil!!

      • The Mexico match always matters. The Costa Rica game is a nice to have. Under no circumstances should Mexico walk out of Columbus with anything but a wounded ego.

      • the chances of US qualifying after the CR game are like, 2%. Not worth it to risk losing Altidore for longer, certainly not to a hamstring injury which can linger…. and linger….. and linger for a long time.

      • Coming away w/ a point or three puts us one step closer… could mean the difference between being able to clinch vs Mexico or not. You take the points as soon as you can get them as you never know what next week will bring w/ injuries to other players etc. If he says he’s ready to go, I think you start him with the hope that you can get a lead and the flexibility to pull him at the 45 or 60 minute mark with something in the tank for Mexico.

      • Those are just mathematical percentages based upon the number of games left. The reason it’s so small, is because there are still 3 games left, and its possible that Panama or Honduras could win 3 games in a row. If we win against CR, we are on 16 points, which has long been the magic number for qualifying.

      • That percentage is for being mathematically guaranteed a qualifying spot after the win. As it stands now there is a %99 percent chance they qualify outright. If they win it changes to %100.

      • USA 6 13
        Costa Rica 6 11
        Mexico 6 8
        Honduras 6 7
        Panama 6 6
        Jamaica 6 2

        If the US win at CR, 16 is generally considered the magic number. So barring a very unlikely series of events the last three games will be almost irrelevant if the US wins at CR.

        I believe 20 is the highest point total ever achieved and it seems to me with a win at CR, 4 points from three games is certainly doable.

        While I don’t think they will use Jozy if he is not fit (they would be stupid to risk him) I think JK will go all out to beat CR and Mexico because that his been his mantra all along .

        And of course, a big part of his mantra is the whole next man up business so personally I think we will tear both CR and Mexico a new one.

    • You don’t want the Mexico game to be a must-win for the US for qualifying purposes even if it is for ego purposes. If Jozy is healthy, let him play 65 minutes and hopefully secure 3 points in what would be a historic away win.

  13. Great to hear. Regarding whether/how much to play Jozy on Friday, I say start Iceman Bacon – precisely because of his lack of experience. He may be the guy furthest removed, emotionally and otherwise, from the USMNT’s long, frustrating, and tense history of failing to win a WCQ in Costa Rica. Let’s capitalize on this insulated naivete before he starts feeling the real pressure! (OK, OK, I know it’s not the soundest reasoning, but remember Donovan in the 2002 World Cup? Google his interviews looking back on that – same thing.)

    • You do not start any new player, especially one who has never played in the hex, for an away game in a place like Costa Rica, unless absolutely necessary. Playing a game in the conditions in Central America is nothing like the conditions in Holland. Go with a veteran.

      • I think Chandler’s experience in Honduras was instructive. I don’t think he was able to handle either the heat or the intensity. It’s a big jump from the environment of Northern Europe to Central America, and from playing in the Dutch League to playing against CR in CR.

      • I concur, after the Honduras game TC didn’t want anything to do with the Hex.
        The CR game is going to be played at a more mild weather. is in the evening and the day temperature is in the mid 80s. There is a bit more of an elevation issue but not like Mexico city.

  14. So basically Sunderlands medical staff are either liars or incompetent. Me thinks liars to keep Jozy at the club. Klinsmann says thanks, but no thanks we will evaluate ourselves.

    • Hamstrings are weird. If Jozy had a mild hamstring pull, there would be no way for the Sunderland training staff to confirm it short of an MRI other than by talking to the player.

    • It was probably minor, and the benching was probably precautionary. A small strain can lead to a tear and Sunderland do not want to take a chance.

      And as far a physio’s and physical therapy? We are hands down far superior to Euro squads. This is confirmed by Beckham and Keane of the Galaxy who preferred treatment from LA’s physical therapy than by Irelands, or in the case of Beckham, AC Milan’s (whorn he suffered an Achilles tear).
      The German WC team under Klinsmann actually hired US trainers and physio’s for the German team, much to the chagrin of the German Federation.

    • Why would they lie and leave him out of the 18 for their league game? If they were going to lie they would pull a Fergie by having Jozy go a full 90 then say he injured his hammy later.

      • becuase this is a world cup year, and we dont need our #1 striker going down for an extended period of time with a torn hamstring? THere is a reason that athletes take their time with hamstrings. Just because an MRI says there’s no damage doesn’t mean that he isn’t at risk. Give him 3 more days of training and treatment and put him on the field for Mexico. We’re not qualifying after the CR game anyway, it’s stupid to risk him.

        Oh, and it doesnt say he’s healthy, or ready to go, just that he’s been cleared to resume workouts.

      • And 3 days are going to make all the difference? Why even “risk him” at all if we stand a decent chance to qualify with different options?

      • I did say “if he’s healthy.” I don’t see any reason why the three extra days make such a big difference. Plus, even if we’re unlikely to clinch qualification with a win in the CR game, obviously our chances of qualifiying eventually are better with 3 points in CR than with 1 or 0.

        We can’t afford to take any game less than 100% seriously until qualification is clinched. Even then, winning games is important for seeding.

  15. As much as I’d like to see him start Friday…I’d prefer that he’s healthy for the Mexico game…and he’s given more time to recover. Maybe fully rest/save him for Mexico or bring in as a late sub this Friday.

      • I would like to See Aron get a start but I dont think this is the game for it. Im thinking EJ will get the nod and Aronwill be the sub.

      • You’re right EJ will probably get it but I’d like to see AJ. Understandable for Klins to play the vet tho.

      • I feel like EJ’s recent run of form has been overshadowed by Jozy’s goal scoring streak. EJ’s been on fire for club and country. Can’t really hold the ball up like Jozy, but with Klinsy ball they’re working it up from the back anyway. The need for a hold up striker is diminished, especially with LD back.

      • Yeah, but the give-away striker is not the favored option, either. I go with the others who like EJ as a sub when everyone’s tired. I just can’t stand seeing him pretend to be Messi and wait ’til they rob him.

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