The United States men’s national soccer team suffered an setback early in its 2014 FIFA World Cup opener against Ghana when Jozy Altidore left Monday night’s game with a left hamstring strain.
The American forward was chasing down a pass and pulled up with the injury 20 minutes into the first half. He had to be stretchered off the field at the Estadio das Dunas in Natal, Brazil.
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Aron Johannsson replaced Altidore in the U.S. lineup.
Altidore’s injury will have a significant impact on the U.S. lineup if he misses any more games. He’s one of the most talented players on the team and its best goal-scoring striker. The Americans don’t have much at forward, and their all-time leading scorer, Landon Donovan, didn’t even make the final roster.
U.S. defender Matt Besler also is dealing with a right hamstring issue, although U.S. Soccer announced his departure was precautionary. If Besler is out for an extended period, Team USA’s depth really will be tested at this tournament.
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The United States will finish the group stage with games against Portugal (on June 22) and Germany (June 26), two soccer powerhouse against whom the Americans will need to be healthy.
Thumbnail photo via USA Today Sports Images