FOXBORO, Mass. — Jozy Altidore played 45 minutes in the United States men’s national soccer team’s 1-0 win over Haiti in Friday’s Group A game in the 2015 Gold Cup at Gillette Stadium.
The 27-year-old forward still is working his way back to full health after suffering a hamstring injury in May. Altidore was replaced by Gyasi Zardes at halftime, and the 23-year-old forward created the game’s only goal with a tremendous pass to Clint Dempsey just two minutes into the second half.
“I felt OK, but still my sharpness just isn’t there yet,” Altidore said after the match. “Just slow. I’m not feeling up to speed with everyone else, everybody else is playing at a different speed than me. I’m just trying my best, that’s all I can do.”
Altidore also played 59 minutes in Tuesday’s 2-1 win over Honduras, and with the U.S. having already clinched the top spot in Group A with its win over Haiti, the final group stage game against Panama on Monday night could be a good opportunity for the veteran forward to take another step in his recovery without the pressure of a must-win situation.
“He’s still in the process of getting his fitness and becoming 100 percent Jozy Altidore,” U.S. manager Jurgen Klinsmann said. “Coming back from that hamstring, it’s not going to happen over night. He knows that, we know that.
“He’s working hard in training and his minutes in the games. We know he’s going to come sooner or later into this tournament and will score some goals. But we also want to be kind of cautious about what we’re doing with him, and how we’re doing it, so it’s not a problem at all.”
Thumbnail photo via Stew Milne/USA TODAY Sports Images