U.S. striker Jozy Altidore told ESPN’s Mike & Mike radio show this morning that he actually suffered a grade 2 hamstring tear in the match against Ghana on June 16th.
U.S. Coach Jurgen Klinsmann immediately declared Altidore out for the rest of group play.
The U.S. still advanced to the round of 16 out of the so called “group of death” that included Ghana, Germany, and Portugal.
The 24 year old Altidore suffered a similar injury on his other leg in 2011, and that kept him out for a month. He also told Mike & Mike that “this tear was similar, and I was going to be out a while in terms of the tournament”.
Altidore said that he had targeted the match against Belgium for a return, but as the match grew closer, he realized that “it was still a bit early.”
Klinsmann put Altidore on the roster as a substitute for the match vs. Belgium on Tuesday, even though it seems like they both knew that Altidore would not be able to play. The world came to the same realization after Belgium scored the first goal of the game in extra time. If Altidore had been able to play, he definitely would have been on the field.
This brings to mind NFL injury reports. The NFL is notorious for listing players as “questionable” even though there is little chance they will be able to play just so the other team has something else to prepare for.
All is fair in love and war…….and in soccer matches.