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Klinsmann's only focus is Portugal on Sunday
by Paul Kennedy, June 18th, 2014 12:24AM

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TAGS:  men's national team, world cup 2014

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[BRAZIL 2014] While he had yet to receive the results of the MRI on Jozy Altidore's injured hamstring, U.S. national team coach Jurgen Klinsmann remained hopeful his star forward could return before the end of the World Cup. But with or without Altidore, Klinsmann had everyone focused on the next opponent, Portugal, refusing to let his players revel in their dramatic win over Ghana.

“With Jozy, we’ve got to see now how he reacts the next couple of days with his hamstring,” Klinsmann told reporters after the USA's return to its Sao Paulo base camp on Tuesday following the 2-1 win over Ghana. “We are full of hope that he comes back still in this tournament. That’s what we’re going to work on every day. The medical staff is doing a tremendous job for weeks, so we still have to hope that Jozy will be back. How quickly? That is down to his healing process.”

All three subs Klinsmann made on Monday night partly related to injuries. Altidore went off midway through the first half after pulling up on a run down the left wing. Matt Besler came off at the half with tightness in his hamstring. Alejandro Bedoya (hip pointer) came off for Graham Zusi. Then there was Clint Dempsey, who played for almost the last hour with a broken nose.

"He barely could breathe," Klinsmann said of Dempsey. "He struggled with that, but once it’s broken it’s broken. It will take time to heal completely, but unfortunately, it’s part of our game. He’s going to be all right.”



Only Altidore will likely miss the game in Manaus against Portugal, the sole focus of Klinsmann, his staff and players from now until Sunday night.

Klinsmann said it was easy for players and coaches to caught up in the emotion of a big win, but he said the message was clear: "Stay on the ground, stay focused, and the next game is more difficult than the one we just played."

The USA flew back from Natal to Sao Paulo in the middle of the night so everyone could immediately get back to work.

"The trick now is getting everyone focused on Portugal," he added. "On their situation, on our scouting work. We only talk now how we can beat this Portuguese team. This is our goal. We believe in it."


7 comments
  1. Mark Hardt
    commented on: June 18, 2014 at 9:39 a.m.
    You would think Klinsman would carry at least one more Forward. Now he has just Wondo and Johannssen who do not play the same kind of game. He will have to tweak the game plan to account for the different skills of the remaining two. Landon would have posed the same problems that those two do. However, Boyd would have been an exact fit. I suspect Boyd was canned for mouthing off about a goal he scored in the closed door session against LA Galaxy II. One thing is clear Klinsi punishes players for off field infractions such as taking a sabbatical.

  1. Terry Ellis
    commented on: June 18, 2014 at 9:54 a.m.
    Can they not declare a player out and then call in another that might be needed now? Landon? Just wondering as Altidore is probably out for the whole world cup. Hamstrings do NOT heal in a week or two

  1. I w Nowozeniuk
    commented on: June 18, 2014 at 10 a.m.
    Amici sportive, always complaining and second guessing. Time to put LD to rest; Portugal is next and they'll show up with venom.

  1. Ric Fonseca
    commented on: June 18, 2014 at 2:07 p.m.
    Well put, I w N! Thank you!!!

  1. BJ Genovese
    commented on: June 18, 2014 at 7:52 p.m.
    The roster is final 24 hours prior to the start of the competition. After that you have to finish the tourney with your final roster.

  1. cisco martinez
    commented on: June 18, 2014 at 8:15 p.m.
    Sad to see altidore out, I agree with what many have written, hamstring injuries are 1-2 weeks, and even then his fitness will be limited. We can beat Portugal, we just need to counter well, play well defensively, and again execute on set pieces. Moreover, bradley needs to get a hold of the midfield, we lost the midfield battle against ghana, 1v1 on Beasley v nani and Johnson v ronaldo are what will determine the game.

  1. Steven SIegel
    commented on: June 19, 2014 at 9:28 a.m.
    Portugal will attack heavily. A draw is terible for them. That would leave them -5 in Goal Difference to the US with the final group game remaining. This will be a different game than the first.


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