Photo by ISIphotos.com
By FRANCO PANIZO
SAN JOSE, Costa Rica — It is looking more and more like the U.S. Men’s National Team will have to make do without one of their most in-form players vs. Costa Rica.
Jozy Altidore remains an injury concern ahead of the Americans’ World Cup qualifier against Costa Rica on Friday night due to the thigh injury he sustained while training with Sunderland last week. Altidore was limited in training on Wednesday morning, and his availability for the match against the Ticos will be determined following Thursday evening’s practice at Estadio Nacional.
“We take it day by day. Today will be another big step to kind of make sure that everything is healed,” said U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann. “We did MRIs, we did tests, it’s all good, nothing can happen, but obviously he hasn’t trained at a full rhythm for 7-8 days, so you want to kind of just get him there.
“We see this afternoon, we stretch him a bit more and more than yesterday, now how is he feeling.”
The loss of Altidore would be a big one for the U.S., but Klinsmann will still have a number of options should the 23-year-old striker not be able to suit up. Among Klinsmann’s options are Clint Dempsey, Eddie Johnson, Aron Johannsson and Landon Donovan, who made it sound as if he preferred to play up top at this point in his career when talking to the media on Wednesday.
“Recently, I’ve been playing a lot as a forward,” said Donovan, who spent time up top and as a right midfielder during the Gold Cup in July. “I think that’s been going well and I feel comfortable there. I am happy to play wherever, as I always have been.”
What do you think of Altidore still being a question mark ahead of Friday’s game vs. Costa Rica? Expecting to see him on the field in any capacity against the Ticos? Who would you like to see Klinsmann deploy up top if Altidore can’t go?
Share your thoughts below.