Jozy Altidore, the injured U.S. striker, has been ruled out for the World Cup game against Portugal on June 22 and is being replaced by Graham Zusi as coach Jurgen Klinsmann opts for a new formation that includes five midfielders.
Clint Dempsey will remain at striker, but will be the only forward in the formation.
Altidore strained his left hamstring during the victory over Ghana last Monday.
Although Altidore has been ruled out against Portugal, he has not been ruled out against Germany. That match is scheduled for Thursday, June 26.
Klinsmann and teammates believe that there’s a good chance Altidore will come back to action in Brazil, particularly if the U.S. advances to the Round of 16.
Michael Kammarman, a spokesman for the team, did tell the Washington Post that Altidore likely will not play against Germany.
The team is not discussing the severity of the injury.
Altidore played down the injury during an interview with ABC, but said that he’s focusing on returning and supporting his teammates until he does.
“I’m not really going to say any timetable,” Altidore said. “I’m just going to focus on getting myself right…just staying mentally prepared and just doing my best to get back on the field as soon as possible.”
“I’m just going to focus on getting myself right and being the best cheerleader possible for the team,” Altidore said. “I think we have a lot of good players here that are going to step in right away and do a good job for us.”