The elation felt by U.S. fans when Clint Dempsey scored just 29 seconds into their 2-1 victory over Ghana on Monday quickly turned somber when striker Jozy Altdore pulled up with a strained hamstring and had to be stretchered off in just the 20th minute. He was replaced by Aron Johannsson.
As terrible as it was for the team to lose a starter so early in a World Cup campaign, it was even worse for Altidore personally. He finally ended a 27-match goal drought for club and country by scoring twice in the U.S.'s final friendly before the tournament against Nigeria, ending months of torment and scrutiny. U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann told ESPN's Jeremy Schaap afer the game that he did not have an update on Altidore's condition.
A short time later, Clint Dempsey took a high leg to the nose, causing him to bleed and forcing him to come off momentarily to receive treatment. With his leaky nose plugged up, he continued on, but later said he suspected his nose had been broken.
The damage didn't end there. Defender Matt Besler was also grabbing at his hamstring before halftime and was substituted for John Brooks at the start of the second half as a precaution.
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