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Jozy Altidore officially ruled out for Portugal game

Dan Wetzel
Yahoo Sports

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SAO PAULO – Jozy Altidore will miss the United States' second World Cup group game against Portugal on Sunday in Manaus due to injury, U.S. Soccer confirmed Thursday.

"Jozy Altidore has a strained left hamstring and he will not be available for the next game," U.S. Soccer spokesman Michael Kammarman said. "But we are hopeful he will be available in the tournament."

Altidore sustained the injury against Ghana in the 21st minute of Monday's 2-1 win and had to be carried off the field. He had an MRI done Tuesday here at the U.S. base camp and has been undergoing treatment.

Coach Jurgen Klinsmann previously said he was "hopeful" the big, physical forward would return at some point of the World Cup.

"I was sprinting and I felt something, and we'll see what happens," Altidore said Monday night after the injury. "Of course it was tough for me, I was crushed. I knew right away I couldn't continue, so that was probably the worst feeling."

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Losing Altidore is a considerable blow despite the fact he has struggled to find the back of the net of late. At 6-foot-1, the 24-year-old offers a sizeable presence up front for the Americans. It was hoped he could battle for position and put pressure on Portugal, which will be without top defender Pepe because of a red card in its opening 4-0 loss to Germany.

Against Ghana, Altidore was replaced by Aron Johannsson, a talented young player who was born in Alabama but grew up in Iceland. He is one of the dual nationals that Klinsmann brought into the program to bolster depth that is already essential.

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