Encouraging news from U.S. Men’s National Team camp where Jozy Altidore has been cleared to resume team workouts after an MRI on his right hamstring was declared normal.
The injury kept Altidore out of Sunderland’s 3-1 loss at Crystal Palace this past weekend, raising fears that the 23 year old may not be fit for the upcoming World Cup Qualifiers in Costa Rica on September 6th and in Mexico on September 10th.
But the doubts were erased Tuesday morning when U.S. Soccer confirmed Altidore’s clean bill of health via Twitter:
With the good news coming from the medical team U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann is reportedly optimistic that his star striker will be available for selection in Mexico, if not for Costa Rica as well.
Altidore has been on a tear of late on the international stage, scoring seven goals in his last five matches, including a hat-trick during the 4-3 win over Bosnia and Herzegovina back on August 14th. That form has helped the U.S. to a 12-match winning streak that stretches back to the 4-3 victory over Germany on June 2nd.
In the Hexagonal, the Stars & Stripes have sole control of first place with 13 points in six matches, including three straight victories over Jamaica, Panama and Honduras. The U.S., which has never won a qualifier in Costa Rica, can change history by getting the three points in San Jose. A win against Los Ticos, combined with a draw between Mexico and Honduras and Panama losing or drawing with Jamaica, will see the U.S. clinch a spot in the World Cup.
In some ways, all managers are the same: intelligent football men messing around with the puzzle that is winning matches.
But to listen to Jurgen Klopp’s introductory press conference is to get a different view. While some managers sound like they create the puzzles, or even create the game itself, Klopp speaks of the challenge with reverence.
[ MORE: Klopp unveiled as “the Normal One” ]
In other words, it seems unlikely we will be hearing him utter phrases designed at painting himself as a Picasso of the pitch, rather that of a museum curator.
For example, here’s the new Liverpool boss on the club’s history.
From JPW on Merseyside:
“Twenty-five years ago [since the last league title] is a long time,” Klopp said. “History is only the base for us, [we shouldn’t] keep the history in our backpack all day. I want to see the first step next week and not always compare with other times. This is a great club with big potential. Everything is there. Let’s try to start a new way. Everything is different – I don’t know it all but I’m a pretty good listener.”
The “normal one” speaks like an honor student, not the know-it-all professor demanding students regurgitate facts from the book he wrote and tossed on the syllabus.
And perhaps this is the manner in which the Reds will add a new, positive chapter to their storied history.
Broadcaster and New York soccer hero Shep Messing caused quite a stir with his comments during the Red Bulls/Impact match on Wednesday, and those words have cause plenty of reaction in MLS.
If you missed it, Messing claims that New York City FC is ready to move on from Jason Kreis after just one season, and that Seattle coach Sigi Schmid is set to swap jobs with the NYC boss.
Messing also claims that Caleb Porter could end his disappointing run in Portland to head back to college soccer.
Kreis and Schmid disagree. The latter says he loves the Sounders and is committed to bringing an MLS Cup to Seattle. Kreis was just flabbergasted.
“I was watching the game last night, and it caught me completely by surprise. I thought that was an absolutely ludicrous statement and unfounded,” Kreis said after training Thursday. “I have no knowledge of that information at all, and I kind of scratch my head because at the end of the day I’m very happy here.”
So is there any truth here? The Porter part makes sense, especially if the Timbers fail to make the postseason again and the brash coach wishes to go back to a place where he’s had success.
As for Schmid and Kreis, that’s a curious one. Maybe NYC’s star studded roster would like a change, and Schmid has more success with big egos. And Kreis would thrive just about anywhere, but why would NYC ditch a man who built this from scratch? They’ve invested so much in the ex-RSL legend.