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US Soccer says striker Jozy Altidore ‘ready and available’ for Tuesday’s game 06.30.14 at 1:54 pm ET
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U.S. striker Jozy Altidore, out since pulling up lame with a strained hamstring in the team’s opening game of the World Cup against Ghana on June 16, is ready to return for Tuesday’s game against Belgium in the Round of 16.

U.S. Soccer announced Altidore’s status on Twitter, writing: @JozyAltidore is Ready and available for @J_Klinsmann and the #USMNT tomorrow!

Coach Jurgen Klinsmann later confirmed Altitore’s status at a press conference.

“We don’t know how much [he can play] … but he’s available,” Klinsmann said. “It’s now difficult to say how many minutes.”

Added Klinsmann: “Just having him with us tomorrow is huge.”

Altidore joined the team for part of Monday’s practice after spending the previous week jogging.


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US forward Jozy Altidore out for World Cup game vs. Germany 06.24.14 at 11:21 am ET
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United States forward Jozy Altidore will miss the team’s World Cup game against Germany on Thursday due to his strained left hamstring, U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann said Tuesday.

Klinsmann said, “We’ll have a good chance to have him back” if the Americans advance to the knockout stage, which can be achieved with a win or a tie against the Group G-leading Germans.

Altidore injured his hamstring in the team’s opening match against Ghana on June 16 — a 2-1 U.S. win — and was out for Sunday’s 2-2 draw against Portugal.

In other injury news, ESPN’s Jeremy Schapp reported that Matt Besler will be in the lineup Thursday. Besler sat out Sunday’s game with what he called tightness in his hamstring.

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US soccer star Jozy Altidore ruled out of Portugal match with hamstring injury 06.19.14 at 2:03 pm ET
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If the U.S. men’€™s national soccer team is going to defeat Christiano Ronaldo and Portugal on Sunday, it’€™s going to have to do it without one of its best players.

U.S. forward Jozy Altidore will be sidelined for the World Cup match due to a strained left hamstring that the Livingston, N.J., native suffered during the team’s€™ 2-1 victory over Ghana on Monday.

“It’s bad news, but I think the team will handle this,” said midfielder Jermaine Jones. “We have to handle that.”

U.S. spokesman Michael Kammarman did not state the severity of Altidore’€™s injury, but added that the team hopes that the Sunderland product will be able to return at some point in the tournament.

Chris Wondolowski and Aron Johannsson, who replaced Altidore during Monday’€™s game, are expected to fill Altidore’€™s vacant spot at attack.

“I would say there’s a lot of similarities,” said midfielder Kyle Beckerman. “They both help the team in offense, defense. They do a lot of stuff that’s not on the stat sheet. They’re both tricky with the ball, and they both have a nose for goal.”

“[Wondolowski] is more the finisher in the box,” Jones said. “Aron is more maybe the guy who’s good with the ball and tries to go one against one.

Altidore is not the only U.S. player dealing with injuries going into Sunday’€™s game. Captain Clint Dempsey suffered a broken nose during Monday’€™s match after being hit in the face with John Boye‘€™s shin during a fight for a header.

Dempsey will play Sunday, but has yet to decide on whether he will wear a mask to protect his nose.

Defender Matt Besler, who was sidelined with a right hamstring injury on Monday, should be available for Sunday’€™s contest, according to Kammarman.

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US ‘full of hope’ Jozy Altidore will return in World Cup 06.18.14 at 11:37 am ET
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The U.S. men’s national team left Americans overjoyed on Monday after an exciting 2-1 win over Ghana in the team’s World Cup opener. But what couldn’t be overlooked was the loss it suffered in the first half.

Striker Jozy Altidore left Monday’s game early with a strained left hamstring, and was replaced by Aron Johannsson for the remainder of the match, leaving the U.S. without one its best players for an extended period of time.

Americans now can breathe a sigh of relief.

Altidore had an MRI on his hamstring Tuesday and the results were seemingly positive enough to leave coach Jurgen Klinsmann optimistic that the 24-year-old can still play a role at the World Cup.

“We’ve got to see how he now reacts the next couple of days with his hamstring, and we’re full of hope that he comes back still in the tournament.

“That’s what we’re going to work on every day. The medical staff is doing a tremendous job [for] weeks, so we still have the hope that Jozy will be back. How quickly, that is down to his healing process.”

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Wednesday’s Morning Mashup: Yankees reportedly looking for way to cut ties with Alex Rodriguez after PED allegations 01.30.13 at 7:51 am ET
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Welcome to Wednesday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

NBA: Kings at Celtics, 7:30 p.m. (CSNNE; WEEI-FM)
NBA: Heat at Nets, 8 p.m. (ESPN)
NBA: Lakers at Suns, 10:30 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Villanova at Notre Dame, 6 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Northwestern at Michigan, 6:30 p.m. (Big Ten Network)
College basketball: Oklahoma at Baylor, 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Texas at Kansas State, 8 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Indiana at Purdue, 8:30 p.m. (Big Ten Network)
College basketball: DePaul at St. John’s, 9 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Oregon at Stanford, 11 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: UC Santa Barbara at Long Beach State, midnight (ESPNews)
NHL: Blackhawks at Wild, 8 p.m. (NBCSN)


‘™¦ Following Tuesday’s Miami New Times report detailing Alex Rodriguez‘ alleged recent PED usage, reports have emerged that the Yankees are discussing their options — including if there’s a way to get out from under the final five years (and $114 million) of A-Rod’s contract.

There is no precedent for a team to void a contract of a player caught using PEDs, and the team first would have to wait until Major League Baseball conducted an investigation.

Rodriguez, through his publicist, denied the report that he made frequent visits to a since-closed South Florida clinic run by controversial nutritionist Anthony Bosch to receive human growth hormone and other PEDs.

“The news report about a purported relationship between Alex Rodriguez and Anthony Bosch are not true,” read a statement from Sitrick & Company. “Alex Rodriguez was not Mr. Bosch’s patient, he was never treated by him and he was never advised by him. The purported documents referenced in the story — at least as they relate to Alex Rodriguez — are not legitimate.”

The New York Times suggests a scenario in which Rodriguez — expected to miss at least half the season after having hip surgery — ends his career with the hip issue as the reason, and the team’s insurance company covers the remaining portion of the contract. That might be the Yankees’ only chance to break the bond with A-Rod.

‘™¦ The latest incident of racist behavior at a European soccer game occurred in the Netherlands, where American Jozy Altidore was the target of abusive fans during his AZ Alkmaar team’s 5-0 victory over Den Bosch on Tuesday in the quarterfinals of the Dutch Cup.

Referee Reinold Wiedemeijer reportedly wanted to stop the match after hearing “jungle sounds chanted at Altidore,” but Altidore and his teammates persuaded him to let the game continue. Weidemeijer did stop play briefly in the second half because of fans throwing ice at his linesmen.

Altidore, who scored a goal on a penalty kick, took the high road when discussing the fans’ behavior.

“There’s nothing I can do about it,” Altidore told Dutch television’s Eredivisie Live. “All I can do is pray for them and hope they can become better people.”

Added AZ soccer director Earnie Stewart, a former U.S. national team midfielder: “It is terribly sad that this can happen for those involved and for lovers of football in the Netherland. You hear that and wonder what on earth is going on.”

‘™¦ A youth hockey league in North Dakota is raising some eyebrows for holding a raffle for which the prizes include 200 guns, some of them of the semiautomatic variety. The West Fargo Hockey Association hopes to raise $90,000 with the March 15 raffle.

A league representative said the raffle has drawn interest from other parts of the country, but it’s also led to questions about its timing and appropriateness.

“I knew it was going to blow up, but I didn’t think it would blow up to this magnitude,” event organizer Mike Prochnow said.

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On Jan. 30, 1973, the Patriots had perhaps their best draft ever. Which three players did they select in Round 1?

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