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Jun 30, 2014

Jozy Altidore fit to return with U.S. team

The United States trained at Sao Paulo FC's training ground ahead of its round of 16 meeting with Belgium. The U.S. hopes striker Jozy Altidore will be able to return to action after missing two matches due to a strained hamstring.

Striker Jozy Altidore, who has been sidelined with a strained hamstring since the United States' 2-1 win over Ghana on June 16, joined the U.S. team on Monday for a workout in Salvador, and is fit and ready to go, according to U.S. Soccer.

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Altidore has spent the past week jogging separately, but on Monday he warmed up with the team for a portion of training. The U.S. plays Belgium on Tuesday at 4 p.m. ET (ESPN/WatchESPN).

"We are very optimistic," Klinsmann said last week when asked whether Altidore might be ready to play Tuesday. "Every day is a big step forward for Jozy. It's 11 days now [since he got injured] and it's looking better every day, so we're optimistic to have him being part of the Belgium game."

U.S. vs. Belgium: Tuesday, 4 ET (ESPN and WatchESPN)

- Chris Jones: U.S. belief grows
- Doug McIntyre: Klinsmann pulls out the tricks
- Jeff Carlisle: Altidore's role vs. Belgium
- Jeff Carlisle: Klinsmann justified so far
- Roger Bennett: How far can the U.S. go?
- Doug McIntyre: Beasley's U.S. rebirth
- Read: Tim Howard assesses Belgian attack

Omar Gonzalez, who replaced Geoff Cameron in central defense for the United States' 1-0 loss to Germany, said Altidore's absence has been felt.

"Jozy's a great striker, especially when he's up there with Clint [Dempsey]," Gonzalez said. "Both can create chances, and with Jozy going out early, it's been a lot of work for Clint. He's done a great job up there. Hopefully we can see Jozy come back pretty soon, and if that's the case, it's going to be a tough task for the defenders that have to mark them."

Gonzalez said he felt the team could shoulder through should Altidore not be ready to return on Tuesday.

"We've got the guys who can come in and get the job done, can come in and add another threat," he said.

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