United States World Cup updates: Is Ronaldo done?

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Matt Besler is no problem to play against Portugal, but Jozy Altidore will have to wait and see. Meanwhile, Cristiano Ronaldo may be completely out of this FIFA World Cup.

Sorry for abandoning the ship for a few days y'all, I've been recovering from the marvelous United States 2-1 victory over Ghana and a brief trip to Las Vegas. Yes the two were linked. Yes I had an amazing time. Now it's back to reality. So let's see what the reporters in Brazil are reporting from US national team camp in Sao Paulo.

Jozy Altidore's injury was a big story from the US victory over Ghana. After Clint Dempsey's thirty-second goal, the United States still tried to build up out of the back as is the current directive. When Altidore pulled up holding his hamstring, that buildup didn't go anywhere. Howard had to start punting to midfield because the buildup would simply turn the ball over at the midway line and give Ghana more possession.

Part of being a target forward is being able to hold the ball near the midline and let the offense get forward before making your run into the box. It's hard for a young player like Aron Johannsson to know instinctively when to slow the attack down.

Getting Besler back is another key component. John Brooks was heroic as a substitute rescuing the three points the US had just squandered, but the way DeMarcus Beasley played the US needs someone who can have his back if he remains the no. 1 option. Also quite telling that Omar Gonzalez has fallen that far behind on the depth chart, not coming into that match.

Let's be honest, Michael Bradley was terrible against Ghana. Like he saw a ghost pre-match and was just spooked out the entire time.

The status of Cristiano Ronaldo is a giant mystery. There were reports that Ronaldo left practice early before the Germany match, but then he went the full 90 and despite playing below his normal level he didn't show any outward signs of injury. This report comes alongside reports that he left practice early in an open training, so plenty of witnesses, but may be blown out of proportion again.

If Ronaldo doesn't play for Portugal, the team that was absolutely torn asunder by Deutschland and lost Pepe to a red card, then the United States will have zero excuses not to go full out for the victory.

This is indeed, a big freaking deal.

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