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Jozy Altidore 'ready and available' for USMNT vs. Belgium

The U.S. will have their star striker available to some degree against Belgium.

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Jozy Altidore is "ready and available" to play for the United States in their World Cup round of 16 clash against Belgium on Tuesday, according to U.S. Soccer. The forward has been sidelined ever since straining his hamstring on June 16 in the Americans' match against Ghana.

It is still unclear what role Altidore will play against Belgium. While he has apparently been cleared, there is no word on whether he will start or come off the bench. He may not even play. All we know is he's progressed enough to dress for the match.

Altidore returned to U.S. training on Friday with light jogging and has been slowly increasing his work load. The injury looked terrible when he went down in a heap against Ghana, but Jurgen Klinsmann expressed optimism the following day, saying that he thought Altidore would play again this tournament.

Clint Dempsey has started at striker in Altidore's absence and has done pretty well to hold the ball up and occupy defenders, but that work has kept him from getting into scoring positions as often as he usually does. Getting Altidore back would allow Klinsmann to put him back up top to do the dirty work and free Dempsey up to roam into playmaking and finishing spaces.