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FIFA reform chief defends Blatter

FIFA World Cup
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Klinsmann: Altidore out vs. Germany

SAO PAULO -- Jozy Altidore will miss the United States' World Cup game against Germany on Thursday because of his strained left hamstring, but there is a good chance he will return for the knockout stage if the Americans qualify, U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann said on Tuesday.

The forward was injured in the Americans' opening 2-1 win against Ghana on June 16 and didn't play in Sunday's 2-2 draw against Portugal.

"Jozy is recovering really well," Klinsmann said. "He's doing a tremendous job. Our medical staff is on top of it. This game [against Germany] comes still too early for him, but we're working on him. We're getting him back in this tournament, as we said. So once this game is done -- hopefully successfully -- we'll have a good chance to have him back then in the team."

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Germany has four points and is ahead of the U.S. in Group G on goal differential. Portugal and Ghana, who also play Thursday, have one point apiece.

Matt Besler will be included in Thursday's lineup, according to ESPN's Jeremy Schaap. The centre-back left at halftime of the Ghana match with what was described as tightness in his hamstring and had an MRI. He also appeared to be in some pain during the second half against Portugal.

"Matt Besler is no problem at all. He's looking good," Klinsmann said. "Everybody else is on board, is fit, is hungry, is thrilled to get that last result in order to qualify."

U.S. Soccer tweeted a picture at the start of Tuesday's practice.

U.S. goalkeeper Tim Howard said the team was confident about a win over Germany.

"We have a distinct advantage because we have guys who are German-Americans who know these guys and play in the German Bundesliga with them," Howard told "Mike & Mike" on Tuesday. "If it's the 80th minute and the score is to our liking, we might take our foot off the pedal a little."

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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