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Arena and Altidore downplay biting incident

The same can’t be said for Jozy Altidore’s girlfriend

Soccer: 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup-USA  at El Salvador Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Bruce Arena and Jozy Altidore both shrugged off the biting incident in Wednesday night’s Gold Cup quarterfinal for the United States but Altidore’s girlfriend might still be mad. In the second half of the USMNT’s 2-0 victory El Salvador’s Henry Romero both twisted Altidore’s nipple and bit his back, sending Jozy to the ground. No fouls were called, and the moment passed, but certainly CONCACAF might bring discipline down the line.

“There’s a history of that in our sport,” Arena joked after the match. Asked if he felt a foul should have been called, resulting in a penalty kick, Arena was very forgiving. “These games aren’t easy,” he said. “I certainly didn’t see the play but they showed it to me afterwards, so I can’t fault the referee. Those things are not easy to see.”

Jozy also wasn’t too concerned. He didn’t even bother to check out his back. “It is what it is,” he said afterwards. “It’s never happened to me before but in CONCACAF it never ceases to amaze me. It is what it is. We’re happy to move on. We’re focused on Costa Rica.”

Asked how he held back from retaliating Jozy replied, “Barely. But like I said you have to keep your cool, cause these things happen. It’s funny enough. We shouldn’t be saying these things happen, but they do.”

That might not be a good enough answer for Altidore’s girlfriend, however. “My girl is mad at me,” Altidore joked. “She’s mad at me. She’s mad at Romero. She’s like, ‘Only I can bite you, only I can grab your nipples.’” Sounds like Henry Romero might have to answer to more than just CONCACAF.