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Maki Tall out for remainder of U-20 World Cup with broken toe

Dan Mullan/Getty Images

Maki Tall will miss the remainder of the U-20 World Cup with a broken toe, according to Top Drawer Soccer. Tall's injury will keep him out 6-8 weeks, so he should be fine for the start of the club season, but it is a big blow to the United States team.

Tall was the Americans' starting striker in their U-20 World Cup opener and scored their first goal. He came out of the match in the second half despite not looking especially tired, which many chalked up to a bad decision on Tab Ramos' part since he didn't limp off, but now it's clear that it was his toe that forced him off.

It's a bit of a surprise that Tall is already such a central figure for the U.S. He was born in Washington, D.C., but is eligible to play for France and the Ivory Coast as well, which he did before. But he switched to the U.S. in the spring and has emerged as the U-20's top center forward already.

Tall spent last season on loan at Red Star, but is set to return to Lille this summer. He should be healthy by the end of July at the latest so at worst, he'd miss just a bit of the preseason. It's unclear whether Lille want to keep him this season or if they'll look to send him on loan again, but that's a conversation for later.

Now, the status of the U-20's is more urgent, and Ramos has to figure out what to do up top. The most likely choice will be to start Bradford Jamieson IV, as the U.S. has done before, but even he isn't the same type of player as Tall -- no one else on the roster is -- and would require the Americans change their way of play some.