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U.S. Men's National Team

SBI USMNT Man of the Match: Jozy Altidore

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

By FRANCO PANIZO

It would not be much of a stretch to say that Jozy Altidore enjoyed his finest performance in a U.S. Men’s National Team jersey in Wednesday’s 4-3 win over Bosnia & Herzegovina.

He was that good.

Altidore enjoyed an impressive outing in the Americans’ come-from-behind victory in Sarajevo, as he was involved in all four of the United States’ goals in the second half. The in-form striker jumpstarted the improbable rally with an assist to Eddie Johnson before scoring a hat-trick that made Altidore the first U.S. player to ever net in five straight matches and SBI’s clear choice for Man of the Match.

While Altidore was clearly the top performer in the win, other players delivered solid outings as well. Michael Bradley once again shone in the U.S. midfield, Tim Howard made a number of fine saves to keep the Americans from falling behind after equalizing, and Aron Johannsson showed plenty of promise in his U.S. debut.

Still, it is Altidore who will be remembered most in this game. His hat-trick, which included a picture-perfect free kick, extended the Americans’ record winning streak to 12 games and also gave them their first comeback victory on European soil.

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What did you think of Altidore’s dominant performance vs. Bosnia & Herzegovina? Where do you rank it in terms of all-time individual showings in a U.S. jersey? Think he is only beginning to scratch the surface of the player he can become? Which others U.S. players impressed you the most?

Share your thoughts below.

68 comments
      • Nic D "The TX 2 Stepper"

        They got there pay day on JA. Maybe someday he will dawn the kit of the Yellow Submarine. One can only pray.

        Like

      • Leo

        As I heard it, I think they only sold him for 900k?

        Villareal took quite a loss on him, AZ was the team that got the pay day.

        Like

      • TomG

        Yes, I recall it being a free transfer, even. Whoever was making the decisions there after Pellegrini left really ruined that club.

        Like

      • MLSsnob

        They never really have him a chance, when they did I remember him producing. I remember his first game first touch was a goal.

        Like

      • TomG

        I think if Pellegrini was still there he would have taken Jozy back after the Hull loan and taken him under his wing the way Verbeek did.

        Like

  • Dan in New York

    The guy is on fire. Along with the goal-scoring and the assist, he did a LOT of dirty work throughout today. I’m really curious to see how this carries over at Sunderland. Should be fun to watch!

    Like

    • TomG

      +1. It’s going to take a bit for them to gel, though, as they could potentially wind up fielding as many as ten new starters.

      Like

    • JC

      Well said. Jozy was a beast and the frontrunner for MOTM in the first half when we were down 2-0. Then he adds a hat trick and a perfect touch to set-up the sitter for EJ. All parts of his game were on (except the pass to no one in the first half).

      Like

  • someAhole

    Can’t wait to see the damage Jozy and Bradley can inflict on Mexifail in September.

    Like

    • Shocked

      No, his layoff pass to nobody in the 1st half when he should have shot is a deduction. His celebrations could have been better too. World class strikers flop and dance much better than Altidore did today.

      Like

      • GW

        Shocked,

        You disappoint me.

        The half squat for the pre-game picture?
        The failure to hold his hand over his heart during the anthem?. Fricking commie.
        The failure to sing the anthem.?

        You are losing it, Shocked

        Like

      • Shocked

        I humbly accept a rating of 5 on my post. How could I forget the anthem? All of Bosnia sang their anthem and they do not even have lyrics!

        Like

    • AcidBurn

      Nope, after his free kick goal he did not sprint over to the sideline to celebrate with JK. He just trotted around with his arms out. Lazy, lazy, lazy.

      Like

      • Dudester

        Know Castillo has said he’s not a LB. He looked solid though in his half vs Bosnia.

        Like

      • Shocked

        Agree. When he did lose the ball, he quickly tracked back to win it back. I don’t see a place for him in Brazil though.

        Like

      • Increase

        I see Castillo there. Just not a starter he is great cover for both LB and LM.

        Like

      • MLSsnob

        Yeah the dribble that set up Jozys free kick goal was pretty impressive.

        Like

    • Shocked

      I would have loved to hear a Gus Johnson call on that goal “Altidore from the top of the key AAAWWWWGHHH!”

      Like

      • Dudester

        I would have loved to hear Ian Darke, the defacto voice of the USMNT.Drunk bastard and all.

        Like

      • Dudester

        “Release the kraken” was the highlight of his career.No way he surpasses that.

        Like

    • MLSsnob

      That’s going in against Real Madrid, Barcelona, Manchester United, Spain, Argentina…

      Like

  • Raymon

    World Cup finals should be next week, not next year. That, or they should just give us the cup now. And Sunderland a UCL spot in 2014. Jozy, turning into the humble Ibra.

    Like

  • Cairo

    Hope Jozy gets service at Sunderland. He’s not making his own chances, and Sunderland is not exactly going to out-possess most of the EPL competition. His story at Sunderland will have a big impact on our WC fortunes in Brazil.

    Like

  • kevi

    Jozy will become the greatest American player ever in Europe. Tough competition from likes of Friedel, Dempsey and now Bradley

    Like

  • Jeff Carter

    Great game by him. The freekick was an incredible shot. Even a guy like me, who has wickedly awesome shot, can appreciate that type of skill. Well done, Jozy

    Like

  • DCUnitedWillRiseAgain

    Eddie Johnson was terrible in the midfield. He needs to be a forward or not played at all. Jones gave away more passes then he completed. Unlike E. Johnson, Diskeruud is not a forward although he wasn’t terrible. Other than that everything was just splendid. That Dzeko guy wasn’t bad, but he’s no Jozy.

    Like

    • peterprinciple

      I think Klins needed to experiment with Eddie some more. He got his answer, but he still has value as well as the backup(to Dempsey with Donovan in the mix and Johanssen) #2 striker

      Like

    • MLSsnob

      Agreed, if you asked the average joe to watch the game and asked him who the world class striker was you would have gotten jozy every time.

      Like

  • DCUnitedWillRiseAgain

    What happened to the Jozy that used to fade late in games and tire easily? Who Cares?

    Like

    • TomG

      Nothing magically “happened” to him. He’s getting service now and he wasn’t before. He’s also come into his body and learned how to train. These are typical improvements that any player makes in his early twenties. He is a player who is constantly working hard to improve many aspects of his game and taking in the lessons of his managers.

      Like

      • MLSsnob

        He isn’t now just coming into his body. That’s something he’s always known how to use, remember the first goal in confed cup ’09?

        Like

      • TomG

        As i stated, he already had good turn moves with MLS, but Early on with Villareal, he would constantly pick up fouls for running over other players. Later that year, he tried to compensate by diving at first contact. It took him a while to master the nuances of using his shoulders and hips to make runs and create space without sending defenders tramploning in the opposite direction. He’s also learned how and when he should go down to draw a foul. For a while, there, he was diving unconvincingly at every contact. This is not at all surprising as it is a skill that takes many years to master. Now he rarely goes down unless he has to or there is little hope at making something of the play and a good chance of drawing the foul.

        Like

    • Fredo

      This is a new Jozy. Jürgen said it best when he said that Jozy has matured and has learned how to play with this team. Good for Jozy The Moneymaker.

      Like

      • TomG

        It’s not a “New Jozy.”. His improvement has been very gradual and befitting a young, talented striker. At NYRB/Metro, he was a big, strong player with a powerful right foot, good cut back moves, good turn moves, and good vision. At Villareal, he refined his touch, his ability to run at defenders and his body control. At Hull, he learned hold up play. At AZ, he improved his training habits, his left foot, his touch again, his runs off the ball, and his consistency.

        At no point was “Lazy” a remotely accurate or intelligent tag to lay on a player who was constantly working hard to improve his craft and add important elements to his game. At no point should anyone in their right mind be advocating that an incredibly talented, incredibly young starlet be kicked “out the door,” when he clearly brought elements to the striker pool that no other young US striker ever possessed.

        Perhaps in the future, those of you who were either too biased or too shallow in your assessment of Jozy to see what was actually going on in front of your eyes will endeavor to take a more nuanced and objective look at players now instead of summing them up with weird labels that are simply insultiong and nonsensical, beating no relation to the actual talents of the player. That may be too much to ask, I suppose, but call me an optimist.

        Like

      • Nate Dollars

        ‘Jürgen said it best when he said that Jozy has matured and has learned how to play with this team’

        klinsmann is full of crap. it’s the team (klinsmann included) that learned how to play with jozy.

        Like

    • Gary Page

      Well, if Altidore weren’t so lazy, he could have scored 4. Where are all the doubters and haters now? Most of the complainers on this and other sites aren’t qualified to wash the jocks of guys like Altidore and yet they think they know more about the game than Altidore or Klinsmann.

      Like

  • ACS

    Jozy scored as many goals as the combined teams have scored against BiH in World Cup Qualifying after 6 games.

    Like

  • biff

    Jozy’s performance was one of the most awesome ever. Simply stunning. And the free kick goal was almost Cristiano-Ronaldo-esque. That will be a great weapon to have next summer in Brazil. Jozy has never looked in better physical shape than he did yesterday. The switch to Sunderland and Di Canio was definitely the right move and I got a feeling it will last for only one year because Jozy will be moving on after WC 2014 out of his comfort zone to the next big challenge.

    Like

    • JC

      Can’t agree more on the Altidore free kick. Jozy looked so confident up there and looks like he’s improved on that part of his game. With Clint’s ability to draw penalties in the final third, this will create so many scoring chances on free kicks for Jozy.

      Like

    • Ben

      If Sunderland can give Jozy enough service and he bags 15+ goals next year, I’d expect a move to a Champions league level club for a very nice profit. The amazing thing is he is still only 24 and has 6 prime years left in him barring injuries.

      Like

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