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World Cup Qualifying

Altidore named USMNT captain for Panama qualifier

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Photo by Bill Barrett/ISIphotos.com

By FRANCO PANIZO

Age is nothing but a number.

U.S. Men’s National Team head coach Jurgen Klinsmann has selected young forward Jozy Altidore as the Americans’ captain for their final 2014 World Cup qualifier in Panama on Tuesday night. The match will mark the first time that the experienced 23-year-old forward has worn the armband for the full national team.

The U.S. squad that will take on the Canaleros at Estadio Rommel Fernandez is comprised mostly of reserves and younger players, but veterans like DaMarcus Beasley (who Klinsmann named captain earlier this year) and Kyle Beckerman are on the team. Still, it is Altidore that Klinsmann has surprisingly chosen to lead the Americans as they try to close out their successful qualifying campaign with a victory over Panama.

Altidore has scored in each of his last six starts for the U.S.

What do you think of Altidore being named captain? Surprised the armband was not given to Beasley or Beckerman? Think Altidore could be a future U.S. captain?

Share your thoughts below.

78 comments
      • ATX_Colin

        Yes I have been waiting on that, as well as player grades form Jaimaca game. Ives seem to be posting less and less on here.

        Like

  • Scott e Dio93

    It wouldn’t perfect to rest Altidore, test-out a new starting striker for this game.

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  • John

    I like the move. Aot of it has too do with who is on the roster at the moment but still he has had a great summer for us. I think perhaps its also Klinsmann sending him back to Sunderland with alittle encouragement. Even though he has had a rough start I think Klinsmann likes that he is pushing himself up a level.

    Like

    • Modibo

      Not sure about that, but this seems like a move that is as much a push as it is a pat on the back. Klinsi is all about testing players at the next level, and this is his chance to see Jozy fill bigger shoes.

      “Ok, you can score goals. That’s good. Now, score the goals, AND be the leader on the field with guys who are older and more experienced than you in a hostile environment against a team that is fighting for its tournament life.”

      That’s one read, anyways. Klinsi does not seem to give out and out feel-good rewards very much.

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      • John

        You could argue that Jozy is the only lock starter for Brazil taking the feild tonight. Just about everyone else is really going to be motivated by trying to get a spot.

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    • Nick

      Tony Meola was the youngest captain at a World Cup in 1990 at 21 years old. He’s probably the youngest USMNT captain ever.

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      • Andrew

        pretty sue Mike Windischmann was the captain of the US at Italia ’90, though not sure how old he was

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    • GW

      “playing awful recently”?

      He has scored for the US in each of his last six starts. He has been one of Sunderland’s best players since the beginning of the season.

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    • louisz

      I think so too after the bad game that he had, it was so bad that he didn’t want to celebrate his goal because it was given to him in a platter by Castillo.

      Like

  • SanFran415

    Absolutely ridiculous! Aron Jóhannsson clearly deserves the captain’s armband. Honestly, I’m starting to lose faith in Jürgen Klinsmann. If he continues to make poor decisions like this, I hope we can find a replacement in time before the World Cup starts.

    Like

  • the original jb

    I like the move. Think its a big show of confidence in Altidore by JK. Jozy does seem much more mature both on and off field, and he has challenged himself as JK asked. And, after Bradley, he may be our most important player next summer.

    Like

  • KNPonder

    While it probably means Beasley is not starting, what about Beckerman? Figured that Beckerman would be in the 11 tonight and pick up the armband in Beasley’s place. Wonder if JK will be going with Klejstan and Diskerud in center midfield with two strikers up top. Cameron back at CDM? It will be interesting to see.

    Like

  • KNPonder

    Interesting to note that Jozy has the most caps on the current roster outside of Beasley.

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  • luke

    Not sure what to think… has a poor game and is named captain? What message does that send?

    Like

    • history cool

      most senior player in camp I believe or maybe that’s Beasley. Anyway yeah he had a poor game but maybe this is JK’s way of inspiring him. Being captain for the final game in qualifying is more important than being captain in a friendly

      Like

    • GW

      “luke says:
      What message does that send?”

      That it is a 90 minute game and you evaluate a player by the entire game not just the minutes where he was bad. That the team won the game.

      Once the subs came in and they got the midfield and offense sorted, Jozy did his job which is to score.

      Cliché warning: “ It is where you finish not where you start”.

      Like

    • Nate

      you fail to mention the goal against Jamaica. And the fact that he had scored in SIX STRAIGHT GAMES. What message are YOU trying to send?

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  • Bac

    Good for Jozy and good for JK. Just goes to show you that when JK didn’t call Jozy in last year it wasn’t some kind of petty personal issue. Jozy has matured as a player and a person so much in the last 12 months and JK is rewarding him for his continued growth and development.
    I’m glad to see him with the armband tonight.

    Like

  • JazB

    I really, really hope we lose by at least 2 goals. Mexico can still be eliminated from the World Cup. Despite our many differences, I think this is something that everyone in CONCACAF can get behind.

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    • John

      Wouldn’t it be just as good if the only reason Mexico makes is because of us beating Panama? I’d be just as happy to hold that over them for awhile.

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      • JazB

        No, not at all. Not going to the World Cup in CONCACAF as Mexico would be hilarious.

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      • Chupacabra

        The Mexican mind does not work that way. You’re talking about people who think that putting a worm in a bottle of mescal is a good idea.

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    • GW

      There is a large contingent of Mexican fans who hope they fail to get to the World Cup because they believe the current team and system is f++cked up.

      They believe only by failing to get to Brazil will the system ever get the overhaul it needs.

      If you don’t like Mexico and believe these fans then you should root for the US to wipe out Panama.

      Like

    • Joamiq

      Wouldn’t take two goals. A Panama win and a Mexico loss will do it, as long as Mexico doesn’t score like three or more goals or something.

      Like

  • John

    If Beckerman is ever named captain of the USMNT it will be time to disband and give up on soccer in this country.

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    • KingGoogleyEye

      Do friendlies count? Because 30 January 2013.

      P.S. Little known* fact: the USMNT has lost every match that Beckerman has played in.

      ________________
      * Not widely known because, of course, it’s untrue.

      Like

    • Increase

      Yup already happened. I am kinda anti Beckerman. It’s not that he is bad, its just that he is consistently good and never great. I know that’s horrible reasoning. It’s really the hair. =(

      Like

  • JanksAbroad

    As much as I would love to see Mexico not qualify, I just can’t cheer against our boys like that.

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    • OB Rick

      I have very mixed feelings about this. I think I would accept a loss if it means Mexico not going to the WC. Hopefully their classless fans will be crying tonight.

      Like

  • AlexH

    Slightly off topic but does anybody know if Panedo can hop on a plane after the game and play for the Galaxy tomorrow? I understand it would be out of the question for a field player but what about a goalie?

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  • AcidBurn

    Hopefully the captain’s armband will tighten the flow of oxygen to his brain so he doesn’t do anything stupid and get red carded, thus keeping him out of the first game of the WC.

    Remember he is prone to stupidity late in games (ahem, Costa Rica) and I could see Panama baiting him late, especially if the game is out of hand.

    C’mon Jozy, don’t be stupid.

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    • JazB

      I don’t believe cards carry over to the World Cup. In any case, he’s probably more at risk of lazily falling asleep and getting stepped on and injured.

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      • John

        Can someone point to where this is written? I’ve heard about 10 different takes on this.

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      • Hogatroge

        It’s not written anywhere. A suspension should carry over to the next competition, but YC accumulation suspensions are amnestied for the WC Finals.

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      • dcpohl

        For the last World Cup Wayne Rooney had a suspension that carried over.

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      • Bob

        Rooney’s suspension was in the Euro 2012 tournament for a red card in the Euro qualifiers, not in the World Cup. Thus that was a UEFA decision, not a FIFA one.

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      • Hogatroge

        But yellow card suspensions are amnestied for the WC Finals, so as long as nobody gets a red or draws additional discipline from some FIFA committee, nobody’s getting suspended for the opening WC match.

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  • David M

    I’ve always defended Jozy, but he was probably the worst player on the field in the Jamaica game. And what really bothered me was that he constantly was showing his displeasure with everyone — teammates, officials, opponents… And going down and staying down much too long. Maybe this is an attempt by Klinsmann to force Jozy to grow up in a hurry.

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    • Samster

      He also falls over a lot. I think his upper body must weigh too much. He looks like bambi on ice. A good drinking game would be to take a shot every time Jozy falls over. That is, if you want to die from alcohol poisoning.

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  • Johnnypauly

    I think Castillo starts at LB. He is certainly not my favorite player, but what he showed in his limited minutes against Jamaica was promising. I think he earned a start. Praying Jozy shows maturity & class up top. I would assume wearing the armband will have a positive impact on his mentality, no?Finally, I hope JK starts an attack minded squad. Why not? What do we have to lose? Nothing, cause……..We are going to Brasìl!

    Like

  • Neruda

    It appears that Jozy is going to start. I think we see a similar team that ended the game in kc with beckerman replacing jones. Who comes off the bench then? I hope we get Boyd, Davis and johansson if he doesn’t start. Let’s lace em up already.

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  • SMIFFY

    Am I to understand that Jozy Sunderland is apt to rhubarb penetrate the zonal WORLD CUP left alone despite a TOTAL fitness levels for a Jurgenn horticulture share NOTHING but yes, now that we all can only snapple on the cusp of fissure a decision? Please. This is an OK sconce to RED CARD? Surely a Shea sophisticate locker room permanence symbiotically JOZY JOZY again, these drapes. DO you think an ewe was NOT JOZY. AGAIN?

    Like

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