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SBI USMNT Man of the Match: Jozy Altidore


Jozy Altidore netted the first goal of the U.S. Men’s National Team’s 2016 campaign last time out, and the forward one-upped his performance Saturday night with a late game-winner.

Level through the first 89 minutes, Altidore’s last-gasp winner proved to be the difference in the U.S. Men’s National Team’s 1-0 victory on Saturday. The goal, Altidore’s second of the young season, earned the forward honors as SBI U.S. Men’s National Team Man of the Match.

Throughout the 90 minutes, Altidore remained among the more active USMNT attackers. Creating several chances, Altidore was thwarted numerous times by Canada goalkeeper Maxime Crepeau. Unfortunately for Canada, Crepeau was left helpless on the 89th minute winner, as Altidore’s powered header from an Ethan Finlay cross sealed the USMNT’s second victory to kickstart the 2016 campaign.

Altidore’s goal proved the difference in the game and in the Man of the Match voting, as the forward topped Lee Nguyen, Jordan Morris and Mix Diskerud for Saturday’s honors.

What did you think of Altidore’s performance? Who stood out to you in Saturday’s USMNT victory over Canada?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. Jozy was good, while most others were average or poor. The Canadian early pressure had the USA back-passing for large stretches. Zardes set a record for first touches with a 20 yarder, 3 times the MLS average.

  2. For me this was a watershed game! A new generation of players exhibiting real technical skills with real creative intentions. Watching Nguyen literally dance across the midfield; watching numerous examples of quick, short passes to escape defenders; watching defenders (Besler) carry the ball forward and forwards coming back consistently to help out — all of this screams out a new generation with a new attitude. Sure there were downsides: poor touches, mental mistakes, a sometime sense of helter-skelter. But overall, I found the game not only interesting but exciting. Two of the less positive elements: although I love the “bite” he adds to the team, I thought that Jermaine was more auditioning than playing; Zardes NEEDS TO WORK ON HIS TOUCHES!. Finally, (TJ, you knew that this was coming eventually!) while MB had his usual competent game, FOR ME, he was the gray background on an otherwise multicolored field. He has an exceptional ability to make creative passes into the box, but when it comes to facilitating a quick passing, possession game, for me, he falls flat. With the current numbers of young technical players he can certainly be the one to calm down the helter-skelter but as they become more mature, I’m afraid that I personally don’t see him as the creative general.

    • When it comes to distribution, we still don’t have anyone better than Bradley. If one of the youngsters steps up and performs, then he can go back to his best role, but for now he is pretty indispensable, especially on corner kicks. I see a lot of people complaining about Zardes’ first touch and this has been a constant lately, so I made it a point to watch him closely. He messed up on his first two attempts, but then so did Jozy and a couple of other guys. Because Canada came out with a lot of energy and were pressing high from the start, I think the US were on their heels for the first 15 or 20 minutes or so and it took them a while to adjust. I think they were expecting Canada to just bunker down. After that early spell, Zardes didn’t have any real miscues that I saw. He did get muscled off the ball a time or two, but he made a great pass to set up Jozy for the shot that hit the side post, he got behind the defense on the wing pretty consistently and made decent crosses. And one thing that I imagine endears him to Klinsmann is that he works hard and helps out on defense. You will see him back on D and then a minute later attacking into the opponent’s box. I think it is things like that that fans often overlook but coaches catch, especially when they review the games on video.

    • Jones was lucky not to have a PK called against him for fouling Larin in the first half (the play where Larin had handled the ball prior to being taken down). I don’t care how much effort JJ gives, his talent isn’t there anymore. He had a lovely swan song in Brazil, but he is too old and makes too many poor passes to deserve even being part of the 23.

      • I don’t think he was MotM, but I don’t think it’s fair to say his talent isn’t there anymore, or that he can’t deserve recognition because of one mistake, especially when that mistake wasn’t impactful.

      • Jones was Jones and he was playing out of position because we were short of CB’s. He did okay and probably better than if we had thrown another youngster into the back line. Larin is a handful. I remember early in the game on a long ball toward a corner he just left Birnbaum in his dust; that kid is FAST.

  3. Seems like scoring a goal is the only requirement for MOTM. If anything, I’d give it to Finlay. He was more responsible for the win than Jozy. Jozy had already screwed up a header earlier that was just as well delivered as the one he scored.

    Was Jozy good? I’d say yes and Im not a fan. He worked hard, struggled with his touch at times but was far more useful than Morris that also struggled with touch. You can’t run past everybody at thins level Jordan. Better start working on dribbling and touch

    Nobody really stood out in my mind so I guess he gets it by default.

  4. Hey heelfans, you were right man. Everyone always blowing up Michael Bradley, acting like he’s the only one who shows up to play, and giving him MOTM when he doesn’t deserve it. Gotta feel bad for the other players on the team whose hard work goes unnoticed.

  5. I think Birnbaum is in the conversation for MOTM. Not sure I’d give it to him, but he was just solid the entire game. I’m not sure I can remember even one mistake he made. No errant passes and very assured on the ball, even though he was being played out of position. I mean, he’s clearly a CB but he got shoehorned into playing RB tonight – next to Jones, no less. He didn’t really overlap, but I’m sure that was by design, and he spent half his night covering behind Jones when he marauded forward.

    The key for me was that he repeatedly defended very aggressively, winning the ball back very high up the pitch and getting the US immediately back into the attack. And I can’t remember him losing a single aerial. I was very worried when I saw him listed at RB, but I was consistently and pleasantly surprised by his performance.

    • Nah let’s keep F. Johnson in midfield.


      Notes: Cameron, Chandler are injured/recovering
      And Brooks, K-Sweat, Morris and Yedlin should be with u-23s.

      • Brooks & Yedlin will be with the Sr. Team since their clubs don’t have to release them for Olympic playoff. Morris & Jerome will be with the U-23s because Jerome is only playing in Stuttgards reserve team & since Morris signed with MLS and MLS has been good about releasing players.
        Otherwise your formation is what I’d hope to see but who knows what the coaches will do

      • Lost In Space, even if the clubs don’t have to release them, that doesn’t mean they won’t. Especially when you consider that they are going to have to release them anyway, because if they don’t release them for the Olympic playoff game then Klinsmann will just call them in for the WC qualifiers where they are forced to release, so what would be the point of saying no for the clubs?

        If Klinsmann is smart, and I am giving him the benefit of the doubt, then I am sure Brooks and Yedlin will go to Colombia.

      • K-Sweat, that’s the nickname. Chants create themselves when he starts scoring, just take the hook from Keith Sweat’s Nobody, and substitute a few soccer terms.

  6. This is a different team with a healthy, motivated, and fit Jozy Altidore. He took ownership of his struggles the past few seasons and seems to have matured into a veteran on this club.

  7. No one else was more deserving because not too many stood out that much. On the other hand, it really was a team game for the US with a lot of players involved and most acquitted themselves as pretty good to good.

  8. Ok wait a minute…Wait a damn minute. Where is Jozy Altinoscore and who is that guy on the field now in 2016? Missed some chances yes but the effort is promising (he was trying all game!!!) and the determination resulted in a goal (He is totally killing my negative bias)
    Finlay comes in with less than 7 minutes to go (good job Klinmann, finally) and does what he does best…….assists
    Darlington Nagbe is the attacking midfielder the USMNT NEEDS. His composure changed and improved everyone’s game around him, more so the general Michael Bradley’s
    Even without the goal we looked compose, with one touch passes, getting ourselves confidently out of trouble and moving the ball around well
    Lee Nyugen and Kiesewetter put in effort in their respective spots. We are still a little rust in the 18 but the chemistry is slowly coming together (I know I know its CANADA and a friendly. I know)
    Francis very calm on the ball (these Stanford players) can’t wait to see him and Morris this season in MLS
    ….everyone’s signing autographs and taking pictures after the game with fans? Priceless

      • ….and losing weight, avoiding injury looking for muscle mass, staying fit and showing those changes on the field immediately in two games (effort, endurance, involvement in play) is more than just a “moment”.

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