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SBI USMNT Man of the Match: Jozy Altidore

Jozy Altidore played the hero on Wednesday night as the U.S. Men’s National Team finished group stage play perfect with a 1-0 win over Panama.

The veteran striker scored his 42nd-career international goal for the USMNT, scoring on a bicycle kick after the hour mark. Altidore was able to hold off several Panamanian defenders before hitting a shot into the back of the net for his first goal of the 2019 Concacaf Gold Cup.

Not only was Altidore a handful against Panama’s centerbacks, but he had the best looks towards goal. He missed a shot early in the first-half, but did force Jose Calderon into a strong save from point-blank range.

Altidore’s effort was rewarded with his fourth-career goal against Panama which proved to be the difference in Kansas City. Up next for Altidore and Co. is a date with Curacao in the quarterfinals on Sunday in Philadelphia.

Altidore beat out Matt Miazga, Reggie Cannon, and Cristian Roldan for the honor.

What did you think of Altidore’s performance? Who else did you think was worthy of the honor? Can you see Altidore continuing to start as the tournament goes on or is he better off the bench?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. hahahhahaha ???. Oh my goodness, Jozy Altidore scores and the world is coming to an end!!!! It is like that kid that keeps on getting D’s in school and when he shows up with ONE A everyone starts praising him. Hahahahaha???, Zardes that no one respects has scored 3 goals…..some of them beautifully choreographed in GB style of play and no one bats an eyelid….then Jozy Altidore who DID NOTHING all game long, who wasn’t a threat to the Panamanian defense in ANY WAY SHAPE OR FORM; in other words didn’t run at defenders (like Morris, lewis and Cannon), didn’t try to beat players 1-V-1, didn’t take matters into his own hands, didn’t play defense (like Zardes), missed good chances in front of goal (nothing new there), happens to score ONE beautiful poachers goal AFTER DOING NOTHING FOR THE MAJORITY OF THE TIME HE WAS ON THE FIELD and even DLOA comes out of retirement???? hahahahaha ??? way to applaud mediocracy, he is second to Zardes in the line up which means GB puts more trust in Gyasi than Jozy.

    Can’t take anything away from the goal, especially since it was a bicycle kick (and the only goal in the game!!!!) but before everyone starts lying out that JOZY”S BACK…..let him at least win his place back from GYASI ZARDES ?

    • And he made about a thousand runs into the box that came to nothing because Lovitz, Lewis, Morris, and Cannon couldn’t put in a halfway decent cross.
      The performance was far from Jozy’s best nor was it a bad performance. Kind of like the team as a whole. We needed a draw we got a win, next match please.

      • He made runs and never got service…true, BUT WHEN HE DID GET THE BALL what did do with it? Did be try to take on players 1-v-1? Did create a chance for himself? Was he a threat to Panama? Did he look dangerous at all? No, No ,No and No. So yes, let move on to the next game and not make a big deal out of a player second to Zardes in the lineup.?

      • Did anyone else even take a shot? I guess Lewis had the one blocked but our midfield did virtually nothing for most of the night.

      • Bro 16th and 21st minute body took two shots. One went wide keeper blocked other one. He was decent this game. You all must have pregamed a little to hard? and got bored tuned out the bore fest of a game.

    • Have you been in hiding? Been a while, glad to see you back. As for Jozy, he’s always had his detractors from the very first. He has been called lazy, inept, can’t score, only scores in meaningless games, and so on. They look at his failures, on two of the worst teams ever in the EPL, and ignore his successes in Holland where the Eredivisie is still certainly better than MLS or Liga MX. Ajax almost made the UEFA CL final this year.

      • agree with this Gary. I remember Jozy’s holdup play back in his EPL days, on those terrible teams, and making that case. nice to agree with you. the real tests start now of course, I think Gyasi has the spot with Jozy off the bench in the game changer role. Gyasi has shown well helping connect and dropping into the spaces above the D CBs too

      • Sorry Gary, that isn’t the case for me. I was a huge supporter of Jozy during his Alkmaar days and I was thrilled when he signed for Sunderland. Watched every game of his and he was definitely a disappointment. That’s okay though because a lot of great strikers can’t cut it in the Premier League. His move to the MLS during the prime of his career is what I, to this day, find frustrating. Similar to Bradley. Bradley did well in Germany, had a failed stint in England, then, after not being able to break into a strong Roma side, came back to the MLS. So, either these players realized, like Dempsey, that their career trajectory was on the downward spiral and they needed a final hoorah in the sun, or they believed the MLS was a step up from Roma and Sunderland. Which of these sounds more logical to you? Honestly, I loved watching Bradley and Altidore ten years ago, in the same way, as a Manchester United fan, I loved watching Rooney ten years ago. Rooney is a legend for that club but I was thrilled to see him leave. So just because I and others like me say things like “Altidore and Bradley are way past it” doesn’t mean I’m overlooking their many past exploits. Having watched their careers closely as a USMNT supporter, I don’t think they are half the players they used to be a decade ago. They’ve lost pace and they are not competing against top competition week in and week out. And that says nothing of their failure in our recent World Cup qualification debacle. I think it’s pretty silly that every time one of these players does something well, people come out and write “where are the naysayers now?” Come on. Rooney just scored a screamer for DC United but no Manchester United fan is watching that and saying, “Oh man, we never should have sold him!” Heck, even David Beckham looked great in his recent Legends match and many of us were ironically saying “Sign him up right now!” Great players can still do great things at any given time. I expect Bradley to ping a sweet pass across the field; I expect Altidore to score a worldy every now and then. But that isn’t the point. They are way past it and the USMNT needs to move forward. Is Rooney still playing for England? No. Is Zlatan still playing for Sweden? No. Those countries have moved on from their living legends. Why can’t we?

    • @sorderus, I watched all of those games too. They never even tried to play him to his strengths, often would not pass him the ball! He was forced to go get it, thus the hold up play develpoment he showed. Get it? You say you watched all the games, so you must remember these things. Anyway, Jozy is not Beckham or the second coming of anything, he’s Jozy Altidore, warts and all, and as good an option as the USMNT has at the 9, whatever his age (just 29 still, right?). And regarding age, you misconceive the arc of the traditional male American soccer player. Because of the lack of soccer culture in USA compared to the rest of the world, our soccer IQ lags tremendously as our kids develop, and the nuances that players from other countries arrive with from having consumed it from birth, passed on by their families, are generally missing in American players. This dynamic is changing as wall to wall soccer on TV has helped initiate our youth better, and the next generation flows through from US families that are actually soccer families, but it is still reality. Someone like Gonzo, a player I’ve always enjoyed, looks too old now whether he was ever at the level you want or not, but the idea that youth is better simply because they are young lacks some depth regarding any analysis of the US pool, although we have some nice young players too

      • @beachbum Not that I disagree with all of your sentiments, but you are clearly bringing an American bias to your analysis. I lived in England/Wales during the time Altidore played for Sunderland and most of the Sunderland fans I talked with called him a flop. Of course, you’re entitled to your opinion regarding why Altidore failed in England at two different clubs, but many Sunderland fans disagree with you. As do I. Strengths? To be honest, I’m not sure what Altidore’s greatest assets are. For a big man, he isn’t great in the air. He’s a ‘flat-track-bully’ like Lukaku, but he isn’t fast or great in 1-v-1 situations. During his Villareal days, he had more dynamic to his game; he was faster with and without the ball. In Holland, I remember him scoring different kinds of goals. Screamers from 25 yards out. Free kicks. Tap-ins. Corners. Since then, it seems as if he has packed on 25 lbs. of muscle. That has made him slower and less effective in all areas since he is still not a great target forward like, say, Brian McBride or even Clint Dempsey. By the way, I never said, “Don’t play Altidore because he isn’t Beckham!” That’s ridiculous. Obviously, the USA has never had a Rooney or a Zlatan or a Beckham. The reason I say “Don’t play Bradley and Altidore anymore” is because I believe we have better players in those positions, regardless of which formation you prefer. Today, Tyler Adams is a better CDM than Michael Bradley and Will Trap. It is ridiculous that he does not get a chance to play in the number 6 role simply because we need to accommodate a lesser-quality player. The striker role, as you know, is debatable. I’m assuming you wouldn’t play Wooten or Sargent or Wood or Novakovich or Zardes or Morris or even Weah in place of Altidore, and I can’t blame you for that (though I disagree with you). But instead of trying to make the case that ‘Altidore is our best striker because he is a great striker’, we should be making the case that ‘Altidore is our best striker because America stinks at developing good strikers right now’. Seriously, I would take 2002 Clint Mathis over anyone in our striker pool right now and I really didn’t like Clint Mathis. Addendum: I played forward in college, and afterward at a small club in Wales, so, yes, the ‘striker’ role is a touchy subject for me. Still wishing Charlie Davies hadn’t lost his career; he was the last truly ‘exciting’ striker we had…

    • I love it! Welcome back. Rumors of your demise were greatly exaggerated!

      Bring back the “SBI Originals”

      SBI MAFIA for Life

    • Hard to be a washed up player when he was never at that top form. Hope you stick around when he disappears when the real games come around or more likely when he gets injured again

  2. I’m sure all the talk will be about Jozy’s goal, but what I liked most was his hold up play and his short passing. Whether he starts or Zardes, if I were coach, would depend on the opponent. I think Jozy may be better in a closed game against CB’s who are not so physical and he can take the ball in traffic and then pass off to wingers or midfielders arriving late.

    • You have a very low opinion of other USMNT fans if you think all the talk will be about the goal! As you said, Jozy continues to show his value in dropping into the holes and spreading the ball. Better than Roldan by a mile at that job (which isn’t his job he just does it better anyway)

      • Well, it wasn’t exactly an ordinary goal and I can’t remember the last time a USMNT player scored on a bicycle kick. Can you or anyone? Now I’m curious since I can’t think of any.

      • Come to think of it that’s a great trivia question and I don’t have an answer….Any takers here on USMNT bicycle kick goals??

  3. I actually thought Cannon but maybe that’s just because of expectations. You expect Jozy to get one in against Panama’s mostly reserve side. Cannon was very dangerous especially in the first half everything was coming down his side.


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