If you have ever wondered what a little bit of confidence can do for an athlete’s performance then you don’t have to look any further than Jozy Altidore.
Altidore has been at the ire of many United States National Team supporters for his uninspiring play for the red, white and blue but he’s finally emerging into the tenacious finisher and legitimate scoring threat that the U.S. needs.
Altidore, a player that has been playing exceptionally well in Europe but has never really made an impact on the national team, is finally rounding into form. His confident play continued Tuesday night as he scored his third goal in as many games after going a year-plus without a goal for the national side.
More than anything, Altidore just looks more fluid in everything he’s done in the last three matches for the Yanks and it marks the first time in his USMNT career that he has scored in three consecutive contests. Not only has his goals been impressive but his overall play has been top class. His defense, his passing and most importantly his runs have been top notch for a national club that needed another scoring threat besides captain Clint Dempsey.
Altidore was running on all cylinders but more importantly the entire USMNT was in top shape against Panama. Besides one or two sieves in the defensive back line the Yanks were in control from start to finish and created scoring chance after scoring chance. In fact, the 2-0 victory was probably their most impressive performance under new manager Jurgen Klinsmann. The U.S. should have beaten Panama but it was how they beat them that was worth noting.
With Jozy Altidore rounding into form, along with the rest of the squad, the U.S. National team is in prime position to secure a berth in next summers World Cup in Brazil. The Yanks sit at the top of the CONCACAF standings with ten points and they have two of their next three qualifiers on U.S. soil, a place where they are undefeated in their last 24 matches (22-0-2).
The U.S. supporters, more affectionately known as the American Outlaws, will soon need to come up with a chant for Altidore because he’s finally proving that he deserves one.