Jozy Altidore’s Second-Half Hat Trick Fuels USMNT to Victory
After a poor first half performance, the US Men’s National Team put in a dazzling effort to secure the 4-3 victory against Bosnia on Wednesday night. Jozy Altidore scored three goals to win the game and extend the United States’ win streak to 12, which happens to be the longest current streak in the world.
Coach Jürgen Klinsmann went with a squad quite different from the one that lifted the Gold Cup last month. First team players such as Altidore and Michael Bradley featured, as well as newcomers John Anthony Brooks, Aron Johannsson and Bobby Wood. It was a mix of young and old in Sarajevo as the US continues to ride the wave of success that started with a victory against Germany at the beginning of June.
To me, Klinsmann and Altidore were the standout performers from this game. Altidore had three sumptuous goals in the second half, and Klinsmann made tactical changes in the second half. Altidore has been scoring goals left and right for club and country and has now scored in his last five games for the national team, which is a record. Klinsmann changed the formation to a 4-4-2 in the second half to give Altidore some more help up top. The plan worked perfectly as Jozy was able to control a Bradley pass right into the path of Eddie Johnson for the first goal. The next three for the US came from a combination of good passing and dominant play by Altidore.
It is very promising to see the team continue to win even with the major shuffling of players. Whether they play at home or away, or with young or old players, this team just can’t stop winning. With another round of World Cup Qualifying coming up in three weeks, the team will be poised to finish out the hexagonal in dominant form. A first-place finish would almost be expected at this point, and hopefully the team can continue to improve upon their recent results.
If Altidore can continue his goal-scoring form and Klinsmann’s tactics stay sharp, this team can be one of the most confident in the world going into the World Cup next summer. It is nice to watch a US side that doesn’t have to put in a heroic performance to win a game against European competition. We can win games by our own skill and not through a poor performance by the other team. Excited is an understatement when I try to express my feelings about our form and the possibility of bringing it to Brazil in 2014.
Bring on the hex; let the wins keep piling up!