Forward Jozy Altidore ended his year long drought and scored two goals to help the United States beat Nigeria in an International Friendly on Saturday. After a terrific run last season, Altidore has been struggling to find the back of the net and create scoring chances all year. These two goals will be a huge boost of confidence for Altidore heading to the 2014 World Cup.
Altidore will likely be the starting forward for the United States in the World Cup. He has great size and strength for the position, and deceptive speed that allows him to be a threat in the box. He is able to create scoring chances in the final third with nifty footwork for a player his size. The problem is that he was not able to utilize his skill-set and just could not finish off opportunities. He didn’t seem confident in creating his shot and was often hesitant to make aggressive moves.
With most forwards, all they need is one goal to bring back their confidence. Altidore proved to be a bigger threat after his first tap-in goal, becoming extremely active in helping his team keep possession. He was showing for the ball often, and helped set up several opportunities for other players as well. He got his second goal on a strong move to his right foot, burying the ball in the back of the net after a great pass by Michael Bradley.
There is no doubt that scoring two goals before a big tournament is an excellent sign for Altidore heading forward. The United States needs him to be in form and a force to be reckon with from the start in the World Cup. They have an extremely tough group, and will need goals from their young forward. If Altidore can prove to be a threat, then it greatly improves the team’s chances to advance out of the group stage.