Jozy Altidore might not be a household name yet, but he’s making a strong case to get there. Altidore, striker on the U.S. Men’s National soccer team, has been playing out of his mind during the World Cup qualifiers. He put the icing on the cake yesterday, scoring in the fourth consecutive game to tie a national team record.
Here’s a look at the score that put him in the record books:
That’s what I call a picture perfect goal. Graham Zusi leads Fabian Johnson with a pretty pass, Johnson threads the needle between three defenders to find an open Altidore driving towards the net behind him, and the rest is history.
While the goal is nice and all, the real story here might be what it means for Landon Donovan. Now 31 years old, Donovan is the all-time leader in both goals and assists for the U.S. Men’s National team. He has played with the squad in three World Cups. But he recently decided to take a three month sabbatical from the sport, and it seems that there may not be a spot for him when the 2014 World Cup rolls around.
With the team playing very well, currently leading in the North, Central America, and Caribbean group, and with Altidore proving that he is ready to be the leader of this team and play consistently great soccer, head coach Jurgen Klinsmann might be ready to move on from a player that felt he could skip the qualifiers and just show up for the real thing.
Landon Donovan is the U.S. Men’s National Soccer team, but it might be time for Jozy Altidore to take that title and run. It has certainly worked for him so far.
Photo via NPR