Since late 2007, Jozy Altidore has been a mainstay on the U.S. Men's National Soccer Team. During that period he's experienced ups and downs on the club side of things, playing for Villareal, Xerez, Hull City and Bursaspor before seemingly settling in with Dutch side AZ Alkmaar over the last year-plus, even scoring a hat trick against Roda JC, earning the nickname "The President" in the process.
Well, apparently that showing wasn't good enough for U.S. boss Jurgen Klinsmann.
In announcing the rosters for a slate of World Cup qualifiers, the German international made a few roster changes which raised eyebrows. One was the selection of all-time U.S. scoring leader Landon Donovan despite questionable fitness after sustaining a knee injury. However, that was secondary considering Klinsmann left Altidore off the roster in favor of MLS standouts Alan Gordon and Eddie Johnson — particularly surprising insofar as Klinsmann has repeatedly stressed his desire to see U.S. players go abroad and face stiffer competition.
Well, much like Joe Girardi when he pinch hit for Alex Rodriguez with Raul Ibanez on Wednesday night, Gordon and Johson made Klinsmann look like a genius. Johnson scored the U.S. side's only two goals of the night, one on an assist from Gordon, and the Red, White and Blue avoided an embarrassing upset on home soil to Antigua and Barbuda on Friday night.
While Altidore has played well in stints, serving as one of the few U.S. players effective in a holding forward role, it's hard to argue with the results of Klinsmann's decision. Johnson's late, stoppage-time goal provided the heroics, pushing the squad one step closer to Brazil in 2014.
Now, with one game left in scheduled qualifiers, a win over Guatemala would put the American side in the final stage of qualifying for the 2014 FIFA World Cup.
Photo via Facebook/U.S. Soccer
A blast from Jayson Werth's past. It's kind of like seeing Batman without his mask on.
Photo via Twitter/@zachrymer
"They have been rewarded for forgetting, fabricating and exaggerating. Maybe they will have a better place to live, a new car,
access to more highs, but they won't change. Most of their rewards will
be very temporary."
–Jerry Sandusky blaming his victims and redefining the term "cognitive dissonance."
We realize Clint Dempsey has had quite the international career, but we didn't want to see him get a big head about it.
Deuce Face has arrived.twitpic.com/b3i1ks
— M. (@melly2508) October 12, 2012
It sure worked on Thursday, but that Orioles magic unfortunately ran out on Friday.