[AMERICANS ABROAD] It took 18 games, but 20-year-old Jozy Altidore finally got his first English Premier League goal, and what a goal it was. Altidore teamed up with George Boateng and Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink for a well-taken opening goal in Hull City's 2-1 win over Manchester City on Saturday that moved the Tigers out of the relegation zone into a tie for 14th place. Altidore, who has proven to be quite a handful for English defenses in recent weeks, celebrated by kissing the wristband he's been wearing with the flags of the United States and Haiti.
"I wear it [the wristband] every game, it has the Haitian flag on it and the American flag," he said afterwards. "It was really emotional for me because of what's going on in Haiti. I dedicate the goal to them and hope they can smile to see one of their own doing well."
Following the earthquake that struck Haiti last month, Altidore was granted compassion leave while he and his parents waited for word on the fate of their many relatives on the Caribbean island.
Since his return to action, Altidore has put together perhaps his best three games of the season. Against Wolves, he had an assist and was taken down for the penalty that led to Hull's second goal in its 2-2 tie with Wolves.
On Tuesday, fouls on Altidore led to two yellow cards on Chelsea defenders in Hull's 1-1 tie with the EPL leader, and the same thing happened to Man. City defenders on Saturday.
"It felt good," Altidore said of his first goal slotted inside the far post, "but I think the best thing about it was we got three points today, and I think was well deserved." It was a good move from the whole team, the whole play was brilliant and I think we've shown signs of improving and creating more quality opportunities for each other, so that was good."