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Jozy Altidore: 'My confidence is fine'
by Paul Kennedy, June 2nd, 2014 7:52PM
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TAGS:  men's national team, world cup 2014


[USA MEN] Despite no goals in 21 games for Sunderland and the USA in 2014 and a 27-game scoring drought with the two teams that dates back six months, Jozy Altidore says he has not lost his confidence.

''Everybody is so worried about my confidence," he told reporters after Sunday's 2-1 win over Turkey. "It's unbelievable. My confidence is fine, my man. It's not going to change whether I score a hat trick or I don't score at all.''

U.S. Forwards (2014):

19/9 Clint Dempsey
Seattle Sounders 9/8, Fulham: 7/0, USA: 3-1.
26/9 Aron Johannsson
AZ: 24/8, USA: 2/1.
16/8 Chris Wondolowski
San Jose Earthquakes: 11/5, USA: 3-3.
21/0 Jozy Altidore
Sunderland: 18/0, USA: 3/0
12/8 Terrence Boyd
Rapid Vienna: 12/8, USA: 0/0.
13/3 Landon Donovan

LA Galaxy: 11/3, USA 2/0.
Note: Includes club league, cup and international competitions.

A year ago to the day, Altidore began a string of five straight games with a goal for the USA when he scored in a 4-3 friendly win over Germany. He went on to score in each of the wins over Jamaica, Panama and Honduras that blew open the Hexagonal race and finished up with a second-half hat trick at Bosnia-Herzegovina in a 4-3 win in August 2013.

All that was following up on a record 31-goal haul for AZ in the Netherlands, but then came the move to Sunderland, where he finished with one goal in 31 English Premier League games and just two goals in 39 games in all competitions for the Black Cats. By the end of the season, he was relegated to the bench -- even spending one game with the Sunderland U-21s.

Altidore's confidence is based on the confidence he says U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann has shown in him. What did he do to make Klinsmann, himself a former striker, so confident? "Kick the ball straight," joked Altidore.

Klinsmann admitted he has tried to take the pressure off of Altidore by joking around with him, but he was nonetheless impressed with his work in the win over Turkey. On the first goal, Altidore held possession and drew the Turkish defense to him before playing the ball off on sequence that ended with Michael Bradley feeding a speeding Fabian Johnson for a magnificent strike.

"Overall, again a very energetic performance," Klinsmann said afterwards. "He keeps a whole backline busy and that’s what the other coach sees."

Indeed, Turkey coach Fatih Terim, who knew of Altidore from his six-month loan stint at Bursaspor in 2011, singled the U.S. striker out for praise after the game, along with Bradley and Johnson.

Klinsmann said the goals will come.

“We’re waiting for it," he said. "I wouldn’t mind if the goal comes against Ghana right away. No, it is the Jozy we want to see. He will kind of sooner or later break through with goals. You got to work for it and you’ve got to stay hungry and grind it out and sooner or later it’s time and boom the ball is in the net.”

  1. Brett Wyatt
    commented on: June 2, 2014 at 8:39 p.m.
    he's doing the dirty work and providing great hold up play. it's ok if Dempsey scores the goals instead, but what jozy does is vital to the team.
  1. Kevin Sims
    commented on: June 3, 2014 at 7:46 a.m.
    Jozy's total game is vastly improved. Let's hope the rewards are on the way.
  1. Walt Pericciuoli
    commented on: June 3, 2014 at 8:37 a.m.
    Forwards must score, AND hold the ball for others. Not one or the other.
  1. Kevin White
    commented on: June 3, 2014 at 8:42 a.m.
    Eddie Johnson should learn from Jozy's work rate.
  1. Mark Hardt
    commented on: June 3, 2014 at 9:23 a.m.
    Can't we just try Johannssen at hold up forward? If he gets beat to a pulp against Nigeria than everyone can say I told you so.
  1. cisco martinez
    commented on: June 3, 2014 at 10:23 a.m.
    Walt, if a forward is not scoring as long Altidore; as long as he is creating chances, holding the ball, relieving pressure for the defense, and assisting, most coaches won't care whether he is scoring or not. Its not an either or, it whether they are unable to do the little things Kasey Keller mentioned at haltftime. Now if Altidore is not doing these thing then I'll agree give Johannsen a chance.
  1. Albert Harris
    commented on: June 3, 2014 at 11:09 a.m.
    I actually still feel fairly good about Altidore but certainly wouldn't mind seeing Johannssen play a half; either one would be fine.
  1. Charles Stamos
    commented on: June 3, 2014 at 12:07 p.m.
    It would be nice to see Altidore, Dempsey, or any other forward finish like LD just did. 3 goals in last 2 games, LD may make JK eat his words about his being not quite as good as the other WC players. Sorry, about bringing up old news, so on to making this WC team better, let's see 3 goals from our forwards on Sunday. Good luck USA.
  1. I w Nowozeniuk
    commented on: June 3, 2014 at 12:53 p.m.
    Anyone bother to suspect that Jozy gets no service; the killer pass that most good strikers convert. He's got size, keeps defenders at arms length, good speed, and has shown his ability to score. Going to the md-level BPL squad was a big mistake. Amici sportive, time to abandon the stat sheet a la baseball with soccer players, they produce when they give it all and get the right feeds from teammates.
  1. Steven SIegel
    commented on: June 3, 2014 at 6:36 p.m.
    On April 19th, Jozy Altidore drew a penalty against Chelsea in a crucial road match at the end of the season. No, he didn't take the penalty kick, but that was the winning goal against a Champions League team playing at home in a race for the Premeier League tittle. His play kept Sunderland from relegation and ruined Chelsea's title hopes. Not too shabby.
  1. Nalin Carney
    commented on: June 4, 2014 at 12:52 p.m.
    Jozy ... you are doing great....even though the goals have ceased for a while ... you are making the opposition absolutely frantic. Keep up the good work! You know as well as I do that the goals will come again. Nalin

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