JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Jozy Altidore enjoys an international strike rate that would make anyone envious.
The Toronto FC forward scored a brace to give the US national team a 4-0 win over Trinidad & Tobago and send the Americans into the Hexagonal atop their group.
Altidore’s first of the night, in the 59th minute, was his 15th in World Cup qualifying, breaking a tie with Seattle Sounders forward Clint Dempsey. After Fabian Johnson found Altidore’s feet at the top of the penalty area, the 27-year-old used a deft touch to sidestep a Trinidad & Tobago defender and unleashed a clinical right-footed finish.
“We were flowing,” Altidore said. “At times I feel we were flowing more than the past few games. Guys were moving, creating space, being crafty. When we are like that, we are at our most dangerous.”
So is he. Tuesday’s two goals give Altidore six goals in six appearances for the USMNT this year.
“We are very, very happy to have Jozy back healthy,” said US head coach Jurgen Klinsmann. “I think he is aware of his situation. He knows ‘Hey, I cannot afford more injuries.’ I need to make sure my lifestyle is OK and that I look after myself, I prepare for every training session and I do all the work on the side.”
Altidore missed the Copa America after picking up a hamstring injury in May. Despite that, he and Bobby Wood have formed a formidable partnership, combining to score 10 goals in their last five appearances together.
“I thought Bobby did a good job trying to be dangerous,” Altidore said. “Bobby should get a lot of credit. His movement causes a lot of problems for defenses. It opens up a lot of things for other people.”
The win over the Soca Warriors marked the fifth time Altidore has represented the USMNT in the Sunshine State. He has four goals over those five appearances.
“I love playing in Florida,” a smiling Altidore said. “It’s my hometown state. It was nice to get out here again and score some goals.”