Forget the overplayed cliche about a fine wine; Jozy Altidore is more like a fine cheese. That's the lesson to be taken from the US nationtal team forward's recent exclusive interview with ESPN's Julie Foudy, which aired prior to the US's 2-0 victory over Panama in World Cup qualifying on Tuesday night.
The 23-year-old scored 31 goals for club team AZ Alkmaar in 2012-13 — a record for an American while playing in Europe — and he credits both his personal and professional set-up in the Netherlands for the breakout season.
And for the first time during his European career, Altidore has turned a fine club season into some of the best international form of his still-very young career, scoring a goal in three consecutive games after opening the scoring for the US on Tuesday night against Panama. At the tender age of 23, Altidore has scored 16 times for his country. With any semblance of recent form carrying on for the next decade, he could easily break Landon Donovan's all-time US record of 49 international goals.
It's a good thing US national team head coaches Bob Bradley and Jurgen Klinsmann were willing to stick with Altidore through rougher patches and allow him to turn from Young Cheese into the much more famous Old Cheese, because just ask the cheese man from Holland: "All you need is patience."
What do you think of Altidore's recent run of scoring? Was the problem all along a lack of service to the big man in the box, or has Jozy simply upped his game a number of levels in 2013?