I only got to watch the second half of this one, but what I saw was enjoyable. Where did Jozy Altidore come from?
After sitting on the bench for European clubs during most of the season, the 19-year-old became the youngest American with an international hat trick, leading the United States over Trinidad and Tobago 3-0 in a World Cup qualifier on Wednesday night.
Making just his fourth international start, Altidore connected in the 13th, 71st and 89th minutes, all three times off passes from Landon Donovan. He also scored as a substitute in the 77th minute last Saturday to start the U.S. comeback from a two-goal deficit in a 2-2 tie at El Salvador.
While the US controlled most of the game, a couple of things bothered me. First, they could not finish a few build-ups that I thought were going to be sure fire goals. Second, at times, especially on quick counters, the defense seemed suspect (maybe out of position), often playing from behind to make a last second tackle or block.
On a positive side, the US did recover nicely after the El Salvador let down. When Donovan had the ball, he looked strong, creating opportunities for others (assists on all three Altidore goals).
Next up is a road challenge at Costa Rica (June 3). The US still heads the CONCACAF table by a point, and has the best goal differential at +5.