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Americans Abroad

Jozy Altidore Nets a Hat Trick for AZ Alkmaar

With just over two weeks remaining before the final round of CONCACAF World Cup qualification, the New Jersey native breaks through with three goals and makes a case for a starting spot in the U.S. national team.

BY John Godfrey Posted
January 19, 2013
12:11 PM
Jozy Altidore has had his issues with U.S. national team coach Jurgen Klinsmann—there's no question about that. Altidore hasn't delivered many goals during Klinsmann's tenure, and the coach has complained—publicly—about Altidore's attitude and work ethic.

That said, when Altidore is at the top of his game, as he is now with AZ Alkmaar, he provides a tantalizing blend of power and skill. On Saturday he scored a hat trick in a crucial Dutch Eredivisie contest against Vitesse Arnhem. All three goals came in the second half, and the result lifted a struggling AZ side to 11th in the league.

Altidore's first strike came in the 55th minute and put AZ in the lead 1-0. Johann Berg Gudmundsson created the goal when he attacked down the left flank and lifted a cross to the back post. Altidore, in the right spot at the right time, nodded the ball into the back of the net from a yard out. Here it is.

The First Goal
Roy Beerens put AZ up 2-0 with a strike in the 62nd minute, and then Altidore put the game away just two minutes later with his second of the match. Much like his first strike, the attack came from the left flank as Donny Gorter pushed forward and delivered a lovely cross that Altidore—this time just outside the six-yard box—headed into the back of the net.

The Second Goal
Altidore finished off his hat trick in the 77th minute when the Vitesse defense (foolishly) left him unmarked directly in front of goal. When an uncontested cross bounced to the U.S. international, he slammed the ball into the top corner with a right-footed blast that left Vitesse goalkeeper Piet Velthuizen helpless.

And the Third
These three tallies give Altidore 14 league goals on the season and 18 in all competitions. He's on an impressive run, and from a national team standpoint, the timing could not be better for the player or the U.S.

What do you think of his performance? Would you like to see Altidore in the Starting XI when the Yanks take on Honduras in San Pedro Sula? Share your thoughts below.

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