Sunderland striker Altidore excited at USA progress

Jozy Altidore
Jozy Altidore
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HAT-TRICK hero Jozy Altidore is excited about the progress of his USA side after the Sunderland striker propelled his country to victory last night.

Altidore’s treble, which included a spectacular free kick, saw Jurgen Klinsmann’s team come from 2-0 down against Bosnia-Herzegovina, in Sarajevo, to win 4-3.

The forward, who joined the Black Cats from AZ Alkmaar this summer, became the first American player in history to score in five consecutive international games and took his overall tally to 20 for the USA.

“I think Jurgen has always said even if we go down a goal to keep responding,” said Altidore.

“This time we went down two goals so it was a challenge for us. But I think you saw in the game we were never outplayed.

“It was just a matter of ironing out the mental errors, which we did and we created a lot of chances.”

The USA are now on a 12-game winning run and sit top of their World Cup qualifying group ahead of matches with Costa Rica and Mexico next month.

“It’s exciting and I think it shows how far the programme has come,” said Altidore.

“At the same time, we understand we still have to raise the bar.

“We can’t afford to make mistakes because in group stages of the World Cup you can’t come back from them. We have to learn to iron those out but we take the positives from last night and move forward with our heads held high.

“Everybody has confidence and last night shows the depth we have in this team. Guys can step in at any time and put in a good performance.

“It makes us all better and demands the best out of each other. I think for the qualifiers we will look good.”

On his stunning set piece effort, the former Hull and Vilarreal man added, “I’ve been training the past couple of years and I’m not saying I’m Ronaldinho but I felt like I had it in me.

“The first one I thought I hit decent, but it was a little close for me. The second one I got right. I was thinking just get it up and over and I’m happy I could score there.”