Jozy Altidore was not called up for the USMNT friendly against Mexico, offering him a full preseason with his Dutch club AZ Alkmaar. Judging by his first two appearances, it seems to have paid off. The American has scored four goals in his first two league games. For some perspective, he scored six combined in 63 appearances during his first three seasons in Europe.
All goals are not created equal. Eredivisie defending can be non-existent, but Altidore’s prolific scoring is a definite reason for optimism. He seems, from the highlights at least, to be attacking the net with confidence. That was what was missing. His physical ability and talent were never in question. He, along with Michael Bradley, is showing the importance of stable club environments.
Altidore developing into a formidable, world-class striker would be one development that could change the complexion of the USMNT dramatically ahead of the 2014 World Cup.