DETROIT - American striker Jozy Altidore repaid Bob Bradley's unwavering
faith in his ability when he scored a goal and made another in the United States' 2-0 win over
Canada in the opening round of the CONCACAF Gold Cup.
Altidore has struggled to make his mark in European club football since moving from the New
York Red Bulls to Spain's Villareal three years ago but remains a potent force for his country,
scoring 11 goals in 36 appearances.
"I'm just happy that we started off the tournament in the right way," Altidore said. "It was
a good start and of course you are always happy to get a goal."
Loan spells with Xerex in Spain's second division and Hull City, when they were struggling
at the foot of the Premier League last season, were not ideal moves for the 21-year-old from
New Jersey, who spent the back half of this season in Turkey with Bursaspor.
A solitary goal in eight games in the Turkish top flight was hardly a guarantee of a place
in the Gold Cup squad but Bradley remained a believer.
"When you go through a stretch with your club team, not always playing regularly and not
getting goals, I think in terms of confidence this was very important," said Bradley.
"The movement that led to the first goal and obviously the ball he that he put across for
Clint Dempsey's goal were both great plays."
Altidore broke down the right, showing good pace, before putting in a perfectly struck low
cross for Dempsey to slide in at the back post.
It was a timely reminder that he is also a facilitator and has now adapted to his new role
as a target man.
"The coach has asked me to be the guy that the team can look to pay to when we are under
pressure and be that big body up top and try to bring people into the game," Altidore said
after the game
Michael Bradley, the coach's son and the engine of the U.S. midfield, said Altidore's
efforts, away from the penalty area, were often overlooked.
"Jozy is important for our team. We count on him and in a lot of ways," he said.
"He plays a big part in our success, and there may be times when may be the goals don't come
but even on those days he gives our team a lot.
"All you need to look at that in terms of that is the World Cup. He wasn't able to score,
but just his overall contribution to the team and every game was really big."
The U.S face Panama next in Group C at Tampa on Saturday.
Bayern fans snap up 45,000 tickets to watch Champions League final live at Allianz Arena
When Sir Alex wakes up on Monday morning without team to manage, he will not be putting his feet up
Paris Saint-Germain midfielder announces he will be retiring at the end of the current season
Record goal-scorer signs a one-year contract extension with Europa League winners Chelsea
Ten years on, the legends speak to FFT
Your questions answered by an A to Z of legends
He's here, he's there, he's...
The cost of Premier League away travel
Nike CR7 IX for you
FourFourTwo is brought to you by Haymarket Consumer Media & FourFourTwo is part of Haymarket Sport
| International Licensing | © Haymarket Media Group 2010