Jozy Altidore congratulates USMNT on World Cup qualification
By Chris Smith
Having been part of two World Cup squads with the United States, Jozy Altidore knows all about representing your country at the highest level.
The 32-year-old striker - now with the New England Revolution - has 115 USMNT caps to his name, scoring 42 goals during that time - only Landon Donovan and Clint Dempsey have scored more (both 57).
Unfortunately, injuries have limited Altidore's playing time over the past few years, pushing him out of the national team picture. But while his days wearing the Stars and Stripes may be over, he's not done supporting his compatriots.
Speaking to reporters on Thursday, Altidore offered his congratulations to the USMNT after they sealed qualification to Qatar 2022 the night previous.
“I'm just so excited," he said. "Obviously, it's been a tough last few years for anybody that's a fan of US Soccer, of the game in this country to not see our national team performing on the world's biggest stage, so just a huge congratulations to the boys.
"I'm incredibly proud of them, excited for them. Playing in a World Cup is a privilege. It's a fantastic privilege, and one of the best joys their careers.
"Just a big congrats to the team, to everybody involved, the staff, players, and most importantly, the fans who have stayed fans of the program and stayed fans of the game in our country when there was a bit of a lull in terms of no competing on the biggest stage so it's an exciting period and looking forward to watching the team continue to grow."
Altidore can look forward to watching the United States as a fan later this year. But for now, his main focus is on regaining full fitness and helping his new team push on from winning the 2021 Supporters' Shield.
The striker has played six games across all competitions for the Revs so far, scoring his first goal in a 3-2 defeat to Real Salt Lake earlier in March. Head coach Bruce Arena has been pleased with what he's seen from Altidore to this point and knows there is much more still to come.
“Well, he's making progress," Arena said of Altidore. "We know Jozy is a very good player and it's going to take him a little bit of time. And you could see over the last couple of weeks, things are getting better. I think by the end of April, Jozy should be in pretty good form.
"It's been a real positive look to see the progress he's made over the last three or four weeks and we look forward to a good showing by Jozy on Saturday, as well. As we move forward, he can continue to get better and get in better form.”
The New England Revolution host the New York Red Bulls on Saturday.