Altidore to captain USMNT vs. Czech Republic

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Photo by Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports

By FRANCO PANIZO

Jozy Altidore will make his return to the U.S. Men’s National Team’s starting lineup on Wednesday, and he will do so as the Americans’ captain.

U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann announced to reporters on Tuesday that Altidore will wear the armband in Wednesday’s friendly vs. the Czech Republic, the first international match that the striker with 71 caps to his name will play in since suffering a World Cup-ending hamstring injury in the Americans’ tournament opener vs. Ghana back in June.

Clint Dempsey has regularly served as U.S. captain in recent years, but he is not on the current roster for the match in Prague as Klinsmann has gone with a 22-man squad comprised of lots of young players.

The 24-year-old Altidore is fully recovered from the Grade 2 hamstring tear he frustratingly sustained in the 2-1 win in Natal back on June 16. He has seen time in Sunderland’s first three games of the Premiership season, making cameos off the bench in each of them.

Altidore also recently started and went the distance for the Black Cats in a Capital One Cup victory over Birmingham City.

The Czech Republic friendly is the Americans’ first match since bowing out of the World Cup in the Round of 16.

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What do you think of Altidore serving as captain? Like the decision by Klinsmann? Expecting a big performance from Altidore vs. the Czech Republic?

Share your thoughts below.

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22 Responses to Altidore to captain USMNT vs. Czech Republic

  1. Soccer God Texas 915 says:

    Bench Warmer captain, why not guzan since his the future of the nats. Guzan for captain or even Gonzalez.

    • AC says:

      Klinsmann has been known to be a good motivator. When Altidore was dropped from the squad a few years back during qualifiers, he came back extra motivated and performed better. This might be a way of keeping Altidore’s confidence high (as he also has almost 50 more caps than Guzan) by signifying his veteran presence to the young squad. Hopefully Altidore will come out on fire tomorrow.

      • Soccer God Texas 915 says:

        In 3 or 4 or 2 years, will see Altidore in MLS, just like bradley, in NYCFC or the re branded red bull ( Cosmos or MetroStars) :0

        • The Imperative Voice says:

          Red Bull needs to be rebranded? The ultimate in marketing? HA.

          Red Bull’s corporate revenues and profits continue to go up, they own the stadium and the team, and the whole setup is basically advertising for them. I think they’d like to win it all, but that’s secondary to waving the logo around. As long as they make soft drink money why would they sell?

          Metrostars would be regression. Cosmos would be nostalgia. They have no reason to water down their branding by giving another logo room.

          The bigger threat is City steals thunder next year and fans lose interest. The threat is the future, not the past.

    • The Imperative Voice says:

      I basically agree with you but I am sure the concept is he is a regular player — while Guzan is often called to sit — even if he drives the coach and fans nuts, and is stuck in a poor situation at Sunderland.

      • Will says:

        The situation at Sunderland isn’t a Sunderland problem, it’s a Jozy problem. He’s horrible. Totally unqualified in anything close to competitive league. Making him captain is laughable.

  2. Consigliere says:

    Gonzalez? How can he captain if he isn’t even on the roster?

  3. leztb says:

    Finally a Black man being captain of the NT

    j/k

    it’s a good honor for Jozy. 1st time he’ll captain as a starter right? Hope this motivates him to have a fantastic game with goals

  4. John says:

    Michael Owen:

    “I bet Altidore is pinching himself. Can’t get a game for Sunderland yet now captain of the USMNT!”

    • John says:

      Did he actually say that or is this a joke off his tweet about Hernandez?

      • Increase0 says:

        I know… of all people to mock others struggles playing in a foreign country. The dude lived in a hotel for 6th months because he couldn’t handle being in Spain. I imagine he didn’t say it.

  5. RK says:

    Jozy better hope that Sunderland do not sign Jonas.

  6. bryan says:

    makes sense, he has been captain before.

  7. Birgit Calhoun says:

    I don’t mind his being captain. He is at least somewhat of a veteran. But I don’t see this squad winning with so little preparation time. Klinsmann has this thig set up to lose.

    • John says:

      What else can Klinsmann do? He called in nearly everyone not in MLS. MLS doesn’t want to respect the international break, so that’s the team.

      • Increase0 says:

        She not wrong. We are set up to lose but you are also right. This is the team and its better this way. Some of these young guys have to come good or it doesnt matter what JK does. We might as well get them in the system now.

  8. 443 says:

    Jozy has over 70 caps. With that line-up, he was the obvious choice though Guzan will more than likely be vice captain for the match