A recent Sports Illustrated article on American striker Jozy Altidore described him as the USA’s “biggest goal-scoring threat” at next month’s World Cup in South Africa.  The 20-year-old Altidore earned that description even though he probably will be the youngest player on the USA’s World Cup team.  Altidore has played with the USA national team at the three main age levels – U-17, U-20 and U-23.

On 17 November 2007, 11 days after his 18th birthday, Altidore made his first international appearance for the USA’s senior national team in a friendly match against 2010 World Cup host South Africa.  He was a key player for the Americans during their World Cup qualifying campaign, with his most prolific performance coming last year in the southern U.S. city of Nashville, Tennessee.  Altidore scored all three goals for the USA in a 3-0 victory over Trinidad and Tobago, making him the youngest American to score a hat-trick in an international match.  Overall, Altidore has scored eight international goals for the USA senior team.  One of them came during the USA’s 2-0 upset of European champion Spain at the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup tournament in South Africa.

Jozy Altidore would like nothing better than to score a few more goals in South Africa during the World Cup.  He says the surprise showing of the USA at last year’s Confederations Cup tournament, in which the Americans reached the final before losing to Brazil, should help the team when it returns to South Africa for the World Cup.

In that same Sports Illustrated article, it mentioned that Altidore will be part of a USA team in which half or more of the players have at least one parent who immigrated to the United States.  While Jozy was born in New Jersey and raised in Florida, both of his parents are from Haiti.  And, since the devastating earthquake that hit Haiti in January, Altidore has been active in relief efforts for the island nation.  He also sometimes pays tribute to his Haitian heritage by wearing a wristband with both the flags of Haiti and the USA during matches.