By Dieter Kurtenbach
4:34 PM EDT, August 14, 2013
Boca Raton’s Jozy Altidore scored three goals and assisted on another in the U.S. Men’s National Soccer Team’s 4-3, come-from-behind win at world No. 13 Bosnia and Herzegovina in a friendly Wednesday.
The hat trick was Altidore’s second for the USMNT, and his first since 2009 when he netted three against Trinidad and Tobago in Nashville.
The come-from-behind win was the USMNT’s first-ever in Europe.
The Americans trailed their hosts 2-0 at halftime after conceding goals to Manchester City striker Edin Dzeko and St. Louis University forward Vedad Ibiševi¿ in the game’s first 30 minutes.
The Americans pulled within a goal 10 minutes into the second half when Michael Bradley’s over-the-top lead pass to Altidore burnt the Bosnian defense, allowing the striker to lay off a short pass to fellow Floridian Eddie Johnson, who was able to score on an empty net from 15 yards out.
Altidore pulled the Americans even when he received a lead pass from Fabian Johnson inside the penalty area, took two touches across the face of goal and blasted a shot inside the opposite post four minutes later.
The goal made Altidore the first American to score a goal in five-consecutive appearances for the national team.
Altidore broke the tie in the 85th minute, when he placed a free kick from 25 yards out inside the left post and crossbar.
The hat trick was completed 80 seconds later, thanks to a 40-yard run by Michael Bradley, whose service caught Altidore in stride, leaving no doubt that the in-form striker would net the insurance goal — which proved critical when Bosnia scored in stoppage time.
Altidore netted three hat tricks for his club AZ Alkmaar last season in the
The three goals extended the U.S. Men’s National Team’s winning streak to 12 games — a new national team record.
Altidore was sold to English Premier League side Sunderland in July for $13 million — a record fee for an American player.
“This team is coming together at the right time,” Altidore told ESPN after the match. “We have some things to work on, but the bigger picture is the World Cup. We want to be ready for that.”
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