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Black History Month: Jozy puts America on his back

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In 2013, Jozy went on a tear. No USMNT player has duplicated it since.

Panama v United States - FIFA 2014 World Cup Qualifier Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

It’s February 3rd! Today we take you back to 2013, where the United States Men’s National Team is smack in the middle of 2014 World Cup qualifying and looking for a spark. Enter Jozy Altidore, then 23, to the rescue. After being roundly criticized by then-USMNT head coach Jurgen Klinsmann, Altidore responded with one of the finest stretches of play in the history of U.S. Soccer.

First, Jozy opened his 2013 bank account with a goal against Germany in the U.S. Soccer Centennial match on June 2nd in Washington, DC. Germany was the 2nd-ranked team in the world at the time, but that didn’t stop Jozy from opening the scoring in this incredible match:

The USMNT eventually beat Germany 4-3 and then resumed World Cup qualifying with a trip to face Jamaica in Kingston on June 7th. Altidore wasn’t to be denied against the Reggae Boyz, scoring the opening goal of that match as well:

After a 2-1 victory against the Jamaicans, the team returned to the United States for 2 more qualifiers. The first was against Panama in Seattle on June 11th. In the 35th minute, Jozy Altidore finished a Fabian Johnson cross with, you guessed it, the opening goal in a 2-0 victory.

On June 18th, the team finished up the summer window of World Cup qualifying with a match in Salt Lake City against Honduras. In the 73rd minute, Jozy Altidore broke a scoreless match with a goal that proved to be the eventual game-winner for the Americans:

With that match, Jozy Altidore matched the record for most consecutive games with a goal, tying Landon Donovan, Eddie Johnson, William Lubbe, and Erik Wynalda. But, Jozy was not done. After almost a 2 month break, the USMNT was back in action with a friendly against Bosnia and Herzegovina in Sarajevo. It was here that Jozy broke the all-time consecutive goal scoring record in monster fashion. With the United States down 2-0, Jozy Altidore put his team on his back, notching a natural hat trick to secure a 4-2 victory for the Americans. The first goal came in the 59th minute to equalize 2-2:

Next, a miraculous free kick in the 84th minute gave the United States the 3-2 lead late.

Finally, Altidore put the game out of reach with a goal in the 86th minute to seal it:

His hat trick helped secure the USMNT’s 12th straight victory of 2013, itself a U.S. Soccer record. Many people think that this was Jozy’s peak, but at age 28, he’s still in the middle of his prime. He has a chance to catch Landon Donovan and Clint Dempsey at the top of the all-time USMNT goalscoring list. But, we will always have 2013, when Jozy Altidore went on a tear no one may ever match.