Games against the giants of football have not often worked out well for the United States, but after the win over Spain, young US striker Jozy Altidore says there's no reason to be intimidated by the big boys.
Midway through the first half of the US's incredible 2-0 win over Spain in the semifinals of the Confederations Cup, US striker Jozy Altidore showed what all the hype is about.
The most expensive American player ever manhandled his defender—ironically, his Villarreal teammate, Joan Capdevila—and fired a shot that goalkeeper Iker Casillas couldn't stop. With the early goal, the US was off and running.
The power Altidore exploited on the goal showed more than just his talents and potential. Throughout the game, the 19-year-old carried a brash attitude that has often been lacking in the US. He seemed to shrug off the challenges and taunts of world-class defenders.
“I feel the US is looked down upon too much,” he told Goal.com. “We have so many players that have the ability to challenge these guys all the time. But we're overlooked. We have the chance, you're not going to hide in a shell.
You're going to step up and go chin to chin with them.”
The US will now move on to the Confederations Cup final, where they will meet either South Africa or Brazil.
In the group stage, the US was crushed 3-0 by Brazil in a nervous, timid performance against the five-time world champions. Altidore said the team had learned the lessons of that game, and applied them against Spain.
“If anything, we showed we weren't scared,” he said. “That's the most important thing. We respected them but we didn't give them space like we did against Brazil and I think that's very important.
We treated them like another team and got the job