Things just keep going wrong around Sunderland for U.S. striker Jozy Altidore

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You know things are quite bad when the announcer calls it painful watching Jozy Altidore. Ooof!

Let’s put some things in perspective here: If there was ever a day when Altidore needed to find his scoring shoes, today was it. Sunderland was at home against non-league Kidderminster. From the guy who scored all those goals last year in Holland, and then came over had such a fabulous summer for the U.S. national team, putting in one or two on Saturday should have been like taking candy from a little kidderminster, eh? And right away, Altidore had a great opportunity.

Alas, it went the way the entire campaign has for Altidore, pretty much all wrong. His team went through in the FA Cup match (although not all that easily), but it was another wasted opportunity for Altidore to scoop up some spirit of good feeling.

Fans around the Stadium of Light were actually booing the poor guy when he got on the ball. Ouch!

So on a day that two U.S. defenders who aren’t even in the World Cup plans scored goals (Oguchi Onyewu and Timothy Chandler), the striker who is part of the World Cup plan still couldn’t find goal. He has struck twice in his first six months with the Premier League club.

It’s a bad situation. For strikers, even more than any other positions, it’s all about confidence. Which is why it might sometimes be better for a goal-scorer to hold in place, even if that means remaining in a league seen as inferior – and the Dutch Eredivisie certainly is a league of turbo props next to the Premier League’s big jet engines.

The guy has to get some goals – otherwise he’ll come into the May training camp, ahead of the big trip into Brazil, with confidence as fragile as a kid at his first middle school dance.