Altidore scores lone US goal in draw with Honduras


Striker Bobby Wood (23) attempts to take the ball from Maynor Figueroa (3) in an international friendly on Oct. 14. The game ended in a 1-1 tie. Photo by Sabrina Martinez, Assistant Creative Director

After starting strongly, the U.S. men’s national soccer team failed to keep up their solid play, allowing Honduras to score a late equalizer that tied the game at 1.

The USA controlled the game during the first half. Looking to end the international break on a high note, they pressed the Hondurans and attempted to make them uncomfortable.

The first warning sign came seven minutes into the game when Jozy Altidore intercepted a bad back pass from Honduras’ Victor Bernardez, leaving them two against one but his pass was behind striker Clint Dempsey, who scuffed his shot wide.

Two minutes later, Altidore received a ball over the top from midfielder Michael Bradley. Altidor cut back and shot the ball past Honduran goalkeeper Donis Escober, who could not stop the shot. The goal looked very similar to the second goal he scored against Nigeria this past June in their preparation for the World Cup.

“I feel like a little kid again, playing soccer back in Boca Raton,” Altidore said. “It meant a lot to me to score in front of my family and my cousins from Haiti.”

The U.S. could not have hoped for a better start to the game, taking an early lead that energized the 14,805 fans in attendance. Jozy Altidore brought seventy family members and friends to the game, one that took place in his old stomping grounds. Born in New Jersey, Altidor was raised just a few blocks away from the FAU stadium.

Honduras’ only threatening moment in the first half happened in the 18th minute. USA keeper Nick Rimando’s forward pass went straight to Honduran midfielder Andy Najar, who tried to lob the ball past the American keeper but the shot sailed over the bar.

At the start of the second half, Honduras made two substitutions, introducing attacking midfielder Mario Martinez and center forward Romell Quioto. The subs didn’t take long before making their presence felt. As Quioto received a ball on the left side of the field, he curled a shot on goal but his attempt sailed high wide.

As the game dwindled down to its final minutes, the consensus was that the host team was on their way to a home victory. That changed once Martinez put in a well placed free kick into the box, to which center back Maynor Figueroa headed it in to tie the game in the 85th minute.

Neither team could break the deadlock as the game ended in a 1-1 draw. From here, Altidor heads to England’s Premier League to play for Sunderland. His goal: “Keep plugging away and trying to [his] chances when they come.”

The men’s team will play one more friendly before the club season starts against Ireland on Nov. 18.