Jun 11, 2013; Seattle, WA, USA; United States forward Jozy Altidore (17) celebrates with midfielder Eddie Johnson (18) after scoring a goal in the first half against Panama in a FIFA World Cup Qualifier at CenturyLink Field. The United States defeated Panama 2-0. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

USA vs. Bosnia-Herzegovina: Three USMNT standouts

Before the start of the second half of Wednesday’s friendly against Bosnia-Herzegovina, it would be hard to point out a positive. After struggling to get into good form early, the States fell behind 2-0 after the first 45 minutes of play.

The second half, however, was an entirely different story. Jurgen Klinsmann’s side came out firing on all cylinders, stringing long periods of possession together before eventually connecting the final pass in the attacking third for scoring opportunities.

After the full 90 minutes of play, the USMNT managed to pull out a 4-3 victory to keep their impressive streak alive.

Despite the difference between the two halves, there were three players that American supporters could not help but lock into when they were on the pitch.

1. Jozy Altidore

After being a shoe-in for a starting forward position under Bob Bradley and even early in the Klinsmann era due to lack of offensive firepower on the squad, Jozy is finally earning his minutes.

The 23-year old striker netted three goals, leading the USMNT to their historic comeback. Altidore, now a part of Sunderland, was forced to play tactically at his former club AZ Alkmaar rather than being able to hang up top waiting for service his way. This transition for the young striker has done wonders, and he should the focal point of the American attack heading into Brazil for the 2014 World Cup.

With Jozy finally letting his talent shine through, it is easy to see why Bradley and the U.S. staff thought so highly of him as a teenager.


2. Michael Bradley

Perhaps the most vital player on the USMNT, Bradley showed off his brilliant ability to distribute while still cover for his team defensively against Bosnia-Herzegovina. The central midfielder sprayed the ball around the field wonderfully with various passes while still being able to recover and do what he is known for doing so well, defending.

Once a midfielder solely known for defending playing for his father on the States side, Bradley’s growth is quite possibly the most impressive of any player on the current team. Without letting his defensive abilities be compromised, he has now shown the ability to create for others as well as his self. In this friendly alone Bradley was able to connect on 92-of-100 attempted passes.


3. Aron Johannsson

Despite appearing for just 27 minutes, Johannsson has to be viewed as a pleasant surprise for Klinsmann. After developing from a soccer standpoint in Iceland, Johannsson made the decision to make himself available for the USMNT instead, much to the chagrin of Iceland natives everywhere.

The 22-year old striker made the most of every minute that he had on the pitch in his debut, managing two shots on goal while remaining dangerous for the majority of the time.


Tags: Aron Johannsson Jozy Altidore Jurgen Klinsmann Michael Bradley United States Soccer USMNT

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