Jurgen Klinsmann likes what he sees from post-Sunderland Jozy Altidore

Jozy Altidore

The US national team head coach was thrilled to see the Toronto FC striker bag a brace on his MLS return.

US national team head coach Jurgen Klinsmann has told US Soccer of his delight at witnessing Jozy Altidore making a scoring return to MLS following his Sunderland struggles.

After a torrid 18 months at the Stadium of Light, Altidore returned to the league where he first made a name for himself this winter in a swap deal for the unsettled Jermain Defoe, having scored just once in 42 league games during his time in the North East.

It took the US international just 90 minutes to better that record for Toronto, however, as he netted twice in their season opener at Canadian rivals Vancouver Whitecaps to help a 3-1 win and earn the first MLS Player of the Week award for 2015.

A staunch backer of Altidore’s talent, Klinsmann was thrilled to see his star striker back in the goals and, ahead of the friendlies against Denmark and Switzerland, also spoke of his hopes for a big MLS season ahead for all of his US regulars.

“[Altidore] had a tough time the last 18 months in the Premier League, and for him it’s an awesome feeling to start right away with two goals,” he said.

“We all know what Jozy can do when he’s healthy and fit. Hopefully he’s off to a fantastic season. It’s also great seeing Clint [Dempsey] get going from the start, and Mix Diskerud with New York City Football Club scoring the first goal for that new franchise is exciting. It’s a lot of promising stuff.

“We are going to bring in a very strong roster into Denmark and Switzerland,” he continued. “It’s a bit tricky, obviously, because MLS has just started and it’s early in the season, so those players don’t have a rhythm yet.

“Meanwhile, the European-based players are in a full rhythm and the Mexican-based players are in a full rhythm, so we will bring what we believe will be the strongest roster into these two friendlies.”

With the US taking part in the Gold Cup this summer, Klinsmann will need Altidore at his best for their title defence but, given his international strike-record of 26 goals in 78 games, there has never been much doubt about the imposing front man’s ability to score past CONCACAF opposition.

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